Planning your ski weekend
The growth in budget airlines, cheaper flights and new routes from regional airports all mean that a ski weekend sudddenly seems much more achievable.
When you only have a couple of days on the slopes, you want to make the most of it. The key is in planning ahead and being prepared to spend time looking for accomodation - at the very last minutes in some cases.
Unfortunately you'll find the best and easiest deals if you can travel outside the peak school holiday period., Ideally, book your flight as far in advance as possible but leave booking your accommodation til the last minute. That way you'll get the cheapest flight deal and be able to select a resort with good snow and the best latee deals.
If all the planning seems too much, you can alwasy choose a specialist weekend company.
- Aim high. Resorts over 1500m, with glaciers or good snowmaking facilities, are the most snow sure...
- ... but in bad weather high lifts my be closed, so you'll want the option of tree-lined or sheltered slopes too.
- Low resorts with lifts up to higher ski areas are good choices.
- Big resorts will have more accommodation options.
- Avoid flying on Saturdays or Sundays (peak travel time to the Alps) - it's usually more expensive and the extra traffic makes transfer times longer.
- Local airports may have limited flight choices but they do reduce transfer times.
- Don't ignore major routes (eg London to Geneva) as competition means you can often get great dishes.
- Unsociable flight times (early morning or late at night) may make for an attractive price but remember to check the transfer options at the other end.
- Hiring a car offers the most flexibility but make sure you ask for snow tyres and snow chains when making your reservation
- Taxis and private bus transfers are simplest but can be pricey
- Some airports have public buses to resorts which are usually pretty cheap if they fit your flight times. Get online to see if the timetable fits your flights (and remember your flight might get delayed)
And finally ...
The resorts in this guide are all places the Mad Dog team have visited for the weekend and loved. Of course, there are plenty more great resorts for short breaks and hopefully our tips will help you make the most of any ski weekend you choose.
Weekend resorts (from major airports) :
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