How Much Do School Ski Trips Really Cost?17/09/2021
This season, school ski trips are generally costing between £730 and £950, depending on a number of factors, including the resort, transport, accommodation, dates and number of ski lessons you choose to include.
Here, School Ski Specialist Beth explains how you can keep the cost of your school ski trip down.
Coach is almost always less expensive than flying and the vast majority of our groups do choose to travel by coach on their school ski trips.
My top tip when travelling by coach is to fill it – a coach at capacity is always the best value for money. And if you have 43 pupils, that will give you a 6th free place.
However, if you are oversubscribed, I would advise checking the options before you decide to add those extra students to your trip, as a larger group does not always necessarily mean a cheaper price, because the larger the coach the higher the price. If you do find yourself in this situation, which many of our groups are this season, don’t worry – your Ski Specialist will be able to advise you on all the options and how they affect the price.
If you do want to travel by air, I would really advise looking at a term time trip if you can. That’s because a January term time trip by air can actually cost less than a half term trip by coach.
Another way to save a bit of money on transport is to leave by coach right after skiing on the last day. Leaving before the final evening meal could save you £10, help you to avoid any queues at Calais and get back to school earlier.
Travelling on a Saturday can help you to avoid a Channel crossing supplement and hoteliers also offer better rates for Sunday to Friday. So, an 8-day school ski trip really offers great value for money and means you get home on the Saturday, leaving you the rest of the weekend to recover.
With regards to accommodation, I would advise that you speak to your Ski Specialist about your requirements and then they will be able to talk you through the various options, as it can be a bit tricky to work out what is the best value for money.
Doorstep skiing is usually the most expensive option on paper and so you could opt to stay down in the valley and take the coach to the slopes. On paper, this would be the cheaper option. However, when you factor in hot lunches on the slopes, the price can then rise back up to near the doorstep skiing option.
Some groups prefer to buy a meal in the restaurants on the slopes rather than book a packed lunch from their accommodation. If this is your preference, you could book your accommodation on a half-board basis and save around £60 per person on the tour price.
Ski Resort/Lift Pass
The main thing you need to think about in terms of the ski resort you choose is the level and requirements of your group, especially if you’re hoping to keep costs down. That’s because there is usually a direct correlation between the size of the ski area and the price of the lift pass – the larger the ski area the more expensive the lift pass.
If your students are mostly beginners, they will not be able to get the maximum use out of a large ski area.
On average, pupils are able to ski around 25km in a 2-hour lesson, depending on their speed and ability. Those groups who are mainly made up of beginners and intermediates would usually be better off with a smaller resort, where their lift pass would represent better value for money.
That’s because ski school starts and finishes at the same place as where the intructors teach other groups in between, so even if the resort is bigger, the group will simply never get to see all the area, meaning that a large ski area just doesn’t usually offer good value for money for beginners and intermediates.
The other benefit with the small resorts is that their usually less busy, so you may actually find your students also spend more time skiing and less time queuing. In this way, smaller resorts usually offer quality over quantity
Some of the larger resorts, like Les 2 Alpes, offer quality and quantity, so if your group are more advanced and can ski a little further, a resort like Les 2 Alpes offers very good value for money per km of piste.
And there are also some resorts that offer the best of both worlds. Claviere, for example, offers a choice of the Claviere lift pass or the Via Lattea lift pass, so you can tailor your lift pass to suit your budget and the ability of your group.
The other thing to remember is that you do tend to find that lift queues are much more of a problem in the larger resorts. So a smaller resort where you’ll spend less time queuing may actually give your students more time on skis.
If you do want to make a significant saving on your school ski trip, one way you can do so is to consider taking an 8-day trip with 5 hours of ski lessons per day over 5 days.
This actually gives you an extra hour on skis than the traditional 9-day trip with 4 hours of ski lessons per day over 6 days.
Plus, it will save you money on a night’s accommodation, a day’s lift pass and ski hire.
If you’re travelling to your ski resort by coach, you can take some items for après-ski activities with you - like bibs and balls for 5-a-side, basketball, dodgeball or even prizes for a quiz or bingo night. Some accommodation options have sports facilities or large rooms that you can use for your après-ski activities – if this is of interest to you, please do ask your SkiSpecialist about the options available in your chosen resort.
I would strongly recommend that you make use of your rep with regards to your après-ski activities. They’re super fun, have oodles of experience and have lots of creative ideas for fun après-ski activities on a budget.
Any Other Tips?
If you’re really keen to keep costs down on your school ski trip, I would strongly recommend thinking about going in December.
Artesina in Italy, for example, is £250pp cheaper before Christmas than during February half term!
If you do choose to travel in December, Italy is a great bet, because Italian resorts do open early and have a fantastic record for early season snow.
My other top tip is to talk to us. We’re not a ‘one price fits all’ tour operator, we always work with you to build a quotation that fits your requirements. And our experience and knowledge of our resorts means that we can help build a trip at the price you need for your students.