“Tips and advice about how to book a ski chalet holiday for a group of friends”…and still be friends at the end of the holiday!
Acting as a group leader for a groups ski chalet holiday can be a thankless task, and one that will take up a lot of your time. Getting a group to agree on where to go for this year’s ski trip can sometimes take a curry night out and/or take many emails.
One minute you have 20 friends who want to come with you, and the next only 10. For some groups it can take weeks just for everyone to agree on holiday dates, and then everyone wants a different resort, and everyone has a different budget. Some friends might have built up a reputation for snoring on previous trips, so single rooms are needed. Every group has its own dynamics and no two groups are the same!
Most travel agents and tour operators don’t just expect you to be the one to collect the quotes, you’re acting as the group leader, so they expect you to check everyone’s name is spelt correctly, ensure that all the money is collected and make one payment to settle the costs. You may also have to add all the passport info required for airport security. It’s a big commitment on your part, so well done for stepping forward to pick up the baton! You might regret it. The important bit is that you will be accepting the booking conditions imposed by which ever travel company you travel with, on behalf of the whole group. You should always be sent a copy of these by which ever company you choose to book with. It’s a good idea to carefully read the T&C’s before you book, paying particular notice to cancellation charges, which often catch groups out. If just one person in the group cancels this could affect the group discounts offered. it can sometimes also mean that an under occupancy supplement might need to be paid.
If you do it right, you can bask in the glory all week long as your friends continue to congratulate for booking such a great trip and refuse your offers to buy a round of drinks. Getting it wrong could mean a week of embarrassment for you as to try to find a quiet place to hide in the ski chalet you booked for your disappointed friends!
As an on online travel agency specialising in skiing holidays, I should point out the easy way further down the page, but for the time being I’ll assume you want to press on ahead and be your own travel agent.
- How many people have committed to go?
- What room types you need, are there couples requiring double beds? Singles wanting a room for sole use?
- What’s the maximum budget the group will pay?
- What are you expecting to be included in the cost of the holiday, i.e. lift passes?
- What are the different levels of ski or snowboarders in the group if ski lessons are being booked?
- Make a ski resort short list of the ski resorts that the group would consider
- Make a wish list of the added extras you want, i.e. a hot tub or slope side chalet
- Which is the preferred method of travel? I.e. which airports can you travel from?
- Do your research thoroughly
- Don’t pick too many suppliers to get quotes from or it will take weeks before you book
- Look for financial protection, ABTA, ATOL
- If you are concerned about how financially sound your provider is, look them up at companies house, make sure they are not about to go bust
- Look for reviews from other skiers on web sites like Trip Advisor or Feefo
- Make sure you include at least one specialist ski travel agency, like skiline.co.uk to ensure you get a broader view of what’s available.
- Check what group discounts are available for your date of travel, some weeks could offer double discounts.
- Make sure you give the same requirements to every tour operator or agent to compare like with like.
- If any of the group are taking their own skis on a flight, check that’s possible and compare costs.
- If you are renting skis, ask for the costs. Ask if a discount is available if you book your ski holiday and rental skis at the same time. It would be cheaper if you did it this way with Ski Line!
- Make copious notes about flight times, room supplement costs and get a total cost for the trip for the whole group to compare like with like. You don’t want to forget which company offered you the best deal.
- Check what group discounts are available on your dates, there could be some big differences between suppliers.
- Book the best holiday as quickly as possible, if you don’t another group will.
“We promise to take as much care finding your ski holiday as we do when we are searching for our own”
At Ski Line we understand (that is until you know us!), that at least, you will want to shop around to find the best ski deal for your friends, after all that’s what we do when we are booking our own holidays but we think dealing with an agent like us will take all of the pain away from the booking process! Why? Because that’s all we do, our sales team spend every working day of the year searching out ski chalet holiday deals, and we are very good at it!
We know which chalets are in the best locations, which ski chalets have the best hot tubs and which suppliers will give the most generous group discounts and even when additional discounts might be negotiated on your group’s behalf. Perhaps more importantly we also know the chalets you shouldn’t be booking!
Our sales advisors are ski holiday experts, many having worked for over 20 years as ski travel agents, we share your passion for skiing. A big part of our job is listening to our client’s wishes and once we understand the kind of things that are important for you and your group to make your trip a success they will make suggestions, thinking outside the box of both resorts and the various ski chalets and hotels we offer.
Tour operators and chalet owners are constantly offering us deals and discounts to sell their chalets and because we have all this information at our finger tips we can often come back to you within a couple of hours with a competitive price, even on the most complex group bookings. It does take a couple of hours to do our job properly and we have all the information at hand, this could save you many days of research.
Ski Line monitor our suppliers and tour operator’s financial status, the ski business has been through a few difficult years and several of the smaller ski chalet companies still trading could be very financially weak. Many are not members of ABTA and are not able to take payments via Credit Cards.
A good travel agent should also lift the burden of collecting in payments from your friends when they are due, and also assist with adding the API details now required as part of the ever tightening airport security. They should also assist with the booking of equipment rental or ski school bookings.
Make sure whoever you book through, is not leaving you with too much to do after the holiday is booked. At Ski Line once your booking is confirmed we only contact you (the group leader) with important information, your group can pay individually for the balances of their holiday either online, 24 hours a day or by telephone in normal office hours.
Our customer service team will add API details for you and collect the information from the rest of the group for you. Making sure you can take all the credit for a perfectly organised ski group!
Nearly 70% of the skier’s booking with Ski Line are returning clients, these are our blue chip clients and we look after their wishes very carefully. We understand we are only as good as the last holiday you booked for you, so we want to get it right.
Many of our clients find our service so surprisingly good that many are happy to recommend skiline.co.uk to their friends, so much so that last winter 35% of our new clients have been recommended to use us by other clients.
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