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Ask the experts: Family ski packages

Our panel gives advice on how to get the best deal on family ski packages

Ask the experts: Family ski packages
Skiing near St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria. Image: Österreich Werbung/J. Mallaun.

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QI’m planning a ski trip this winter. My children (six and eight) need lessons and we want to stay near the pistes. When is the best time to book/travel to pick up good deals on family ski packages?


DanielElkanDaniel Elkan, co-founder of Snowcarbon: Don’t try to bag a last minute deal. Book now (Aug/Sept) for the best prices, but you’ll have to travel outside of the school holidays. January is arguably the best month says Craig Burton, managing director of Ski Solutions: “Rates are lowest and providers are keen to fill beds.” Xavier Schouller, managing director of Peak Retreats, reckons Easter 2015 is good value too: “It falls before the busy French holidays and Easter’s roughly half the price of February half-term with sunny, longer days and quieter pistes.” In family-friendly Valloire, France, Peak Retreats has comfortable self-catering at three-star Les Chalets du Galibier, located at the foot of the slopes. Travelling over Easter (departing 5 April) a week’s holiday costs £414 per person, rising to £573 (departing 15 February), based on four, including return Eurotunnel crossings, ski passes, ski hire and six half-day ski lessons for two children. peakretreats.co.uk


RobertStewartRobert Stewart, ski writer and ISIA ski instructor: Head out ‘pre-season’ for considerably cheaper prices and quieter slopes. Christmas, New Year and February half-term are expensive, but Easter is a great time to ski. Dates fall earlier in 2015 — so snow conditions should be good at higher altitude resorts. Book your break by September as family rooms go quickly. Tignes and Puy St Vincent, in the French Alps, offer excellent family facilities and on-slope accommodation. Crystal Holidays has self-catered accommodation in Tignes from £330 per person including flights and transfers. Snowbizz has its own ski school and kids’ club, all in Puy St Vincent. crystalski.co.uk snowbizz.co.uk


EmmaCarrickAndersonEmma Carrick Anderson, former olympic skier: A family ski holiday is never cheap and looking for a last minute deal can often lead to disappointment. If confined to skiing during the school holidays, go in February for guaranteed snow. If you choose to travel outside school hols, go for January, as conditions are brilliant and the pistes are almost deserted. Pick a high altitude resort such as Tignes for the best conditions. Mark Warner has family accommodation across the Alps with good food and friendly staff. Book now for free lift pass deals. Departing 24 January, a week in St Anton, Austria costs from £2,488 for a family of four, all-inclusive. markwarner.co.uk


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Published in the Summer 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveller – Family