10 Simple Strategies for a Perfect Ski Weekend This WinterWeLove2Ski

Ski Weekend |  Welove2skiPhoto: Skiweekends.

For those of us with busy work schedules, ski weekends – or short midweek breaks – are a great way to cut down on downhill time during the ski season. In the office, it’s easy to spot weekenders. Just look for saggy-faced girls with raccoon eyes and fixed smiles. Dan Fox, MD of specialist operator Skiweekends, loves them so much that he founded a company that organizes them.
Minimum time out of the office and maximum time in the snow is the name of the game. If you get it right, three- or four-day skiing can mean just a day or two off work. But with so little time, you can’t leave anything to chance. The secret to success lies in the planning stage. Fly on Thursday afternoon or evening and return on Monday night. Of course, if the job calls for it, you can come back on Sunday night or even Monday morning – but be aware that even when European air traffic control is handling itself, fog and snow at Alpine airports may affect flight schedules. The beauty of short stays is that you can choose to go to a resort you already love or a resort you’ve never tried before. Here, to get you started, are my tips to save time and maximize your fun during a skiing weekend.

1. Save time and money by traveling light

Take advantage of cheaper ‘no baggage’ airfares. Can you fit everything into a wheelie bag – perhaps by wearing a ski jacket and wearing a shirt in the middle? It will also save you time. Check-in online, no luggage required, and you’ll be able to go straight to security and into the gate. At your arrival airport, you won’t have to wait at the baggage claim belt either. With a leading travel agency, you’ll find that all flights include carry-on bags – a rarity these days when so many airlines are reducing baggage rules. Make sure your entire package is also covered by ATOL or ABTA – both of which protect your money in the event the company you’re traveling with goes out of business.

2. Reserve Airport Parking

If you’re driving to the airport, planning your car trip in advance is paramount. Choose the airport parking near the station or try the efficient pickup and greet service to save you valuable time. This will be of greatest value during the return journey, when you just want to get home or – if it’s Monday morning – get to work as quickly as possible. Going to Gatwick? Welove2ski readers can take advantage of a great 20% off offer with Cophall Parking. Similarly, ilovemeetandgreet is offering a similar deal on their efficient meet and greet service.

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3. Organize necessary extras

That makes life a lot easier if your tour operator has collected your lift ticket and is waiting for you in your chalet or hotel. Queuing by the window on a beautiful clear blue sky morning while the people in front of you can’t decide on which card they want is inevitable. Likewise, arrange a rendezvous with your guide or ski instructor in advance, so you don’t have to go to the resort looking for your favorites already booked for the weekend.

4. Book or rent your skis before you go

Ski Weekend |  Welove2ski

Choose your preferred skateboard type, length, and release setting (if you know it). A couple of Alpine ski experts like Snowberry in Val d’Isere or Freeride in 3 Valley will come to your chalet by arranging and fitting the leashes upon arrival. This is so much better rather than the alternative, which involves pulling you to the nearest ski shop before the lifts open your first morning and queuing with other people who don’t sort their stuff first . Think of the screaming kids, and their worried parents who don’t want to miss the start of ski school. Doesn’t sound like fun, right? That’s why I always make sure our guests book ski rentals directly as part of their holiday booking. So let yourself enjoy your breakfast a little longer find an expert who will let you book your rental before you flyand save yourself the trouble.

5. Stay near the elevator to avoid long walking

Try to arrange accommodation in the ski area – or at least do it yourself within a five-minute walk from the main mountain lift. Short periods of success are all about letting go of unnecessary “downhill” minutes so that you can spend better downhill time. You don’t want to waste time in the morning waiting for the ski bus. It will double your pain if you don’t heed the advice of tip #4 and have to visit a rental shop before touching the first lift. If you’re staying in a resort for a weekend or short break, that should be central.

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6. Choose Your Airport and Flight Time carefully

With 17 regional airports offering flights to the mountains, do you really need to spend hours traveling to London or Manchester? Probably not: but remember that more flights at one of the hubs means more time flexibility. Be warned that even if European air traffic control is on its own, fog and snow at Alpine airports can adversely affect flight schedules. If you’re worried about work, it’s safer to catch a flight on a Sunday night.

7. Keep the transfer time short, but don’t sweat too much

Ski Weekend |  Welove2skiPhoto: TVB Innsbruck. Most skiers are advised to target resorts near the airport – such as Chamonix, La Clusaz, Courmayeur, Les Gets, Morzine, Megeve, Flaine, Innsbruck or Zell am See. But don’t overlook two-and-a-half hour destinations like 3 Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or St Anton, if that’s what you really want. I don’t think people necessarily get too hung up on transfer times. If you go out in the afternoon or evening after work, you won’t have any extra skiing time. Likewise on the way back, you won’t have to leave most Alpine resorts in the middle of winter until the elevators close.

8. Make sure your rental car is properly equipped

If you’re traveling with a tour operator, a taxi or minibus driver will be waiting outside Customs to take you to your resort with minimal fuss. If you are renting a car, book it in advance. Order a ski chain, of course, but ideally choose a 4×4 fitted with winter tires for complete peace of mind (in Austria, all cars must be fitted with winter tires for a period of time). from November 1 to April 15). Most rental companies have a premium service like Herz No.1 Club, where the paperwork is done first and you just grab your keys and go.

9. Tourist car is the type on the wallet

Ski Weekend |  Welove2ski
Are you on a tight budget or just poor enough time? Traveling by coach is another option. I know for a fact that coach half-board packages with Skiweekends – my company – start from just £200 for three days on the slopes and there are dozens of other good deals out there. Don’t assume that traveling by bus means you’ll be bothered by 20 year olds singing and shouting. It’s worth noting that most of the people who follow the coach are entrepreneurs or women – and many work with the coach. We have very few students: for our clients, it’s all about three days of slippage, with just one day off from work.

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10. Taking the train can increase skiing time

To maximize your time on the slopes, you can take an afternoon Eurostar ride to Paris and then a nap train to the Alps. When you arrive in the Alps early in the morning, leave your bags at your accommodation, change (check with your accommodation provider to see what changing and storage facilities they have) and then let’s go. See Ten Tips for a Successful Train Journey to the Alps for more information on how to train to the Alps.

Let’s say yours

Hopefully this will give you a starting point if you plan on looking for a quick getaway to the mountains this season. Also, check out our post on the Best Resorts for Ski Weekends. I’d love to hear your thoughts – did you try skiing last weekend instead of the traditional week-long trip? And if you haven’t already, what major concerns or obstacles are holding you back? Let me know in the comments below.

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