These days all inclusive holidays are not just for fly and flop trips to the Caribbean. It can be found in ski resorts too, and is becoming more popular every season. To find out why, we’ve pulled together the top 10 reasons to book all inclusive ski holidays.
Most skiers have been on catered package holidays so what do we mean by all inclusive? Not only should it include your breakfast and dinner, but also lunch and all drinks rather than just the house wine with dinner. Your lift pass, gear hire, lessons and guiding should also be included.
If you book all inclusive ski holidays with UK tour operators they’ll also include your flights, luggage and transfers. If travelling with the family then childcare, evening nannies, kids clubs and ski school are also often included.
Why book all inclusive ski holidays?
We like a good top ten, so here are the top 10 reasons to go all inclusive for your ski holiday this winter.
Once you book all inclusive ski holidays, that’s pretty much all the costs covered. You don’t need to budget for anything else as everything from transport to accommodation, food/drink to ski passes and lessons to ski hire is already paid for.
You might not even have to touch your wallet while you’re in resort, and if you do it will probably only be for a drink or two away from your accommodation. Ultimately you can ski safe in the knowledge that there won’t be big bills to contend with while away or scary card statements when you get home.
Ski and snowboard holidays come with lots of different components and many choices. But all inclusive ski holidays greatly simplify the planning process.
There’s no trawling through restaurant reviews, finding somewhere that keeps your whole group happy or going through the rigmarole of reserving tables. Meals are covered with the cost of your stay, and the bigger properties offer a huge choice of dishes to suit all tastes and appetites.
You don’t have to spend time searching for a ski school or mountain guide that gets good feedback, meets near where you’re staying and has availability. When ski holidays include lessons and guiding, the operator has done the vetting for you, arranged the most convenient meeting place and often automatically has room for you in classes.
Finding and then queuing up at the ticket office, explaining the pass you want and spelling your name out to the cashier isn’t needed when your ski pass comes as part of the holiday. It’ll usually be handed to you when you check in.
Bypass poor exchange rates
Sorting out the different parts of your ski holiday separately can leave you the victim of a poor exchange rate. When you book all inclusive skiing holidays everything is paid for upfront – locking the cost and avoiding foreign transaction charges.
As the Telegraph reports, there has been a 35% increase in sales of all inclusive ski holidays since the Brexit vote. This is seen as people wanting to avoid currency fluctuations and keep in-resort spending to a minimum.
Snow sports are hungry work. After all, you are burning 300-600 calories an hour (time skiing not on chairlift etc!), so you will need to replace some of that with food.
Fortunately most all inclusive hotels have no limits on how much you eat. Have a four-course breakfast if you fancy it, then five courses for lunch and six for dinner! Plus there are all kinds of snacks on offer including the ski favourite of afternoon tea.
Buffet restaurants serve dishes from the world over – from local cuisine to Mexican, Thai to Chinese, British to Indian and much more. Often there are speciality restaurants that offer a change of scene and a more focussed a la carte menu.
…and free-flowing drink
Unlimited après ski is certainly a perk – until the next day! But everything from your morning coffee to wine with dinner, and beer off the slopes to sugar loaded fizzy drinks, are covered when you book all inclusive ski holidays.
Tour operators get better deals on lift passes, equipment hire and lessons than you’ll find buying directly. These savings are then reflected in the cost of your holiday making the overall package great value.
Eating out in ski resorts isn’t cheap, so eliminating the need for this significantly drops the total cost. When you add up what you’d spend on everything separately, the savings can be quite significant.
To illustrate this we compared the price of an all inclusive ski holiday to how much everything would cost if you booked the different parts of the holiday separately…
All inclusive package for February 2018 in La Plagne = £1587 pp
Including: Gatwick – Geneva return flights, airport transfers, 4* hotel accommodation, all meals and snacks, soft and alcoholic drinks, group ski / snowboard lessons and a Paradiski area lift pass.
Almost identical holiday, same resort, same dates but booked independently = £1820 pp+
Gatwick – Geneva return flights (from £101.69 with easyJet), shared airport transfers (from £93), 4* hotel accommodation (from £700), food and drink (upgrade hotel to half board is an extra £300, mountain lunches for a week adds around £160), group ski / snowboard lessons (290 Euros with ESF), Paradiski lift pass (299 Euros).
That comes to £1873 pp at the current exchange rate, which means the all inclusive package saves you £286 per head. That’s before you factor in the unlimited hot drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks, or the snacks you get with the all inclusive package that you’d otherwise have to pay for.
Included features for families
Are your ski holidays are normally spent entertaining your kids, getting them too and from ski school and eating meals with them early? Then you need to book all inclusive ski holidays for families!
Family packages come with kids’ clubs for various age groups including transport too and from ski school. If taking lessons, youngsters normally learn with others children of the same age that are staying in the same property – so they quickly make friends.
There are also early supervised meals for children, nanny services in the evenings and family friendly entertainment. It all means you get more slope time and can relax, while the kids are also having a great holiday.
By eating and drinking in the same place all week you will make friends. You may even be in lessons or guided with the same people from your accommodation – once you share the mountain with someone socialising with them is the next obvious step.
Furthermore, the stress-free nature of all-inclusive ski holidays puts people at ease. This creates a friendly atmosphere where guests and staff quickly get to know each other.
New skills and experiences
If ski / snowboard lessons are included with your accommodation, you can try something new for no extra cost. Alternatively you can get some coaching to improve your skiing or snowboarding – no matter how good you are you can always improve!
Guiding is usually provided for high level skiers and snowboarders, which shows you parts of the ski area you might not find by yourself. Often there’s also a bundle of non-ski activities you can try, such as tobogganing or snowshoeing.
Having everything is pre-paid for and laid out for you makes holidays more relaxing. But also booking with a British tour operator means your holiday is ABTA or TTA bonded and if including flights will be ATOL protected.
This means that on the off-chance something happens to your airline, or the place your accommodation, your money will be safe and you won’t end up stranded. With airlines and tour operators failing in recent years this means you can also relax before your holiday – even if you book way in advance.
If our top 10 reasons to book all inclusive ski holidays have you raring to book a trip, then be sure to check out our skiing holiday discounts as you could save a fortune.