When it comes to skiing or boarding – it’s definitely a case of the more the merrier. There is a bit of an art to booking a group ski holiday, so SnowSure's friends at Neilson Holidays have given us some tips and tricks to make the whole process a breeze.
A ‘group’ can mean different things to different people; groups of friends, groups of families, groups of solo travellers, work groups etc. However you define it though, the group ski trip is perfect for like-minded skiers and snowboarders of all abilities to share their love of the mountains and the freedom of the pistes.
So, here are some tips on how to make your group holiday run as smoothly as freshly waxed skis.
Pick a group leader
An organised group leader is worth their weight in snow, especially at the start of the holiday. The first day is always hectic when sorting out equipment, lift passes, tuition plus any teething troubles that may occur. A good leader will calmly sort things out to make sure everyone is happy.
Set a budget
Every group has differing budgets. Some have no limit whilst others need to be careful with money so set a budget that everyone is happy with and then stick to it. Sort out what’s to be included in that budget i.e. flights, transfer and accommodation, or the whole package including kit, passes and tuition.
Work out people’s ability levels
Before choosing a resort, it’s important to understand the needs of the group. Ask people how many weeks skiing or boarding they have. You don’t want to go to a ski area that’s suits hardcore skiers if you have a lot of beginner snowboarders in your party, you’ll end up with a grumpy group and that’s not good!
One of the biggest frustrations of a group organiser is that people say they’re up for it and are definitely coming (probably from a conversation in the pub), but when it comes to paying, it’s a different story. A good tip is to tell people that the deposit is due 2 weeks before the holiday company needs it. This gives you a chance to chase people and issue mild threats of dropping them from the group or say that it just won’t be the same without them!
Don’t do everything by committee
Have a small circle of the group to bounce resort ideas off but don’t give that circle loads of options. Pick 2 or 3 resorts you think will suit the group and pitch them as you’ll never get anywhere if you offer every resort in France as an option.
Where to stay The ideal place to stay for a group is a catered chalet. It’s a great little home from home where people can come and go, relax in front of the fire and you don’t have to worry about keeping other people up as you’re the only people staying there. You also get the added bonus of having all of your meals cooked for you and complimentary wine with your dinner too.
Get some help
Regardless of how many groups you may have organised, it’s always an advantage to get expert help. Our sales team have been organising group holidays for years and there’s no question that they haven’t been asked (and yes, that is a challenge!)
The most important thing is to enjoy the holiday. There may be times when things get a little fraught, (particularly when you’re chasing people for money), but just remember to have some fun yourself too!
For more information on Neilson catered chalets or to speak to a Neilson group holiday expert, visit www.neilson.co.uk/nmc or call 0333 014 3350.