In this increasingly time restricted world that we live in, skiing addicts don’t always have time to take 2 or 3 weeks off a winter to participate in their favourite sport. But it is possible to combine a week long skiing holiday with one or two shorter weekend trips, at either end of the season.
Taking a Friday and/or a Monday off work and heading over to the Alps, from the UK, is fairly straightforward. Better still, you will find cheaper flights if you leave on a Tuesday morning and come back on a Thursday evening. Speaking from experience, I have left Luton airport early on a Tuesday morning and been skiing in Verbier by lunchtime…and I mean on the ski lift by 12.30. On that trip I stayed in Verbier for 2 nights and left for a flight from Geneva on Thursday evening after a full days skiing. So 2.5 days skiing in total for a 2 night stay.
The key is preparation and if you want to save maximum time then bring all your ski equipment with you (thus avoiding rental shops often closed at lunch time in resort), wear clothing that will be suitable for skiing on the trip over and add the finishing touches when you arrive and even buy your lift pass on-line (certain resorts offer this service when you have a ‘key-card’). This way you can park your rental car as close to the lift station as possible, change into your outer ski clothing and walk onto the lift.
The main issue that skiers have with these short trips is organising accommodation. If you are lucky enough to have people to stay with, then that’s always a bonus. But if that’s not the case then finding something over the weekend or just a couple of nights through mid week can be tricky as most tour operators work from Saturday to Saturday. Saying that, there are operators that specialise in short trips and in another post I will give some examples of these.
Also, try and avoid high season for these short trips. Before Christmas, early January, March (not Easter week) and any time after Easter, before the resorts close, are the best times. The other option to consider on short trips is to rent a car as this saves time and makes your trip flexible. You can then stay in small hotels outside the main resorts which are cheaper and usually easy to book for 1 or 2 nights, and then drive to the resort in the morning.
Next time I will outline some ski resorts, which I believe are suited to short ski trips, and the airports that can be used to reach these: Where to Ski on the Weekends or short mid-week breaks, in Europe (Part 2).
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