You often don't realise until it's too late: university ski trips are the cheapest deal in existence.
Since there's hoards of snowsports enthusiasts descending on the mountains, group discounts go into overdrive. Never again will you find a ski trip that includes accommodation, lift pass, coach travel and other treats for under £500. The good old days are over.
Yet, don’t be too forlorn. With a ‘normal’ ski trip costing close to a grand per person, there is one saving grace - your parents. If you’re fortunate enough to come from a family of skiers, tagging along on the family ski trip is a lifesaver for powder addicts. If you’re not from a family of skiers - it’s never too late to get them on board (literally). Here’s our pros of skiing with parents...
1. Ace accommodation
Parents like to be comfortable, so if you're lucky you might end up in a fully catered chalet (score!), or even in a glitzy self-catered apartment. Unlike the uni days, it won’t be littered with shot glasses, with a prevailing stench of cheesy socks, sweaty bodies, and the lingering odour of sick. Rather, the clean, cozy set up will most likely be scented with the aroma of freshly baked cakes, and the smell of croissants (hot from the bakery) will waft under your door to wake you in the morning. In sharp juxtaposition to the budget uni break, you can hope to have a slightly higher standard of accommodation.
2. A free ski pass
For a 6 day pass in Val d’Isère, the damage is €228. Yet, this isn’t even that costly in comparison to places like Zermatt, where you’ll be forking out €397 per person for an eye-wateringly expensive 6 day lift pass. Skiing with parents who might cover your pass could save you a heck of a lot of dough.
3. The snow
In uni, you are restrained to the cheapest weeks, typically during the holidays right at the beginning or the end of the season. With your parents, you can opt for those juicy times of the year when the powder is most likely and the dumps more frequent. Since you won’t be limited by school holidays, expect less lift-queues and more untracked powder lines.
What's more, without your mates coaxing you out every night, you will be feeling fresh enough to get those first lifts!
4. The food
On ski trips, you’d never even dream of eating on the mountains. why not suggest a trip to the restaurants you’ve cast your beady (but broke) eye on when on tour with uni. The lack of monster hangovers mean mid-morning hot chocolate breaks are more likely, and the money you saved from not hitting the bar the night before can go towards some leisurely afternoon bombardinos!
If you're one of the lucky ones, this is all before the evening meal served by your chalet chef. And if you're not in catered accomodation, does anything really beat your mum's spag bol? Either way prepare to return as round as a wheel of cheese.
Imagine arriving in resort feeling fresh as a daisy after a short flight and transfer instead of feeling semi-human after 24 hours spent on a bus! A transfer will drop you at the door, wave goodbye to the 30minute bag drag fiesta through town upon arrival - you'll actually arrive rearing to go, not struggling to stay awake.
It’s not a great option if you don’t like your parents.
But, after all, the mountains are large and you can probably lose them after the first chair or two if you’re a particularly callous sort.
Going on a family ski trip is possibly the best way to enjoy the mountains in the way resorts were designed for: pure comfort. Think cosy accommodation, skiing all day and a surplus of sublime food. You won’t have to compromise at all when skiing with parents, in sharp juxtaposition to working a ski season, where you’ll need to work to earn those turns. Plus, if you're lucky your wallet might not take such a huge hit - but you can probably wave goodbye to any Christmas or birthday presents!
Plant the seed for that family ski trip now!
Line-S membership will give members access to a number of services with Ski Club of Great Britain including the Leaders service and Instructor Led Guiding (ILG). The Ski Club has hundreds of volunteer Leaders active in 18 resorts worldwide who can take you to the best powder and off-piste spots plus instructors to help you work on your technique. Find out more here.