Saturday, January 23, 2010

Top Tips for organising short Snow Boarding Breaks

Expansive issue this. I think you'll agree with that, otherwise you wouldn't be asking the question... "Gary, how do I organise a snow break wit me pals/partner/family (delete as appropiate) without wishing I was millionaire with more time on his/her hands than a tanning salon owner in Scotland?"

I got news for you - accept that it will cost you more per head, per day basis than booking a week long jaunt. Not hard to imagine really, but as there are less companies which will deal with those midweek or weekend deals than ones willing to package you up a full week long deal.. then premium rates need only apply.

This does not mean that you cannot do it cheaply! Not at all, you can cut corners and do the legwork yourself and save a hunner (£100) if you are lucky.

To be clear about the about the advice I am now about to offer, I am aiming this post at working boarders/skiers who want to reduce the amount of annual leave they spend. This maybe due to many different reasons, but my favourite one is so that you can squeeze in more time on the snow without lending your entire life over to gnarly surf [don't spell check me BLOGGER!] from Jan to April every year, and, AND still have holiday left to sun yourself with your significant other.

It's got to be cheap, uncomplicated, and awesome.

First things first, find yourself a snow loving mate, who is a control freak, passionate about doing a job well, naturally thick skinned and self centered. He or she will do all the seemingly never ending web searching, organising and admin bollox. This role is important, but not as important as good friends and good times though.

Next up you got to have the 'snow dawg'. The one person in your group who eveyone wants to riiiiide with. This person generally will not care too much about where it's going down or how much it'll cost. They live to surf. It may not be obvious at first as to why this lady/gentleman is important - but it will, trust me.

First stop - run a commercial package deal online. This will give you a flavour of the cost. It's a great point of reference to use when lots of other offers start coming in.

All-in prices are as follows (in general terms);

£250 - £400 (4nights) AWESOME!!
£400 - £500 (4nights) Yarp, surfs up.
£500 and above.... book a week man - DO IT!

As you can see from above, the price differences are tight. This is why it's important to do your homework. When us snow junkies say all-in, we mean covering ALLLLLL of the following;

  1. Flights/Train tickets (both ways)
  2. Transfers (both ways)
  3. Kit hire OR kit carriage (both ways / all days)
  4. Slope passes (Local only for now)
  5. Taxes
  6. Food (B&B/Full/Half Board)
  7. Fu(k Factor (I'll explain this below)
Now, F.F. is not so important to everyone, but some of us are laydees when we go on hols. If you are smart, you'll know who they are in your group already. This is the emphasis placed on comfort of your holiday experience (transport mainly) vs. a raw 'hit'n split' mentality. When I say 'hit'n split' I mean driving/travelling an hour or more to the slopes and back to the hotel every day, in the name of having a good time.
For some people this crazy attitude does not constitute a good time. YOU NEED TO SET THESE RULES FIRST!

It the most part, a full squad of weekenders may not be in tow at this stage. Most will want others to do the leg work on prices and places first before they put forward their ideas forward too. This is where your bulldawg control freak earns their vin chaud credits. If you haven't realised this already... thats you. Yes YOU! No other person in your group would have read this posting for as long without the necessary need to do a proper job and commitment. So atleast you got your crazy control freak sorted and onboard....

Lets give you some tools to do your job now.
  1. Run that web search on package deals. Add on all the extras which make the basis of the holiday and send it out to your chums. Suggest that they all do the same. As their deals come in, you can then talk about the next stage.
  2. Why you going? Many, many reasons are good answers here - but be weary of those who answer with this; "I have never been there - so thats why I want to go there". The problem with this answer is that it can possibly cut out the rest of the group. It's a self indulgent request and will not help the group book. A good answer is, "This place has got great apres ski, thats why I like it". This answer gives you a response that you can work with. Therefore you can put a positive spin on your suggestions, by researching the cool spots to hit up in the resort ;-)
  3. Hopefully the biggest reason for boarding together will be because you all love to hang with each other - and look forward to that. Next up is try becoming a member of a snowboarding forum. Thiese places are full of cool folk who LOVE their boarding and know an awful lot about where to go, what is cheap and how to enjoy yourself. Don't be afraid to quote them to your friends. They know their shit.
  4. Once you have a couple of good options, then let the group think on it for a few days first, It's good to let eveyone do some final checks and hopefully before the prices begin rising, you'll have the lions share of the group booked. More importantly, get the snow dawg onboard. This guy/gal is the key to involving the party as a whole. If snow dawg is coming, then the snow party will definitely be a righteous one.
Right, I think thats all you need to get started. I cannot possibly offer up all my favourite deals to tease you and generally lord it over you... but the best bit of advice I can give you is, get a good group. Love the time spent with them, because when you are trying to spin a holiday for your buddies - the final speach that always gets the job done is sentimental crap spoken from the heart.

More gold dust from Cuba. Love me.

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