Look at the snow report. If there’s some good snow forecast, followed by lovely sunny weather, now is the time to book. You don’t have to plan miles in advance to enjoy a weekend away on the slopes – there are plenty of last-minute ski weekend deals for luxury ski weekends, and all-inclusive ski weekends, just decide how much you want to organise yourself, which country you’d like to visit and go for it
The perfect itinerary for your all-inclusive ski weekend
A ski weekend provides the perfect fix for avid skiers and snowboarders or just for a relaxing getaway – take a day off work, choose a resort close to an airport and you can make the most of a short break. Here’s our step-by-step guide to the perfect weekend ski trip.
Book to stay in a ski area close to an airport. By doing this, if you take a Friday or Monday off work (or both!) you can minimise travel time and maximise slope time. Club Med's Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon Resort on the Plateau des Saix, for example, is just 60 minutes from Geneva airport. It sometimes helps to fly to a smaller airport, such as Chambery, France, where you can be skiing in Peisey-Vallandry just 90 minutes after landing. If you’re going fancy a longer ski weekend though, you might find cheaper prices in areas a little further away such as Pragelato Sestriere, Italy. It may be a two-hour transfer but all worth the effort when you get there.
Hire equipment and do your research on the journey: equipment is an expensive hassle to transport and if you’re really clever you could travel with just your hand luggage on a European ski weekend, making the most of cheap flight deals with budget airlines such as Easy Jet and Ryan Air If you’ve already studied the piste map and researched the mountain restaurants on your journey, you’ll be ahead of the game by the time you get on the slopes. Pre-book your ski hire and ski pass and with any luck they’ll be waiting for you when you arrive in the resort.
If you can, travel after work one evening – it might mean a late arrival and paying for an extra night’s accommodation, but waking up to snowy mountains makes the journey worthwhile and gives you a full day to enjoy the slopes.
Maximise your time on the slopes – if you’re only out for a ski weekend, get up early and catch the first lift. A top trick is to ski all morning, all the way through traditional lunchtime, then stop for a tasty mountain lunch around 2pm. That way you’ll ski while everyone else is eating (fewer queues on lifts, less crowded runs) and get faster service in the restaurant when you finally sit down. Plus, if you decide to indulge in a glass of wine it doesn’t matter if you only ski one or two runs in the afternoon!
If you need to take ski or snowboard lessons, it can be better value to take a half-day private lesson rather than book in for several days — one-on-one attention from an instructor will offer faster improvement than ski school, plus it allows you to have alltime off to enjoy with your holiday companions.
Enjoy the hotel, chalet or resort facilities. Part of the joy of being on a ski weekend, particularly if you’ve decided to go for a luxury ski weekend, is to enjoy some downtime, so make sure you get in the pool, book some spa time, and go for long walks in the area. The fresh mountain air will do wonders for your mental wellbeing. If you’re looking for a livelier form of downtime though, we suggest getting involved with the local apres-ski scene.
Don’t waste time searching the ski resort for presents to take home during a ski weekend– it’s an unnecessary burden on your wallet and your precious time. If you really must take something home, pick up some chocolates, cheese (Reblochon, Beaufort…) or a bottle of traditional Genepi at the airport on your way back.
Fly home late at night, so you get a day on the slopes before you leave. It means you’ll be home late, and possibly a little tired at your desk on Monday morning, but when you get up to walk about and feel your tired legs from your adventures on the mountains, we guarantee it will make you feel smug.