19 Oct Cost Cutting vs Value for Money on a Ski Holiday
This is a gripe I have had for some time, this is my blog, so an excuse to write what I like:
With the run up to the ski season now upon us there has already been so much written relating to “cost cutting” and “money saving” that the skiing public are surely being bombarded with too much “advice”.
Well let me impart a little bit more…..
Several Tour Operators have and will continue to suffer and will risk going bust as the skiing public are continually recommended to haggle and barter for a better deal, skip out tour operators completely and organise the trip themselves. Visit smaller “unknown” resorts where prices will be cheaper and no operators currently visit (there is clearly a reason for this.)
There is an argument here that the “unknown” resorts can simply be a hidden gem in an already famous ski region. There are still many discerning skiers out there, well-travelled individuals and families who will never miss out on a trip to the Alps in the winter months. They would rather give up a glam summer holiday than their annual week in the powder!
Skiers, true skiers, don’t want to visit small little known resorts that no one has ever heard of, with limited skiing, small runs, not much off piste and no life and soul, just because it means the lift pass is £30 cheaper or a mountain lunch is £5 for the better. Skiers are clever people and should they want to save money while in resort, then they all know the ways in which to do it. Stocking up with a few sandwiches and some fruit from the chalets breakfast buffet isn’t going to offend any self-respecting chalet company. In fact, decent companies I am sure would be happy for the guests to take a roll or two up the hill. Failing that, a deli made sarnie and a bag of crisps will still be cheaper (and tastier) from the local supermarket then from a “cheaper” sales motivated chalet girl!
A good skier will appreciate an extra £30 on a lift pass if they are granted access to powder fields and well-groomed pistes.
Most English/Aussie/Tour op bars found in most big resorts are now tuned in to happy hours and cheaper drinking and a decent chalet company will always offer “unlimited” wine and pre dinner drinks and if they are really worth their salt (or snow), they will also offer cheaper beers and spirits as well!
Companies will also be offering “ski packs” I am sure this winter, with ski hire, ski school and lift passes included. Great value if you don’t mind being in a ski school group with 10-12 other people for a week and not getting the most out of your holiday with potentially a limited area pass and basic standard equipment. Look out for your ever friendly holiday rep selling you the upgrade on the over crowded and uncomfy transfer bus from the airport after getting off the jam-packed charter flight tired and weary due to the inconvenience of the ridiculous wake up time for the very early flight whilst battling with tired screaming children because that is the ONLY option you have for such a cheap holiday!
Ranting and snobbery over, but bear a thought for the more “higher end” operator , like Kaluma Travel.
With chalets and hotels on offer that don’t break the bank and for peak times that are not really any more expensive than your main line tour operator, smaller niche operators offer a lot better value than people actually think. If you are a discerning skier and do like a bit of the good life, why should you compromise on a little bit of luxury if it’s at an affordable price.
Kaluma Travel will offer excellent customer service and invaluable local in-resort advice, from the cheapest to the most expensive mountain restaurant, the best happy hour bar to the most exclusive champagne drinking night club. Advise and book the best ski instructors, private or group depending on your experience and budget. Rather than have to pay for an expensive guide, you can benefit from the excellent piste and off piste knowledge of your company ski guide, who would be happy to show you around and save you a small fortune on private instructors.
This is where the smaller company comes into its own. Larger companies have to employ any old “Thomas, Richard and Harriet” to work in resort and boost après ski sales and “ski pack” maximisation. Luxury doesn’t have to be in the amount of money you pay or in the star of your hotel, it can also be in the quality of service you receive. Knowing the best place for the best deal, the best slope for that days conditions and most importantly the best people in resort to offer you the best service, can often be more valuable to the well-travelled ski fan than saving £2 on a cream covered hot chocolate!
So, my advice, if you really do love your snow sports holiday is to contact a smaller operator, who can negotiate on price in their luxury chalets without compromising the luxury level of service you will receive. Kaluma offer no hidden costs and will be honest and up front in recommending and advising on all your in-resort and travel needs.
As a tailor-made operator they will take the pain out of trawling the internet to find the best value flights…remember here that best value could also mean maximising your time on the slopes, where a half day skiing is more valuable than arriving in resort mid afternoon after the horrible delay on your charter flight, or leaving late afternoon after a full extra days skiing to all those being herded onto a transfer bus at 7am for the lunchtime flight back to Blighty.
So next time you are looking for value in your ski holiday, think how the smaller operators, like Kaluma Travel could help add value to your precious time on the slopes in your winter wonderland. And for the record, they wouldn’t mind at all if you filled your rucksack with a couple of sarnies from the breakfast buffet!