Have you been hanging out with your friends, discussing how great it would be to go on a ski holiday together this winter? But nothing has happened and you’re still hooked on the idea? Well, it is time to change that and make things happen. If no one else is going to take the lead – then it’s up to you! It can be challenging to manage a large group on holiday, so we have compiled our 6 top tips for planning a ski holiday with friends this winter season.
6 Top Tips for Planning a Ski Holiday
with Friends or a Large Group
1. Take Charge
Firstly you need to pick a group leader who will take the reins. By having one person in charge, you all know who to speak to and how to communicate effectively. Next up, make a Whatsapp group or a group text/email. Add everyone who showed an interest in the group and write a message to find out everyone’s intentions for the trip. The person in charge needs to be organized, calm and happy to take the lead.
Is that you? Right then, let’s get started.
2. Set a budget (be realistic)
By doing some research and setting a budget early on, you soon filter out who is serious about the trip and who isn’t so sure. It’s so important to be accepting of your friends who have a smaller budget and see how you can accommodate them. Some may want to ski every day from 9-5 and others may only want to do a couple of days. That’s fine!
There’s more to do than just skiing or boarding
Also, if some in the group are less interested in skiing and more interested in partying, you could consider a festival in the snow like Snowbombing. It has been described as “Ibiza on ice” by the Evening Standard. This way some of the group can ski and some can party all day (and all night)! By thinking ahead you can manage people’s expectations, meaning planning a ski holiday with friends will be easier. Once the budget has been set you can begin to research dates, resorts, travel, and accommodation.
3. Work out the group’s ability levels
This is a vital part of planning a ski trip with friends as it directly affects which resort you should be visiting. If most of your group are beginners, you will need to select a resort that has a large beginner area such as Meribel, Avoriaz and La Plagne (all France). It will also be beneficial to know their levels when organizing ski lessons. If your group of friends has a range of abilities, then why not choose a larger ski area? Our top picks for larger resorts are Val Thorens (part of the 3 Valleys, France), Verbier (Part of the 4 Valleys, Switzerland) or Les Arcs (part of Paradiski ski area, France.) It is worth doing a bit of research here so take your time & read up on as much as you can. Or if you’re all very experienced riders then St Anton, Austria could serve up some epic, adventurous challenges!
Did you know you can search for a hashtag on Instagram?
For example, search for #Verbier, click follow. All the posts with that tag will show on your feed. This will give you another holiday maker’s perspective of the best places to go, runs to ski and the best bars for live music. You can gain a realistic idea of what your holiday could be like.
4. Book accommodation & travel
Once you’ve finalized your plan and shared it with the group you can start to think about booking. You are spoilt for choice looking for accommodation in the Alps so planning where to stay with your friends is relatively easy. Prices vary depending on location, size and the quality of service. Our top tip for surviving a ski holiday with friends this season is to double-check the location. Pinpoint where the lifts are, where the middle of town is and then work out how far away the accommodation is. Most resorts have free buses and are easy to navigate, so for most people, it’s not an issue. But if you have a lot of beginners it may be wise to stay closer to the town.
It is also good to be aware that the airport is rarely neighbouring the ski resort so a transfer will be needed to resort. By choosing a shared transfer you can slice the price and it will be more sociable for you and your friends. We’ve got a handful of transfer company recommendations on our Resort Guides.
5. Book lessons
So you should already know the group’s abilities and expectations by this point. So it’s time to plan some lessons. Even in a large group, it is a good idea to take lessons. Learning with your friends is so entertaining and will make for some great memories. It is not only beginners who need lessons. Everyone has areas they can develop and lessons will really boost your confidence. Here at New Generation, we offer lessons from beginners to off-piste. So whatever your level, ski or board, there is an adventure waiting for you.
We’ve heard one too many stories of tears, arguments and inevitably someone taking off their skis and walking down the slope that was way too hard for them. Avoid all of that by booking lessons with an instructor who is patient, knowledgeable and calm. Therefore you will learn in a fun, safe environment. Although skiing and boarding are great fun, you do need to be aware you are in an ever-changing mountain environment. We suggest you take morning lessons to improve technique and spend the afternoons cruising with your mates exploring the mountains.
SkiTracks is a great app you can download on your phone to track how far you have skied over the trip. It can turn into a bit of a competition with your mates to see who has covered the most ground.
The dreaded time where you have to get your wallet out. The bonus with booking as a group is that you often get a discount! So more money for fondue and frites on the mountain! We suggest all your friends transfer you their balance and then you pay on a credit card to secure the booking.
When you’re out on the slopes you may want to consider using a border-less bank account. This is an important top tip for planning a ski holiday with friends because you can swipe between currencies and get reduced transaction fees.
Time for your holiday of a lifetime
Once you have finished planning your ski holiday with friends or a large group, you can wait in anticipation of the date that you leave. Chat with your friends about what equipment you need and share the research you have found. Remember to be open-minded and remember that everyone has different expectations for the trip. Especially your friends who are more or less experienced than yourself.
Looking to connect?
Haven’t you got many mountain mad friends? Sounds like you might want to join our New Gen Facebook Community group. You can use this group to meet like-minded skiers and boarders and potentially find a group you can ride with this winter. Alternatively, you can take part in open discussions, share photos and videos and share your wealth of knowledge.