Last-minute is no longer a bargain
Last-minute bookers may have their hearts set on deals and discounts to get them to the slopes at a moment’s notice, but operators confirm that with much less availability and higher costs to contend with, there will inevitably be fewer bargain packages around. “Demand is in many cases outstripping supply, so in general there are fewer deals around than in pre-pandemic times,” says Gambrill. “Discounting – such a feature of the UK ski market pre-pandemic, especially in January and March – may well not re-appear, at least not to the same level and not this season.”
Skiers will be rewarded for forward-thinking, though. Operators such as VIP Ski (frozen prices), Le Ski (free lift passes), Inghams (discounts on Canadian trips) and Crystal Ski (free kids places) all run offers during the summer months to entice people to the mountains. “This season is the hot ticket. We have kept our prices at last winter’s prices to offer better value during the summer and ensure a spot in a favorite resort,” says Andy Sturt, owner of VIP Ski. If you book now for seven nights in January 2023, the operator is also offering an early-bird discount of £100 per person.
“Now more than ever, skiers know the value of having a fantastic experience on their holiday and also the countdown, anticipation and excitement of securing something to look forward to,” says John Mansell, Inghams’ chief operating officer. “Summer therefore becomes a very appealing time to book a ski holiday.”
The best pre-season deals
*all prices are per person, based on two sharing, unless stated otherwise.
Short chalet break
Le Ski (leski.com) is currently running early-booking offers on its chalets in Val d’Isere and Les Trois Vallees. The British operator offers Chalet Grande Casse in Val d’Isère, France, which sleeps eight, with an outdoor hot tub, from £1,066 for a five-night short break departing January 3 2023, including chalet board, flights, transfers and a free ski pass, if booked before July 31 2022.
Long haul luxury
Ski Independence (ski-i.com) is offering the chance to save 30 per cent on the trips to five-star US resort Aspen, if booked before the end of summer. Seven nights at the Limelight Hotel in Aspen Snowmass costs from £3,956, including bed and breakfast in a deluxe king room, flights and transfers, departing January 28 2023 – must book by August 31 2022.
If you’re keen to travel by train to the Alps book now before prices rise and peak dates sell out. TravelSki (uk.travelski.com) offers a week’s stay at the four-star Résidence Les Balcons de Belle Plagne in La Plagne, France, from £652, including self-catered accommodation, train travel, transfers and seven-day lift pass, departing January 14 2023.
SkiLine (skiline.co.uk) is offering the chance to save on added holiday extras, with half-price ski hire or carriage when pre-purchasing a lift pass as part of a package. A week three-star at Hotel Villa Cary in budget-friendly Sauze d’Oulx, Italy, costs from £679, including half board, flights and transfers, departing January 8 2023.
Five star self catering
Self-catering specialists Pierre et Vacances (pierreetvacances.com) is offering up to 20 per cent early-bird bookings. A seven night, self-catering stay at the five-star residence Arc 1950 Le Village Ski Apartments in Les Arcs, France, costs from £807 total in a studio apartment, arriving January 14 2023.
Crystal Ski Holidays (crystalski.co.uk) is offering low deposits and incentives such as free lift passes and child places to early bookers. A week’s stay at the three-star Pension Valentina in Mayrhofen, Austria, costs from £640, including bed and breakfast, flights and transfers, departing December 24 2022.
Inghams (inghams.co.uk) is offering 25 per cent off trips to Canada’s top resort Whistler, if booked before August 31 2022. Seven nights at Hilton Whistler Resort costs from £1,115, including room only, flights and transfers, departing March 9 2023.
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