The family that skis together stays together, so they say. With increasing pressure on the household budget, a winter getaway may feel like a bit of a splurge, but you can cut hundreds off the cost of your holiday with a bit of shopping around.
There’s still time to book for the February half term, if you are quick. Many last-minute deals are on sale, some with a family twist.
Inspired Italy (www.inspireditaly.com) even offer a “witches tour” of Alpe di Siusi, taking in a witches fun park, with life-sized figures, a witches humpback bridge, and witches chimney (which is actually a snow tunnel). The tour costs €10 (£8.56) per person, plus lunch. Family-sized chalets start from €1,150 (£985pp) for the week beginning February 2, not including flights.
And what about currency? There are two ways you can buy savvy and save. Firstly, by picking a resort where the currency is performing well with the pound. And secondly, shopping around for your travel money before you go for the best rate (usually available online, with next day delivery). Over the past 12 months, My Travel Money (www.mytravelmoney.co.uk) research shows the pound has risen strongly against currencies in quirky ski resorts.
The biggest movement has been Sterling versus Romanian Leu, where British holidaymakers get 10% more for their money this year. Sterling has also been performing strongly against the Bulgarian Lev, with a 6.6% increase over the past 12 months.
A good deal in Bulgaria is available from Pistes & Peakes (www.pistesandpeakes.com). Chalet Juniper is a renovated inn with lots of original features, with room for up to 12 guests. Stay week beginning February 9 or February 16 and pay £485pp for adults or £395pp for under 12.
Those wanting to stick to popular French or Italian ski resorts will still benefit from currency fluctuations this year, as the Eurozone crisis meaning Brits get 6.5% more Euros for their Sterling.
A good deal in France is available at Reves de Montagne (www.revesdemontagne.co.uk), which opened last month near the French ski resort of Samoens. This old farmhouse has been renovated to include family suites within the chalet. Opening offers include 20% off for week beginning February 9 – from £946 per person.
But families, in particular, may also like to look to Easter for a late winter getaway. Good Friday falls earlier this year, on 29th March, and that essentially adds four weeks to the ski season.
You’ve just missed the January sales with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways but opt for Banff, Canada, and its ski areas of Mt Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise and you can take advantage of the current Air Canada sale. Book by 28th February and save £310 per person on eight nights at the 3* Banff Inn in Banff, with prices starting from £939 per person in a Loft Family Unit. This is based on four sharing and include return Air Canada flights and resort transfers. Departs 3rd April with Ski Safari (www.skisafari.com).
Or head to magical Zermatt in Switzerland and stay seven nights at the 3* Hotel Bristol in Zermatt, with prices starting from £3325 per family (two adults, two children). Departs 23rd March, also with with Ski Safari (www.skisafari.com).