Planning your first School Ski Trip
Taking a Ski trip for the first time? This month we are speaking to Matt from Ski Adaptable who is giving us an insight into the key things to consider and what to expect when booking a School Ski Trip for the first time.
Hi Matt thanks for taking time to talk with us today. Is it true that skiing is really, really expensive, is there anything schools can do to keep the cost down?
"Granted there are cheaper school trip options, however there is no comparison to seeing how much a school ski trip can offer students, from confidence building to learning a new skill. If you can travel later in the season such as at the start of Easter holidays this will certainly help keep costs down. Avoid New Year and February Half term to keep costs down. Another top tip is opt for 5 days skiing as opposed to the traditional 6 days. But your students can actually get more time skiing in 5 days if they take 5 hours lessons per day (which totals 25 hours skiing) as opposed to 4 hours over 6 days (20 hours total).
Do parents have to pay for the trip in one or can it be split into monthly payments?
"Ski Adaptable offer a structured payment, with a first deposit typically £100-150 per student, a second deposit and then the final balance due a few weeks before the trip. We encourage you to break it down within your school to make it easier for parents to save. And once again, the earlier you start to organise your trip, the more time parents have to pay.
How much experience to students need to have before going on a ski trip, could you go with no previous experience?
"Approximately 80% of our students are first-time skiers when they embark on a Ski Adaptable school ski trip. In fact, school ski trips is one of the main ways children gain their first skiing experience. So, no experience required, all skiing is fully instructed, and skiers will be split into ability groups so they always ski at their level.
If a school has some experienced skiers can they take their own equipment or does that increase the cost for travel?
"If you travel by coach there will usually be a little room for a few skis or pairs of ski boots, but let the travel company know in advance so they can check the coach size and if a trailer is required. If you travel by air, Ski Adaptable include free ski carriage for teachers, and students can usually fit ski boots within their luggage. If students require skis, this can certainly be accommodated, just check for pricing when you enquire.
What about travel insurance is this something you can assist with?
"Ski Adaptable offer specially tailored travel insurance which has been devised especially for youth groups hitting the slopes. This insurance also offers teachers liability cover too for added peace of mind. Of course, many schools have their own trip insurance policy in place, so we don’t force you to take our insurance, but we do make it a requirement you have some adequate travel insurance in place.
What support do you give to schools who have never taken a ski trip before, what type of information you give to teachers and parents?
"For a start, we have a really friendly team of experience advisors who only be too happy to chat either by phone or email. We ensure all the information we provide is transparent in terms of pricing and we go to great lengths to make it easy to understand as we know there is a lot to take in. We can also provide information for presentations and a launch pack to promote your trip. We even offer a customised hoodie service giving you use of our in-house designer to make your students look really cool in resort (and so you know which students are yours…).
If a school decides to book a trip with you what are the steps you take up to the departure date to make sure everyone has all of the kit they need?
"We have an abundance of information on our website and also have kit-lists available and work with select partners to offer hiring of ski clothing. When you book your trip we also work hard to make it easy for you by giving clear instructions of what you will need to do at each step.
In the evenings what type of activities are available to groups?
"Après ski activities can really help a trip to live in the memory of your students. Each resort we offer has its’ own unique activities, from ice skating, bowling and swimming to unique winter activities including curling, snow-shoe adventures, night-skiing and visiting amazing spas. We offer a 3-actvities for £29 package in most resorts meaning most of your evening activities are covered. Most hotels we use also offer great social space for your groups for quizzes, games, pool and more.
So kits in place, resort has been chosen, transport has been arranged and all the fun evening activities are booked is there anything else that needs to be done?
"There are often bits of information we need, such as passport information for each passenger (if flying), dietary requirements, rooming lists and the like. However the Ski Adaptable team work with you to let you know what is needed and by when, giving you as much notice as possible. Much of this information can be collected by also taking a copy of the passport when a student books.
Finally, if you were to choose one destination to recommend for a first time ski trip where would you suggest and why?
"Our most popular resort is the Andorran gem, Vallnord. It offers 93km of slopes, we work with a great selection of hotels, the ski school is one of the best around and the snow record is excellent. It is also one of the most cost-effective ski trips you could have, and somewhere all of our team have sampled, some of us taking family there to ski too – a testament to the child-friendly nature of the resort.
What would be the very first bit of advice you would give to a teacher or party leader looking to take their first Ski Trip?
"Plan early! The earlier you start to plan your ski trip, the more choice of resort and hotels you will have, and the less stress it will be for you, the group leader as you have more time to fit everything in, from approval from your headteacher, collecting deposits, parents evenings and of course planning the trip itself with the help of your ski trip organiser.
What should party leaders consider when choosing which ski resort to visit?
"Firstly, where you may have skied in a personal setting more than likely will not be suited to a school group setting. The resorts we choose at Ski Adaptable are hand-picked based on a number of factors and how suited they are to school ski trips. Be open minded about destination and consider what your group needs. If your group is consisted largely of beginners, a smaller resort below 100km of pistes will be more than enough skiing for example. Have a group of experts? You need a larger resort with more varied terrain. Much of the consideration about where you go will be based upon budget and travel dates.
If you are interested in hearing a bit more about how Ski Adaptable can help you with planning your next Ski Trip then why not get in touch here
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