Advantages of taking a ski trip outside peak season

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Do all Ski School Trips have to be taken in February half term?? We speak with Darren at Atlas Adventure about some of the benefits of taking a trip outside of the "standard" February Half term.

Hi Darren, obviously February half term is a key date for schools taking a ski trip, what are some of the advantages of looking at times outside of that period?

"There are several advantages to travelling outside of the peak weeks. Firstly, you get a much better choice of resort and hotel. You also get to experience skiing on much quieter mountains and spend less time in lift queues and more time honing your skills. For beginners who may be on their first ski trip sometimes busy mountains can cause nervousness and affect their learning. Airlines and Ferry operators generally charge more for travel during peak weeks, if you can run your ski trip outside of these time financial savings can be had too.

atlas ski group

If you were going to book a ski trip that wasn't February half term, when would you book and why?

"All of the resorts we ski in are fabulous for the whole season. We find the end of January or the week before half term is a good bet as the pistes are in good condition, they're quiet, the atmosphere is more relaxed and students have much more space to learn in.

You travel to some destinations that are really cool like Austria and Bulgaria, how do you find these countries compare to France for delivering a ski school trip?

"France is well known as massive ski destination, and for good reason! However, this also sometimes brings with it big crowds, long lift queues and inflated prices in resorts. Austria (we think!) is equally as beautiful with dramatic Alpine scenery, quality ski resorts, established and professional ski schools. It has quieter resorts (and busier ones) and is excellent value for Alpine skiing. Bulgaria is certainly a good option for schools who have lots of beginners or it is there first ski trip. The stunning pistes are tree lined and the mountains have loads of easy and intermediate runs to learn on. The ski schools have an excellent reputation and most instructors have great English.

What is the travelling time like to get to Bulgaria?

"Bulgaria is served well by UK airports. Flights are around 3.5 hours and depending which airport you fly into transfers to resort are between 2.5 hours or 1 hour.

atlas ski north america

Do you offer the same packages to all of your resorts?

"We always offer the same high level of service and support both in the pre-tour build up and during the delivery of the trip in resort. We always use minimum of 3* hotels and all of our packages are full board. Once on the mountain everything you would expect is included, lift passes, equipment hire, including helmets. Our ski lessons are for a minimum of 4 hours but can 5 hours per day can be requested. Every school who travels with us has their own dedicated rep who will be with them during the day (on call at night) and will ski between your groups. They also have a car in resort so we can quickly and efficiently deal with little hiccups as they occur. No waiting for taxis on our trips!

If a school is looking to book a trip, how far in advance do they have to book?

"In short... As early as possible! We are happy to make provisional bookings based on estimated numbers more than 12 months before travel. As long as we have a provisional booking for transport and accommodation, we then have plenty of time to sort out all of the other details and our job is to make that as stress free as possible.

Do you offer any last minute deals?

"Yes � Occasionally we have spare capacity in resorts at certain times and in the off-peak season so if you can travel outside of February half term or Easter savings can be made.

If you had one bit of advice for a teacher looking to book a ski trip with Atlas what would it be?

"Book early! The earlier you book the better choice you have of hotels, transport options and ski resorts. When looking to book early speak to someone at the tour company, get a feel for how they operate and what they can do to help you. You can ask more questions and see what solutions they offer you. Website forms are great but limited in collecting information and quite faceless and don't help you get to know the people potentially running your trip.

What about schools that travel with you more than once, do you offer them any discounts?

"We have lots of schools who rebook with us year on year. We don't offer a direct discount as such, but we do have a price promise for returning schools who book with us early. Our pricing is already very competitive, and we include a huge range of included extras in resort which we feel compliments our fabulous service.

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