The majority of my snowboard trips have been set up a la carte. First, pick the resort I want to go to. Next, work out when we’re going. Then, find the right accommodation…
The majority, but not all.
My first ‘package’ experience was way back in 2005, before I’d started this blog. For that season I was planning on three separate trips. I had an early-season week arranged with a snowboard camp, in Les Diablerets, for November. I had two weeks set up in Chamonix, toward the end of the season, in March. The criteria for the 3rd holiday was cheap and easy.
A week in Tignes, January. One of the cost-saving elements of the package was the transport: a 26 hour coach journey from Newcastle to Tignes. As for the easy part, it was. I just turned up at Central Station in Newcastle and the rest was taken care of.
In a past article, I asked the question: could a package holiday help you out? In that article I looked at one of the reasons that I’ve used a package setup – journeying further afield where there are more unknowns.
We used a package when we went to Fernie, in 2008. I’d never shopped around for flights to Canada. I knew it was a long transfer at the other end, but didn’t know what the best options were. I wasn’t sure whether we should stay in Fernie town or up in the actual resort. Having all of those issues dealt with removed the ‘unknown’ aspect. All I had to do was concentrate growing a beard to impress The Griz, so that there would be loads of snow!
Convenience? I’ve never used a package for that reason. Setting up a snowboard trip, to me, is all part of the fun. Part of the holiday. I enjoy it.
I’m sure though, that for many people, convenience at the planning/booking phase is desirable. And for the 2013/2014 season, I might be in the same position.
We’re yet to make any arrangements for next year. It just hasn’t been on the radar; other things going on. If/when it comes to it, convenience may be higher on the list than it has been for previous trips.
So I did a bit of skimming around – looking at package holidays to French resorts. And something occurred to me that I haven’t previously considered. If you know a resort, know that you want to ride there, know that the transfer isn’t horrendous, know where abouts in the resort is good to stay – if you’ve got the answers to those questions, booking a package can be seriously fast.
As an example, I used SnowTrex to look for holidays in Tignes. I spotted the apartments that some of my friends stayed in, Val Claret, when we were all there in 2006. Intrigued, I continued to make selections…
I picked the room type. Next, that I want to fly. Selected a date. Added in a lift ticket. Chose the source and destination airports. Yep, I want you to arrange the transfer, too.
No equipment hire – I’ve got way too much of that all ready. No travel insurance – I will sort that out myself. Want to make sure all the park stuff of off-piste is covered.
Done. That was it. You could pull the trigger on that within 5 minutes!
It’s interesting. France is the place where I’ve done most of my snowboarding. I’ve always got a short-list of resorts, and if I’m returning to resort I’ve been to before, I pretty much know where I want to stay. But if I wanted to hook up a week of snowboarding, quickly, with no fuss, a package setup like this is a good option.
So, have you thought about sitting back and letting someone else pull it all together?