This year, James and I have booked a real ski holiday.
Two years ago I learned to ski in Canada at Camp Fortune, a small resort just north of Ottawa. It was close enough that we could go for half a day at a discounted price and the hills were long enough for me to practise properly without being overwhelmed.
Last year, we took a last-minute weekend break to Braemar in Scotland and did a day of skiing at Glenshee Ski Centre. We stayed at Moorfield House Hotel which was beautifully decorated in traditional Scottish tartan.
Booking the weekend away was fairly easy, here are a couple of tips:
- Research in advance. I checked which resorts were realistic for us to drive to.
- Track the weather. With a few weekends in mind, I kept an eye on the weather forecast to make sure there would be enough snow for us to ski properly.
Because of the nature of the trip, I only booked the hotel and the ski equipment a week in advance which was a little bit risky but it paid off!
THIS YEAR! We are jetting off to Bulgaria for a week to ski in Bansko!
When I was planning our trip, I did a lot of research.
First of all I checked which resorts were best for beginners because that is my ability. So TOP TIP NUMBER ONE – research resorts which are appropriate for your ability level.
Bansko is highly recommended as not only being good for beginners, but also for being much cheaper than your usual French Alps. We have definitely saved at least half the price, if not more, by choosing to go to Bulgaria instead of France. TOP TIP NUMBER TWO – think about your budget and have a look around to see what fits the budget best.
Then the fun started. We spent THREE HOURS creating an excel spreadsheet to decide which hotel was best for us. We picked our hotel in the most organised, thought-through way possible and it paid off. We used www.bulgariaski.com to view the possible hotel resorts. We listed all the information including, star rating, tripadvisor rating, price, distance from ski lift, distance from restaurants and whether or not there was a spa and then started to reduce the list down based on our priorities and played around with which airports we could fly from. In the end, we found that it was cheaper to fly from Newcastle. TOP TIP NUMBER THREE – don’t rush. Take your time to pick your hotel.
If, like us, you want a budget-friendly ski holiday, I highly recommend bulgariaski.com. The site provides package holidays so we managed to book our flights, airport transfer, hotel, ski lift pass, ski equipment and ski lessons all in one. TOP TIP NUMBER FOUR – booking separately isn’t always cheaper.
TOP TIP NUMBER FIVE – look at travellers reviews. Not just for the hotel, but for the ski resort and the town at that time of year. I read lots of negative reviews about Bansko being horrible during peak times of the year. Which brings us, finally, to the last top tip…
…TOP TIP NUMBER SIX– research the best time of year for the resort. Double check the school holidays for that country and any public holidays to avoid going at a peak time when your holiday becomes less relaxing and more ‘fight to the front of the queue.’ We’re going in March towards the end of the ski season so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some sun, ski and relaxation.
Please leave me a comment if you have any other tips for booking a ski holiday. This is the first time I have ever booked one before so I’m very eager to learn more for next year or if you have any tips for pre-holiday preparation!
Other posts you might find useful
Everything you need to know about Bansko Ski Resort
Packing ideas for a ski holiday
**EDIT I should probably remind everyone to make sure their travel insurance covers winter sports too. I can’t give much advice on that one because my mum sorted it for me but please make sure you get some winter sports travel insurance!!
Hi Charlotte, your post has given me some food for thought as we are in the very early planning stages for a big family ski trip next year. I was just wondering what time of year you visited the Cairngorms? Have a fabulous time in Bulgaria, it sounds like it’s going to be a great holiday!
Hi Jess! Thanks for reading! That sounds really exciting! We went up to Scotland in early February and it was wonderful. The UK is definitely colder in January and February so I would recommend looking at those months. Thank you, I’m really looking forward to it – not long to go now!