7 Top Tips For Organising Your School Ski Trip
November 14, 2019
If you’ve been thinking about organising a school ski trip, it can be a daunting prospect. There’s a lot to know and a lot to prepare, but one of the most crucial questions is ‘where to even start?’. Unfortunately, many ‘would be’ party leaders don’t get beyond this important question and so the ski trip never happens.
We know only too well how much personal development and enjoyment students gain from a ski trip, so we want to make sure any teacher thinking about organising a ski trip knows exactly what steps to take and that the trip gets off the ground.
1. Seek Permission
Whether it’s from the Head or the Governors, the first thing you need to do is seek permission as without their consent it’s not going to happen. If you’re looking for best value, ask us about our Higher Education initiative, which promotes the educational value of term-time skiing – we’ve even got a great brochure to pass to decision makers at school to help you persuade them that ski trips are highly educational.
2. Decide On Date(s) of Travel
Something you’ll need to discuss with your decision makers, but if you can travel during term-time then you’ll be able to get the best prices, making the trip more accessible – have a look at how our Higher Education initiative can help.
If you need to travel in the school holidays, the best advice we can offer is to book as early as possible, sometimes you will need to book 2 years in advance to secure the space as it’s always at a premium.
It might be worth considering 2 or more dates if you can be that flexible.
3. Choose a Ski Tour Operator
Now you’ve got permission, and you know when you can travel, you need to choose a ski tour operator to book with. The best place to start is normally through a recommendation. Speak to teachers you know at other schools who organise trips and find out their views. Speak to friends and family to see if they have been skiing and can recommend a company.
The key thing to remember is that you need a ski tour operator who specialises in organising school or group trips – google ‘school ski trips‘. Try and create a shortlist of 2-3 preferred companies.
4. Research The Companies
Once you’ve got your shortlist, speak to all of them to get an understanding of what they include, and more importantly, what they don’t include. Some of the inclusions to think about are; lift pass, travel insurance, apres-ski, free places for staff and resort rescue services. You’re looking for total transparency and you also want a package that is as inclusive as possible – anything not included means more work for you!
Do they all allow you to take out a no-obligation provisional booking so you can promote the trip to the students and give you adequate time to collect deposits? Do they offer any promotional materials to help you promote the trip to students, such as personalised posters and flyers and payment cards? Do they stipulate supplements for certain elements such as minimum numbers?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how trivial or stupid they may seem, as ultimately you’re the one who will be taking on the responsibility.
5. Choose a Resort
The important thing about choosing a ski resort is to make sure it’s suitable for your group. Are you likely to have mainly beginners? If so, you need a resort with a good progression so students can advance as quickly as possible. If, however, you’re group is made up of intermediate or advanced skiers, you need to make sure the resort will offer enough to keep them entertained for the week.
Speak to your shortlisted companies and see what they suggest.
6. Get Quotes
Get quotes from all of the companies on your shortlist. Don’t make a decision purely based on cost. It’s imperative to consider the inclusions and that all the packages offered are like-for-like.
As tedious as it may be, also take time to read the T&Cs – it may be boring, but could save you getting into any difficult situations further down the line.
7. Make The Booking
You’ve got permission, you’ve decided on your dates of travel, you’ve researched and chosen your ski tour operator and picked a resort. You’re ready to book!
Speak to the operator and find out what steps you need to follow to kick start the process… good luck!