Is it worth booking your 2009 / 2010 catered chalet holiday early?

Chalet exteriorBased on last seasons last minute deals, I would have said no as there were some great bargains to be had… but is it going to be different next season? The answer is YES. If you want to find the best chalet option with the most convenient flights for the group, you need to get it booked early. Reduced chalet beds: The majority of operators have reduced the number of chalets in their portfolios, some by up to 50%. Some operators have even cut out whole resorts with Meribel, Courchevel and Verbier all suffering some quite significant cutbacks already. This will no doubt have a huge effect on peak dates which are always popular and the early bird bookers are going to snap up all the quality accommodation. If you leave it late, you are running the risk of either compromising on your “wish list” or even not finding a ski holiday at all (The horror!) Off piste skiingReduced capacity is not all bad though as many of the chalets that are being dropped are the chalets that have not been good sellers due to location, shabbiness etc. Quality rather than quantity is a much better mix but it does mean you have to get organised that bit sooner or you may miss out. Reduced Flights: Flight routes and capacity has been reduced with some airports being dropped from operator programmes and regional flights are being reduced by up to a third. If you’re a northerner, or even just not from near London like me, we’re not going to have a great deal of choice if you wait until the Autumn or early Winter to book your break. Some operators are already charging £150 for Manchester flights for half term!! We may be able to find availability in the perfect chalet but not the flights that go with it. With many operators now reducing their accommodation only discount if you don’t take their flights it is proving more and more expensive to book your own flight and transfer on top of the accommodation price of a packaged tour operator. I have looked at this option for several clients and if you are looking to buy your own regional flights in for a peak date, you really need to budget £300 per person for the flights and a further £80 per person minimum for transfers (resort dependent). In short, if you are going to book a ski holiday for a family or a group, it really DOES make sense to do it now. The prices will only go up from here on in and the longer you leave it, the less choice you will have. For expert resort and chalet knowledge plus the very best deals in the industry call us now on 020 3080 0200 to discuss your next ski holiday.

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