Going on a ski holiday with your friends sounds like a great idea to start with. The thought of laughing at your friends as they fall over, enjoying a nice cold drink on the slopes and maybe doing a bit of skiing as well sounds like heaven!
Unfortunately, at some point everyone in the group will be trying to organise a different holiday with a different company and the heavenly idea quickly becomes a real life nightmare.
Have no fear, as there are things you can do to eliminate this unnecessary stress. By following these simple tips, your group will be able to successfully book a skiing holiday to Meribel without all the stress.
Where to Start?
Numbers. In the beginning, there were 20. Then there were 5. Now all of a sudden there’s 12! Getting a group of friends organised enough to commit is probably the hardest part of the job. Settling on numbers at the beginning is the easiest way to avoid stress later on down the line.
Speak to your group of friends, get a list of names of people who are committed and agree with them that this is the final number.
Appoint a Leader
The next step to avoid the madness of everyone interfering is to appoint ONE person as the group leader. Make sure it is someone who is good with organisation and can keep track of everyone’s details and payments.
Deciding on a Destination and Date
Decide on a date! Then everyone will know what dates to search for availability. Depending on the date your group has decided to travel, you might find that it clashes with a school holiday. This means that a lot of slopes will be very busy. This is another good reason to choose a location like Meribel, with the 3 valleys in easy reach there are plenty of slopes. So you are bound to find some peace and quiet in at least one place.
Next you need to decide on a location. Everyone in the group might have a different idea on where they want to go skiing, and locations like Meribel are a good idea. Meribel’s position in the 3 valleys in the French Alps is great. This means plenty of choice, slopes for all skiing ability and a higher likelihood of everyone having a good time.
Before searching for skiing holidays, it is hugely important to decide on your sleeping arrangements. Do your group want sole use of a chalet, or are you happy sharing a chalet? Maybe you even want to stay in a chalet hotel? If you are considering the 3 valleys, then Meribel chalets come in all shapes and sizes so there will be something to suit your group’s needs. Decide before searching for your holiday as you may otherwise end up with something not everyone is happy with.
Once these details are confirmed, it is time to start searching for your skiing holiday. Make sure it is just the group leader who talks to travel agents and tour operators.
If you aren’t happy to let one person decide the final choice, then your group leader can pick the top 3 choices and your group can have vote on their favourite.
Once the destination and the date are decided, it is time to move on to the extra details. This is where things can get really complicated and is why you should only have one person dealing with the tour operator.
Things that you need to decide:
- Are you all flying from the same airport?
- How are you getting to the airport, will you need a transfer or will you be driving yourselves? This is an important tip for saving money too, if you are driving then car share, it means you will be paying for fewer parking spaces. Also, consider booking in advance, you can save a lot of money instead of turning up. Pre-booking also gives you peace of mind.
- Does anyone need ski lessons?
- Who needs ski equipment hire?
- Is childcare required?
- What kind of lift passes do you need? In locations like Meribel you can get a local pass just for Meribel itself or an extended area pass for use in the 3 valleys.
- Do you want to go catered or not? Catered can save you lots of money, so consider it carefully, especially if some members of your group are more constrained by a budget.
All the points can affect your stress levels during your skiing holiday. The more details that you can sort out before you go, the less stressed you will be when you leave. You might also find that if you are including extras at the time of your booking you negotiate a discount and might find that as a group some things are already discounted or included.
Time to Book
Decided on a group leader? Check. Voted on a destination and picked the skiing holiday? Check. Now comes the hard part.
There are a lot of things you will need to book a group holiday. The most important two things are everyone’s passport details and everyone’s deposit. Alternative you may need payment in full depending on how far away in time the holiday is. This is why it is important to have one person dealing with the booking.
The group leader needs to keep track of what everyone has paid. It is up to your group how it works, you can all pay the deposit first and closer to the time pay the final balance, or you can give the leader the whole balance and leave it up to them how they deal with the payments.
Whichever way you choose to do it, you should all do it the same way to avoid confusion.
Looking After Tickets
All of your tickets and information will be sent to the group leader who booked your skiing holiday. While a lot of people might want their own tickets to look after, this will make everybody’s lives infinitely more complicated. Especially when it comes to things like checking in and boarding.
Don’t be the group that gives everyone their tickets only for one or two people to lose them! It will definitely put a downer on your skiing trip.
To keep things simple, it would be a good idea if your group leader uses some kind of folder to keep all the important information. That way everything is kept together and is easily accessible. You might find it easier for the group leader to also keep hold of everybody’s passports as well. This is entirely up to your group and your leader, don’t force the leader to look after everybody’s passports if it makes them uncomfortable.
We all know how hard it can be to organise a group of people, especially when it comes to a holiday. By following these simple steps, you can take off the stress that usually comes with organising a group holiday. Instead of rushing into decisions, by being sensible and focused your group can start your skiing holiday in high spirits instead of wishing that something had been done differently.
Make sure that your group gets to your skiing destination stress free, and that you’re all still good friends!