International (Europe/Japan/NZ/Au) Looking into going to Europe

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by Roadrunner, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner Booting up Skier

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    I apologize in advance if this thread is in the wrong place. Looking to take the wife possibly to ski Europe next year. Are there any travel agents that specialize in all inclusive trips? Any recommendations on destinations? I am an advanced skier she is an intermediate so not looking to take her anywhere crazy lol. Just looking for good nightlife and somewhat reasonable. Any help is much appreciated. Ballpark prices?
     
  2. NZRob

    NZRob Skiing the Rock Skier

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    So many great places in Europe! Zermatt is a great option for you by the sounds of it - endless terrain for all levels, utterly spectacular scenery, guaranteed snow, great dining options, nice village. Can be a bit weather affected due to the altitude its at. Probably at the pricier end to be fair, but USD is going strong at the moment isn't it?!
     
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  3. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister--Big Sky Team Gathermeister

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    I have friends who were similar to you - husband higher level than his wife, had never skied Europe, wanted a nice village - but they also took their young daughter. Anyway, they decided to do a Club Med all-inclusive, and loved it. They picked Valmorel, France, but there are quite a few options.

    Probably pricey, but maybe not outrageous given everything that's included (like group guides for getting off-piste, if you're interested in that - my friend did that for several days for free).
     
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  4. Cheizz

    Cheizz Craving camber Skier

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    Zermatt and St. Moritz are probably the two most expensive towns in the Alps.

    Why not St. Anton? Great skiing for all abilities, easy off-piste terrain, nice nightlife, trainstation with direct trains to Zürich (CH), very snow-sure...
     
  5. Jacob

    Jacob CerebralVortex Skier

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    You'll probably find better deals if you DIY instead of looking for a travel agent.

    If you go with DIY, I find the best place to start is to check on flights. There's no point getting your heart set on a resort, only to find that you can't get reasonable flights to a nearby airport. So first, check on flights to Geneva, Zurich, Munich, Turin, Milan, and Venice. The first two will give you the most options in terms of the number of resorts within a reasonable transfer time, but the others are also good places to fly into. If you're near DFW or Houston Intergalactic, then that should help.

    Once you know which airports you can get to for a reasonable price, then you can start checking on the nearby resorts for accommodation. For most resorts, a lot of the accommodation is set up for 7-night stays running Saturday-Saturday. So whether you're checking the accommodation finder on a resort's website or something like hotels.com, checking Sat-Sat dates will give you the most options.

    If you can get to Zurich, then my recommendation would be to fly on Wednesday (arriving on Thursday), spend a couple of days in the city getting over the jet lag and sightseeing, then take the train to either St. Anton or Arosa on Saturday, returning the following Saturday. St. Anton has more of a night life, while Arosa has more non-skiing activities. Both towns are nice, both ski areas have terrain that you'll both like, both train rides are very scenic, and both should have accommodation within your price range as long as you don't go during the European school holidays. (Avoid Christmas-New Year as well as mid-February to early March.)
     
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  6. Uncle-A

    Uncle-A In the words of Paul Simon "You can call me Al" Skier

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    I have to say Good Luck and I second the DIY option. I tried to do the same years ago and Travel Agents here in the North East just couldn't do it. They could put me on any island in the Caribbean but had no clue about skiing.
     
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  7. karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    Here's a twist on all-inclusive. I've contacted swissskisafari.com. They do guided-only tours. I am also in touch with dolomitemountains.com. They have a guided or non-guided gourmet rifugio to rifugio piste-only tour that includes bag transfers; i.e., no need for backpacks.

    This thread,

    https://www.pugski.com/threads/mostly-on-piste-eu-village-to-village-safari.11689/

    has great suggestions, though not addressing the all-inclusive
    issue. I really like @Slim's link to a Dutch website, which I viewed using translate.google.com. A French village named Sixt caught my eye.
     
  8. Choucas

    Choucas Getting on the lift Skier

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    There used to be quite a few US based travel outfits that offered all inclusive packages to most resorts in Europe. I don't know of many that do it these days. Check out Lindenmeyr Travel in NYC. They are very good and will take care of everything. If you wanted to DIY, you can save a few bucks but it's pretty nice to let the pros do it and just show up. I'm headed to Lech in January so I checked their site to see what they were offering. Very nice hotel options and good pricing considering that Lech is a very high end resort.
    There is an outfit called Ski Europe that does similar stuff, but they tend to only deal with the very highest end properties in the resorts. Worth a look if only for comparison. I'm sure that there are others, but these are the two that come to mind and would get it right.
    There are a lot of UK based ski travel companies. Most package airfare from the UK with the trip (probably can do it without airfare if you ask). A Google search will turn them up. Some are pretty mass market, and you might end up in a mini room in a French high rise condo. Again, worth a look to help learn the lay of the land..
     
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  9. sbooker

    sbooker Putting on skis Skier

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    Try Saalbach, Ischgl, Zurs/Lech, Mayrhofen, Soll in Austria. Fly into Zurich/Munich and transfer from there. I've not experienced it yet but the apres is legendary. I will be sampling a couple of those areas in about 3 months time.
    https://www.igluski.com/
    That's a UK based company that does packages and includes flights out of the UK. I believe you can elect to delete those flights though.
    Good luck.
     
  10. Cheizz

    Cheizz Craving camber Skier

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    In the Dolomites... quite a few Dutch companies have ski safaris there. If you need help with translation, ask @Slim or myself. Happy to help.
     
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  11. Nathanvg

    Nathanvg Putting on skis Skier

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    Diy is the way to go. Zurich and Geneva are the ideal airports. Picking a ski area is the hardest part due to so many options. But really any major area is great. If you tell us what you're looking for we can help (cheap, close to airport, big, etc.) Once u choose an area, getting a train/bus "transfer" is easy. Hotels are easy to find too. Enjoy
     
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  12. Jacob

    Jacob CerebralVortex Skier

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    DIY is pretty easy if you're going to a resort with a train station. You just book your flights and accommodation online and then buy your train tickets at the station when you get to whichever airport you're flying to. Both Zurich and Geneva have a station at the airport, so it they're really convenient.

    That's one reason why I recommend St. Anton and Arosa so often.

    With buses and private transfers, you usually need to book in advance, which means an additional hassle to deal with if your flight is delayed. And for some people, driving in a foreign country can seem daunting, especially when jet lagged, so renting a car might not be appealing to them.
     
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  13. Crank

    Crank Out on the slopes Skier

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    We booked our own trip to Chamonix a few years a go and finding a bus transfer from Geneva airport was no problem.

    I think someone mentioned the Ski Club of Great Britain. They can be a great resource. We joined them for that season and had people to guide us around the local ski areas and share the cost of a guide for a day skiing La Vallee Blanche.
     
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  14. Jim Kenney

    Jim Kenney Travel Correspondent Team Gathermeister Industry Insider

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    I used Ski Europe for a good and affordable trip to Austria about 15 years ago:
    http://ski-europe.com/
    If I go to the Alps again I would probably just DIY.
     
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  15. Jim McDonald

    Jim McDonald My Sunset View Skier

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    Google flights for air ticket, booking/hotels .com for lodging and the train systems, at least in Switzerland & Austria, are damn near as good as in Japan. It's easy.
    Edit: actually, I take that back. Given the wider English ability, they're even better than in Japan.
     
  16. DanishRider

    DanishRider Putting on skis Skier

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    Maybe have a look at snowpak.com? Ischgl og Stanton would be my bet!
     
  17. TQA

    TQA Putting on skis Skier

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    I am a bit anti Zermatt it is very expensive. There is very little ski in ski out accommodation. So you need a bus to get to and from the lift stations. These buses seem to fill up and go past you. The skiing is split into different areas which don't connect. .

    As you are looking for apres ski I would recommend St Anton or Ischgl. Both would be easy to DIY from the states with St Anton the easiest. NB Lech and Zurs are all part of the St Anton ski area but St ANton is where the night life is.
     
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  18. Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    For airports, also consider Munich, Turin and even Milan, many of those have direct flights from US cities and are not far from some great skiing.
     
  19. Johnfmh

    Johnfmh Johnfmh Skier

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  20. Jacob

    Jacob CerebralVortex Skier

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    I’m curious to know what their “five in-resort costs” are if they’re not including accommodation. Being a British newspaper, I’m sure #1 is a .5 l glass of beer. They also mention lunch, so that’s two. I guess they’re counting dinner as a separate cost, so that’s three. But I’m not sure what the other two are.

    Maybe it’s (in order of importance for British skiers)
    1. Half-liter of beer
    2. Shot
    3. Jaeger bomb
    4. Lunch
    5. Dinner
     

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