There’s no doubt package holidays are easier to arrange – book it and it’s all organised for you. But for flexibility on dates and sometimes (though not always) price, it makes sense to head off the groomed path – off piste you might say – and put your holiday together yourself.
If you’re looking for easy travel links and a resort renowned equally for great skiing and party-all-night après ski, St Anton is a good bet. Although it is only set at 1,350m, it catches snow on three faces and retains its snow surprisingly well.
Low-cost airlines fly to the nearest airports, Friedrichshafen and Innsbruck, and Zurich and Munich are also relatively close. Some airports have direct train links to St Anton. From other airports you can easily rent a car (www.europcar.com) or book a transfer (www.ski-express-arlberg.de/ ) has an €80 return trip from Friedrichshafen to St Anton). If you’re keen to hit the slopes as quickly as possible, it’s cheapest and easiest to pre-order your rental skis or board online. Intersport (www.intersport.com) allows you to collect your pre-booked equipment from 2pm the day before you hit the slopes.
Fully catered accommodation at Chalet Strauss (www.stantonchalets.co.uk) costs £449 per person in the week starting 11 April. A smaller group (up to six) could stay a week at The Mozart chalet apartment on 18 April for £399 each (www.powderwhite.com). Local bloggers say this end-of-season week is the cheapest for nightlife as bars discount their drinks.