IT is around this time of year that the travel negotiations begin in earnest. At Christmas time, in our house anyway, the trading begins with: “I’ll see your night out with the boys, and raise you one spa weekend with the girls.”
Now, with the “big” winter holidays behind us, there’s a desperate dash going on for that last dose of snow – the adrenalin junkie’s much-needed fix.
“I’ll match your long weekend away with the kids – and go all-out for a package ski holiday without them,” I was told. Hmmm. Thank goodness, then, for late-season snow in Europe. The peak season may be over by mid-March, but there’s still room for skiing and boarding until May in some resorts. After the festive season and the doldrums of January it seems a bit of a bonus. You just have to remember to aim high.
Betony Garner, of the Ski Club of Great Britain, recommends high altitude Tignes, Val D’Isere, Chamonix, Les Deux Alpes and The Three Valleys (especially Val Thorens) in France, Obergurgl, Kaprun and St Anton in Austria, Saas Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland and Cervinia and Passo Tonale in Italy.
Ski operators say demand for bookings has been solid since the New Year, when heavy snow dumps here made Britons pine for a place to ski on it.
But take a look at websites like www.last-minute-ski-deals.co.uk, www.igluski.com and www.ifyouski.com and you’ll see prices for April and even late March are often slashed up to 50 per cent.
Which just leaves the questions of where to go, how much to spend and whether you can get away with taking all your annual leave in winter?
Oh, and how come our household trade seems to have secured me a long weekend in Centerparcs with the children while my husband has a week skiing in Chamonix? Back to the negotiation table…