Who’s the target market for family ski package holidays?

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  • Who’s the target market for family ski package holidays?
  • So she’s decided she doesn’t want the stress of a DIY ski holiday this year and since our half term seems to be a week earlier than most, we’re looking at all the tour operators to see what we can find.
    Ski solutions sounded promising at £345 pp to Tignes, but closer investigation revealed that particular ‘package’ excluded flights and transfers and food and ski carriage and lift pass. In fact it excluded everything except the appartment.
    So I phoned up and we discussed our options, just in case they had any amazing lift pass thrown in offers or something. We agreed a budget for his search at which point there was a long pause and then he asked if that was per person or for the whole family.

    In the end he said we’d need to budget £900 each excluding pass and equipment. This was a budget operator outside peak half term

    Loads of other places had similar prices.

    Now we’re not exactly poor,but how the heck can people budget 4,5,6 or even £7,000 for a week family holiday.
    I don’t get it, who is their target audience?

    Fair enough, our kids are now teens so the days of £2.6k for everything ski weeks are over, but I still struggle with anything approaching three grand all in.

    So who doesn’t?

    kerley
    Member

    Target audience is same as ever, middle class families who want to go skiing.

    ads678
    Member

    People pay it, so companies charge it….

    Don’t get how DIY is stressy though. Book an apartment, book some flights, and hire car, or just drive as it’s usually half the price for a family of 4. Then just book some lift passes. What else is there….

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    I remember someone on here taking out a bank loan to finance their annual ski holiday. Madness.

    Check out UCPA/Action Outdoors if your prepared to slum it a bit.

    Premier Icon dove1
    Subscriber

    We have given up on ski holidays for the reasons you outlined above.
    My kids are now 19 and 14 so are both classed as adults but we are still limited to school holidays and the costs are prohibitive.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Subscriber

    Time marches on… you think you still have the same purchasing power you had a few years ago, because you’re paid much the same (hopefully more) in GBP… but it’s an illusion. The “doing quite well” are now the “doing okay” when they hit the reality of markets where customers are from lots of other countries. Still, could be worse, think what it’s like for those whose budget for the family holiday is significantly less than yours… what do they get for their money now?

    Now add in that families with older kids are getting screwed for letting them grow old enough to be charged adult rates, but are still learning before working, and you fall into the most expensive holiday demographic there is. Ski as a family again when you have a third earner in your family.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    With school trips and all that to pay for, our annual family holiday budget is about £800 for four of us. I’m not feeling much sympathy tbh.

    Kelvin

    Agree entirely my initial post wasn’t intended to imply that I’m in an unfortunate position, far from it. I fully appreciate that even contemplating a ski holiday puts us firmly in the xxx bracket. Was more incredulous that significant numbers of UK families have £10k of their salary left ove for such things….

    Edukator
    Member

    So who doesn’t?

    Check out CFH’s annual ski and snowboard thread and you can make list. I’m on it but if I lean out of the window now I can see a ski resort.

    Appartemnts are getting more expensive because:

    La taxe foncière is increasing much faster than wage inflation as is the taxe d’habitation which is still full rate on second homes. More rules about lifts and safety mean more running costs on the building. The 35hr week increased saleries of cleaners etc. On British run flats recent changes that mean British chalet girls must be paid the French minimum wage and that’s doubled or tripled the cost of chalet girls (and rightly so).

    Lift passes prices reflect the massive increase in lift infrastructure investment and piste maintenance over the last fifteen years.

    Flying is cheaper than ever.
    Driving is as cheap as ever it was.
    Ski rental for a basic package is cheaper than ever it was

    Oh, and Brexit has weakened the pound.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    Target audience is same as ever, middle class families who want to go skiing.

    We’re going with my brother in law and family (3 kids) this Christmas. We go every two years with those guys as that’s all they can afford.

    They holiday at Eurocamp or not at all in the summer to be able to afford it.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    That was us. A week’s skiing with good wrap around childcare (which we used some days and not others) was the one week of the year my wife and I got to spend time during the day just the two of us. A luxury yes, but a fantastic one.
    When we first did it, it was £2500, the last one was £6000.
    We self cater these days.

    The summer holiday was always a lot cheaper.

    petec
    Member

    when we go skiing now, we don’t have a foreign holiday in the summer

    I realise we’re still in a very lucky position, but it’s generally skiing one year, holiday the next. Can’t afford it otherwise.

    bombjack
    Member

    The target market is those with 5k plus in disposable income to spunk on a week away (and in many ways as a “second” holiday). I’ve admitted defeat for this season and there’s no way I can take the wife (teacher, so its got to be school holidays) and 2 boys away.
    I’d love to say that its getting cheaper to go skiing, but I the glory days of dirt cheap flights, free ski carriage, and flexibility of schools to take children out in term time have gone, and with the seasons changing in front of our eyes I cant see it getting any cheaper.

    nbt
    Member

    We ski. We met on a ski trip. When we’re not skiing, we’re doing stuff to fill time till we can afford a ski trip. We have a caravan that we use to take (relatively) cheap holidays in the UK, so we can save to ski. I’d rather ski the summer hioliday than miss on skiing one year (in fact having first skiied age 26, Id didn;t take a summer holiday for at least the next ten years)

    it’s all about priorities. I budget about £200 per person per ski day for a trip, but we’re lucky that we don’t have kids to pay for (pros and cons of not having kids). we do like a bit of comfort on a ski trip though, you could do it MUCH cheaper

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Subscriber

    Speaking as someone who has mates who have Ski Appts in prime locations:

    They are all selling up now, this from very active Skiers who would go twice a year with families. Bought their Appts in said locations back when Skiing “was the thing” and continued over the last 10/15yrs or so to enjoy the “vibe”. They’ve all been quite lucky in that they’ve bought Appts cheaply and are selling at a higher value now, but not all that much all things considered. Property prices went bonkers in the 00’s but now they’ve seen values stabilise then drop. But they don’t care that much since the initial investment has meant they’ve enjoyed both location and holidays over those years. Kids are now at Uni or finished Uni and entering the world of work. And those Kids aren’t interested in Skiing anymore.

    I asked the question Why?

    And it’s sort of typical in the Sports Holiday industry.. Watersports and Wintersports are being hit by a lack of kids “choosing a sport, then sticking with it” And we all know why that is. So many choices and too little time to commit to one sport seems to be where the whole “industry” is in and heading towards.

    So, you’d think Skiing would fit in with that “two weeks away in the hills getting some powder” and then onto the next sport..

    Seems not.

    One of my best mates has owned and run a Ski School in Les Arcs for 15+ years and he’s selling up too. Says “it’s costing too much to run and people aren’t committing to the weeks skiing like they used to” and this is form someone running a full package and part package deals (rentals only and full board alike) Although I do see this as partly him having enough of the hassle or running a company in a place he only lives in for 4mths of the year.. I’ve seen more of him this year at the sailing club than I’ve seen him in the years gone by.

    So, maybe it’s just the cycle of the industry… maybe in a few years it’ll pick up again. Who knows.

    One main point of my mates argument though is Brexit. Like it or not people aren’t spending money on expensive entertainments like they used to. But thats what people voted for, so long may they stay in the UK doing… well… whatever people like that do.

    NZCol
    Member

    Yeah it’s not cheap is it. We DIY it now every time. Even then totting it up its about £3kish for the week for 3 of us in school hols (december – feb was getting to £5k). Flights can be madness but we look to fly from newcastle if english schools are off as the flights can be much cheaper even with a hotel for the night before. Self catering all the way as we prefer it.
    But yes, not cheap in any way shape or form.

    poly
    Member

    Well the package operator is obviously taking a cut.
    You are avoiding half term – but is it still a peak week (ie when the snow is likely best).
    Are you looking at the most well known resorts?
    Catered?
    Could you book it earlier for the discounts?

    Door to door (parking at airport, flights, car hire (including chains – robbing ba&&&rds), fuel, accom, food (inc moderate amount of alcohol), lift pass, ski hire, insurance etc) last year we did it for £650 per person. No package provider and probably 2 full days of shopping around to find the deals get the start and finish days to all together etc. We had left it fairly late though, and were trying different combinations to see if we could go with another family.

    Note no instruction in that price. We have been able to get sub £700 pp for family of 4, three times in last ten years. It’s definitely getting harder.

    We can’t afford to do it every year, don’t have foreign holidays in the summer and are comfortably off. Those I know who go every year have very well paid jobs, or inherited money that means they have no mortgage. But others will just choose to spend it differently – eg how much have you spent on bikes for the family on average for last three years? Or did you really need a wood burning stove? Or a T5, new Audi etc…

    wrightyson
    Member

    I’ve asked on here before, weve looked and looked again. It’s all around 4k for what we’d need as total beginners. The holiday companies have also got wind of the varying holidays aet by different schools/counties. Are option at the minute is wait to see if there is snow in somewhere like bulgaria and try and book last minute. Fwiw weve never spent over 1500 quid on a family holiday.

    footflaps
    Member

    We often go at Xmas / NY and the families we meet all have top end professional jobs (C level exec / GPs / Consultants etc). Normally costs about £2k/person for a 5* chalet in school holidays with full area pass etc etc.

    Premier Icon peekay
    Subscriber

    I used to be mad for skiing. Going at least twice a year, instructors courses, a regular on forums, touring, all the kit always planning or thinking about the next big trip. Every combination of flying, driving, package, accommodation only, hostels, big mega resorts, small villages, big groups, couples/solo trips has been done over the years.

    Now it seems just so much more expensive and I’m not sure I can really be arsed with it all. To the effect that I didn’t go last season and probably won’t again this season.

    Being UK based it feels like such a lot of effort, cost and resources for such a short time actually skiing.

    I know a lot of friends who have similar thoughts; it might just be the phase of life bubble we are all in (mid 30s, relationships, mortgages, families, commitments etc) but enthusiasm and demand does seem to have dropped along with price rising.

    Most former skiers that I know now spend their leisure time and disposable income on things that are more accessible throughout the year (in the UK and able to form part of an ‘ active holiday’) such as cycling, climbing, kayaking, walking etc.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    We did it all independently a week off from 1/2 term this year, it was the first year with the kids and as a family of four I’m not sure there was change from £4k and I think the lift passes were almost 1/4 of that. The apartment was pretty cheap at around £700 and we had a full weeks lessons for the kids which was brilliant giveing us both some time alone and the kids (6 & 8) some structured instruction which they thrived in.

    It’s a far cry from doing DIY bargain basement, bunkhouse boarding trips I had in my 20s and 30s but it was the best family holiday we’ve had bar none. Just hope we can afford to do it again next year/soonish/before they’re grown up,

    To be fair though with a weeks camping in the UK costing at least a grand (all in) and a weeka broad at least £2k, it’s not that bad value. Holidays are expensive.

    wrightyson
    Member

    Which campsites are you staying at 😳😳😳😳

    scotroutes
    Member

    a weeks camping in the UK costing at least a grand (all in)

    You what?

    Premier Icon cobrakai
    Subscriber

    All in we’re spending 3k for a family of 3 in the last week of Jan. Me the wife and our 4 year old daughter. That’s flights and passes too.

    It’s expensive compared to the DIY trips we did before the little one came along but the benefits are almost too many to list. Time to ourselves, structured child care, no cooking etc.

    Me and my wife clicked straight away as snow sports was a passion we had in common so we’re unlikely to compromise and will always do a winter trip.

    We’re financially comfortable but even we find it bloomin expensive. We have family all around the UK so we usually spend our summer holidays travelling to meet them all so that’s cheap.

    We’ve also warned off the school that she will be taken out of school for a ski trip once a year as I refuse to pay half term prices. Don’t know how well that went down…..

    phil5556
    Member

    To be fair though with a weeks camping in the UK costing at least a grand (all in)

    You what now?

    We stayed with my sister and her family in a nice new caravan in the lakes (I’d never stayed in one before, it was better than I expected) for less than half of that.

    phil5556
    Member

    Skiing has always been expensive, I think one of my cheapest trips in recent-ish memory was Italy at something like £800pp half board including passes with Crystal.

    Doing it ourselves hasn’t been much cheaper but then we’ve chosen more expensive resorts & nicer accommodation. Driving for us (Glasgow) doesn’t really save that much due to the extra £150ish to get to Kent for the train.

    Our best value recent trip was probably Whistler. £1000pp half board for 10 days and we got a great (50% off?) deal on passes by booking them early, much cheaper once you’re there than France too.

    Best way to be able to afford holidays is probably to no have kids 😀

    Reading this thread, I’ve never felt more like a working class scumbag in all my life.

    Premier Icon julians
    Subscriber

    as per all people above , you’ll struggle to get anything decent for less than a grand per person.

    We’re not going this year as I cant afford it, its always been this expensive though, its not a new thing.

    Ski package deals have always been expensive. I’ve been doing it for over 20 years now and have purposely not got the family involved because it would be unaffordable -not without prioritising over summer holidays, which would never fly with the wife, so I go with mates. 20 years ago I used to pay almost £600 for a typical 6 day half board chalet package at a decent resort excluding pass and equipment hire. next year i’m looking at a little over £900 and will be the first year it’s broken the £900 barrier, so really over 20 years a price increase of £300 isn’t that bad really considering everything that has happened over that time.

    Not saying it’s good value but it’s skiing. It never was good value.r

    Whenever I’ve looked at DIY’ing its never been that much cheaper if you target the good resorts. If you are willing to compromise on the resort or stay 40km out of the resort, you can get it cheaper, but then you run into the risk of having poor conditions or no snow at all….in over 20years I’ve never had any issues with not having snow as I’ve always targeted decent high resorts…which are more expensive. But saving a few hundred quid going to a crapper resort is no good if you can’t ski because the conditions are crap.

    footflaps
    Member

    The Brexit Dividend of a devalued pound hasn’t helped, probably added 20%. Then the French have tightened rules on hours worked by Chalet hosts, so that has upped costs for catered chalets etc.

    Premier Icon earl_brutus
    Subscriber

    I go every year but usually on a black friday half price deal or last minute.com, no kids though so me and the missus have the disposable and can be super flexible on dates/locations. Normally spend 800-1k all in each for a week. The only families I know that take their kids skiing are super wealthy, my other pals who ski, either haven’t been since kids arrived or just leave the kids with the grandparents for a week to keep the cost down.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    My two learned to ski aged 4 and 6 respectively and that was the annual holiday most of the time. The boy took to it like a duck to water and he’s flippin’ good too and has continued to ski and snowboard. Of course they were the only kids in their class who didn’t go to Florida!

    Whenever I’ve looked at DIY’ing its never been that much cheaper if you target the good resorts.

    Perhaps if you want plush accommodation with food, but if you’re flexible you can do it stacks cheaper. We did Arraba, then Val Gardena then St Anton three years running and paid between £2,200 and £2,700 all in (flights, accommodation, food beer, lunch ,taxis to airport, souvenirs, lift passes, ski carriage, lessons and even some off piste guiding) All at half term.

    Just got to be inventive……. Yes dear, of course Frankfurt airport is close to Arabba 🙄

    Thinking about it, that probably provides the answer to ads678’s comment above….

    Don’t get how DIY is stressy though.

    Busted. Maybe the wife is right after all.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    To be fair though with a weeks camping in the UK costing at least a grand (all in)

    You what now?

    It is factoring in buying a load of camping gear. ;o)

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    https://www.skiweekends.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwrrXtBRCKARIsAMbU6bGqnjmjZQZd8Xqb2gkJ-4wALnUeY4bmwifX5o4ZijDAabEnkeNi0QkaAvYtEALw_wcB

    or

    https://www.snowcoach.co.uk/

    I’ve been with both several times for the complete coach from Victoria to resort experience 🙂

    Skiweekends do lots of flight packages as well.

    Was Ok, especially if you can fall asleep on the coach – the seats have a large recline and loads of leg room, not like a normal coach.

    Valmeiner was really nice – we had a 1 star Michelin chef that year – got 8 days skiing out of a week whereas flyers get 6ish.

    https://www.snowcoach.co.uk/valmeinier-1800-france

    Hotel is close to the lifts (across the road).

    TBH I used to ski a lot but when you compare to mountain biking their so many similarities that it starts to look like very poor VFM.

    Plus if I need that ‘carving’ feeling I just take my Gotway MSX out for a sping 🙂

    Book a holiday somewhere within reach of several Welsh mtb centres instead – with decent waterproofs…

    I try to get £1000 all in, with equipment hire. (to include food and drinks too)
    Not achieved that in the last couple of years (for which I fully blame the Brexiteers).

    Fine for me – if I had to pay for two kids and a partner with lower earnings due to kids (or vice versa) then that changes considerably.

    Basically, happy to pay £1200 for a weeks skiing, stuffing my face and drinking as much french house red as I can stomach.

    Would not be happy paying £4800 (+ lessons, plus half term tax) for half a weeks skiing, along with half a week of feigning interest in snowplowing down a green; along with evenings and mornings with a colder, more cramped version of child rearing with more clothes to get them into and out of.

    for half a weeks skiing, along with half a week of feigning interest in snowplowing down a green; along with evenings and mornings with a colder, more cramped version of child rearing with more clothes to get them into and out of

    Ouch. That sounds grim. I guess that is the reality for the first couple of years. But then when they hit eight or so it just gets loads of fun.
    Then when they hit double figures then it’s just **** excellent.

    Premier Icon nwmlarge
    Subscriber

    Have a look at Skifix they can be very competitive.

    I still recall stopping at the top of some black run in the Dolomites when the wean was 7 years old arguing with his mum about whether it was now time to take him on his first black run.

    I lost and so we turned round to go down the red, only to see that he’d already taken the obvious decision and was hammering down the off piste to the side of the black run, whilst his brother took the easier option on the piste itself.

    Ouch. That sounds grim. I guess that is the reality for the first couple of years. But then when they hit eight or so it just gets loads of fun.
    Then when they hit double figures then it’s just **** excellent.

    I still recall stopping at the top of some black run in the Dolomites when the wean was 7 years old arguing with his mum about whether it was now time to take him on his first black run.

    Hats off to both of your lads – far better than any English kid I’ve ever seen out on the slopes.

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