I try to go skiing every year with my university, however this year I want to do something a little different.

I know a lot of people, and in turn they know some others, who want to go skiing this year. So I'm interested in arranging my own trip with lets say a group of 15-30 people.

What are the things I need to consider? What is the best time to get the bookings and such finalised? And what is the best way of going about organising this trip, both logistically and financially?

Sorry I forgot quite a lot of information that's useful. We're all UK based & British, the trip itself is likely to be the Alps or somewhere else in Europe (where ever is cheapest/best value). Budget wise I'm not really sure as I have no idea what sort of deals I can expect with group bookings, the vast majority of the group will be full time students so the cheaper the better. Again transport wise whatever is cheapest. Most of the group will need equipment hire too.

  • 1
    With those numbers, you might just want to book a mini bus / small coach, book out a whole chalet of a suitable level of comfort and catering, then ring round the rental shops in the resort until you find one who'll offer a group discount
    – Gagravarr
    Mar 27 '13 at 13:02

The problem with arranging a group trip involving anyone other than close friends is that you (as the organiser) can easily be left out of pocket or worse if things go wrong; people can and will cancel at the last minute, pull out without telling you, miss their flights, trash their rooms etc. leaving you with the liability. That's why I'd recommend using a UK-based (and ATOL protected) package tour company to take care of flights, transfers and accommodation, letting you focus on your studies. They'll be able to take payment directly from the other participants, meaning you're in no danger of paying for someone else's holiday.

If you start looking now at package trips for winter 2013-14 you'll be able to get an idea of prices. Start by looking on the websites but don't be afraid to call up in search of a good deal; if you can bring 15-30 people along they'll love to talk to you! Things to consider are:

  • Transport - the larger tour companies will organise flights and coach transfer to the resort
  • Accommodation - typically twin/double rooms; you'll want chalet/hotel style close to the slopes and the bars
  • Food - getting catered accommodation (breakfast/dinner) means not having to deal with 30 people's different requirements
  • Resort - pick somewhere large that can cater for everyone from beginner to expert skiers. Large resorts also tend to have better (or at least more varied) apres ski and nightlife.

A tour company will also be able to get you good deals on lift pass, equipment hire and lessons without tying everyone into the same option - you'll have people who want to hire expensive kit, or bring their own.

Assuming you're travelling during the university holidays, you'll be competing against other students for accommodation, so the earlier you book the better. You're unlikely to be able to get commitments during the summer vacation, so aim to get the booking confirmed during the first two weeks of September - any later than that and resorts will fill up fast for the Christmas/New Year holiday, although you have a bit more leeway if you're planning an Easter trip.

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