Planning a school ski trip can be a daunting task, lots of things to consider, multiple options, ideas and thoughts. We have put together Team TGMs ‘top ten things to consider when planning your school ski holiday’ to try to help you along the way.
1: Plan early
Start planning your trip at least 18 months in advance of departure. This gives you time to seek approval from SLT and Governors, time to advertise the holiday, and time to allow parents to save and pay.
2: Offer a savings plan to parents
A ski holiday is not a cheap holiday, however it is one of the most rewarding. Giving parents a structured payment plan over 12 months allows the cost to be split and more people the opportunity to take part. We will work with you to provide a structured plan that will help families with different budgets to participate.
3: Decide which year group/s you are targeting
Is it a whole school trip? A specific year group, upper school or lower school or 6th form? This will allow you to tailor the trip to suit the groups abilities and needs.
4: Decide on a date of travel
Lots of factors to consider here but as a basic guide:
Term time = Great conditions, quiet slopes and easier travel.
Half term = Busy, great snow conditions but very popular and you will probably pay a premium.
Easter = Much warmer, ideal for younger beginners, but can be slushy later in the day.
5: Destination / Resort
TGM Snowsports offers some of the world’s top Alpine resorts and can help you decide what is important to you – Think about options – do you want doorstep skiing? A village atmosphere? A remote hotel with exclusive use by your group? Shared hotel with other groups and lots to do? Great beginner ski areas or superb advanced ski areas (or both)? Ease of access from airport? There is much to consider, feel free to arrange a visit from one of our team to chat about all the possibilities.
6: Get a good team around you!
As party leader you have the responsibility of the whole group. Make it easier for yourself and get a good team of staff to travel with you. i.e. An experienced skier, mix of male and female, good ‘mother hen’ to deal with any homesick children, a teacher who the children respect for discipline, a good entertainer, older and younger staff, colleagues who will help you with pre-trip planning and meetings – They all have their own attributes.
Remember – Your team will lead to the success of your holiday.
7: Get the kids skiing (And any novice staff for that matter)
The hardest day for a beginner is the first day in snow. Take the children to a dry slope / artificial slope and get them all used to putting boots and skis on at the very least. This will ensure you have a much more enjoyable 1st day on the slopes in the Alps. We run sessions and lessons at the Chillfactore in Manchester each month, these sessions are ideal for rusty skiers and snowboarders to get a lesson and have an informal chat with our team, or come for a recreational slope session.
8: Select your group
If you can, only take children who you know will not be a problem on holiday. Set a behaviour contract at school prior to the trip and let children know that they can only travel if they adhere to the rules. Why give yourself a headache in the Alps?
9: Assign children and your staff team into groups early
Give each member of staff a group of 8-10 children to have responsibility for whilst travelling and in the hotel. Ski groups can be different depending upon ability and experience and we can assist you in making ski group decisions.
10: Plan your evenings
Planning evening entertainment is vital and can mean the difference between bored and the best social experience of their lives. We offer a programme of three organised evenings, plus a welcome night and a last night disco and games night. Entertainment can include a bowling evening, swimming or spa visit, lake walk and visit to Mc D’s, visit to the local ski show, treasure hunt, room challenge, film night or quiz evening, we welcome teachers input and love to have staff join in with the fun and games!
So, thats our top tips -ten things to consider when planning your school ski holiday. Thank you for reading, we do hope this helps you on your journey to organising a successful school ski trip. As always, please feel free to give us a call or drop us an email if you have any questions.