Top Tips When Booking a Ski Holiday to Canada

The general consensus is that people tend to assume ski holidays to Canada are beyond expensive. Yes, this can be the case. However, if you take on board our expert tips, you can get some really good deals, which can make your holiday around the same price as some ski holidays to France, Austria or Switzerland.

 Whister

Whistler village

When booking with us, our ski specialists will talk through every element and booking tip with you. So, let’s cut to the chase, what are the tips?

  1. The most important one is making use of the early booking offers. These offers are normally announced in June or July and run until November. Many hotels take such significant percentages off the rates if you book really early that it’s really a no-brainer to take up the offers. It really is a case of ‘the earlier you book, the bigger the saving’.
  2. It’s not just the accommodation you save on if you book early. This is the same for lift passes too. The tourist boards want to encourage as many foreign travellers as possible to visit their destination, so they have various discounts on different passes. The Epic Pass (allows you to ski multiple resorts such as Whistler as well as Vail & Breckenridge in the USA) discount ends around Thanksgiving in November. Each lift pass is different so it’s best to check with our ski specialists.
  3. Make sure the resort fee is included. Some resorts have a fixed rate; others are based on percentages.
  4. Make sure that the local and state tax is included.
  5. If you have breakfast or any other dining options included in the advertised price, ensure that the tax and tip have also been covered. The standard for a tip is 20%.
  6. When booking flights with a package, make sure your hold luggage has been included. Air Canada usually include ski carriage too during the winter months, but its best to check.
  7. If you have booked a transfer, be aware that the driver will still expect a tip (at your own discretion, but again standard is 20%).

Let’s delve deeper and discover what makes ski holidays to Canada so attractive. And what makes the ski destinations there so different to the classic ski holiday in France, Switzerland or Austria.

Better snow

The snow in Canada tends to be very dry, light and fluffy – a powder playground. Say bye to the sticky, slushy snow; you will feel like you’re skiing on clouds. With some resorts getting up to 10 metres per year, you are guaranteed perfect snow conditions.

 Reuben-Krabbe-SkiBig3

Banff – Reuben-Krabbe/SkiBig3

Quieter slopes

Believe it or not, the winter season is often the ‘quiet’ season for many resorts. Therefore, unlike the busy European resorts, the slopes in Canada are much quieter. Quieter slopes also mean no lift queues, resulting in more time skiing/boarding.

 Banff-Sunshine-Village

Sunshine Village, Banff

Tree-lined runs

For a thrill seeking experience, carve your way round the towering pine trees and get a real sense of seclusion. The snow covered trees add character to the chiselled mountains – a beautiful backdrop for photographers.

Tree runs

Skiing in Banff ©Reuben Krabbe

Great for kids

Most Canadian resorts are family friendly and excellent for kids in so many ways. Number one is that there is no language barrier. Send the kids off to ski school with confidence they will fully understand the instructor and vice versa. A big win is the free ski passes for kids with the purchase of an adult ticket in selected resorts. With many gentle beginner slopes, non-ski activities and child friendly mountain meals; this will be a thoroughly enjoyable trip for the full family.

Family Skiing

Sunshine Village, Banff ©Noel Hendrickson

Cuisine

Poutines, smokehouse steaks, fresh seafood, stacked pancakes – the list could go on and on. A ski holiday full of indulgence and immersing yourself in the local cuisine is a must.

 Banff

Slopeseide dining in Banff

Accommodation

There are so many stunning options, from self-catered condominiums to bed and breakfast and full service hotels. Just give us a call and our ski specialists will help you whittle it down, based on what you are looking for.

For example, if you are looking for something simple, however with ski convenience, the Brewsters Mountain Lodge in Banff is a good option, with a central location and including a buffet breakfast.

Brewsters Mountain Lodge bedroom

Brewsters Mountain Lodge bedroom

If you are looking for accommodation that has it all – the ski convenience, amazing facilities and choice of rooms, then the Westin Resort & Spa in Whistler is where you want to be. With a slopeside location, access to both the village amenities and the lifts is superb.

 Westin Resort & Spa

Westin Resort & Spa

For the ultimate luxurious ski trip, the Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff is a 5-star property, which is also great value for money. This ‘Castle in the Rockies’ is nestled in the tranquil setting of mountains and forests. Built in the style of a Scottish Baronial Castle, this landmark building is like a resort in itself with multiple dining options and facilities such as outdoor pool, hot tubs and its very own spa.

 Fairmont Banff Springs

Fairmont Banff Springs

Let’s put it this way, even if you have to pay more for a Canadian ski holiday than you would to go to France, it’s pretty obvious why. Canadian ski destinations are like no other – in a league of their own – some say untouchable! However, with the help of our ski specialists,  skiing in Canada is at your fingertips. Put our tips to good use, start planning and look forward to the ski holiday of a lifetime (that doesn’t cost the earth). Remember, when it comes to Canadian skiing, it’s always, ALWAYS better for your pocket to book early.


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 Tom Griffiths

  Ski Specialist

0330 102 8004

Other articles you may like:

Your Quick Guide to Skiing in Banff, Canada

15 Top Tips How to Find Cheap Ski Holidays

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