Booking Secrets From Those In the Know – Team Ski Safari

Approaching 20 years in the industry, Ski Safari has perfected the art of finding the absolute best value for money for its clients.

The passionate team of experienced skiers and snowboarders don’t just recommend a resort or hotel based on what everyone else knows, but share their first-hand knowledge and wealth of understanding, acquired through years of travel and experience. Revealing their very own booking secrets, four members of the team disclose their insider knowledge to help you get the best from your skiing holiday for 2014-15.

Rupert Hatfield 

Who?  Canada and North American expert Rupert Hatfield has notched up over 10 years at Ski Safari and still manages to get over 30 days a season on snow….he’s in the right job!

Booking Secret: Rupert says, “Don’t shun late season snow! So many people are wary of committing to skiing or boarding late season, however taking Whistler as an example last April and May the resort received 88cm of snowfall to top up the whopping 508cm that fell in February and March. Speaking from experience, having travelled in April for the past 11 seasons all over North America, I have not been disappointed with the snow once. Some of my best snow days have been late season, with many memorable moments from skiing some of the deepest powder ever in Snowbird in April to closing day at Kicking horse, with full snow cover on the slopes and not a bare patch in sight. Naturally, we can never guarantee the snow but consistent strong late season conditions in North American resorts mean I never worry about recommending travelling late season”

James Rivers
 North American whizz, James Rivers, has skied most of the US and Canadian resorts and tested all the Ski Safaris in the programme (at least once!!)

Booking Secret: James says, “Don’t delay, get in early! Playing the waiting game to seek out the best ski deals doesn’t work anymore, especially with North America. With the majority of airline flight sales, accommodation offers and lift pass incentives ending any time between 31st August and 15th November, the earlier you book, the better the savings. Telluride has one of the best all-round offers on at the moment for travel between 5th January to 7th February 2015. If you book by 15th October, you can benefit from 2 free nights’ accommodation (buy 5, stay 7) and from 2 free ski days on the lift pass (buy 4, ski 6). And just to reinforce the message that it doesn’t make sense to wait, there’s also flight sale savings of up to £200 per person with United until 23rd September.”  

 Andrea Selig

Who? Strapped on to her Dad’s backpack and against all health and safety rules, Andrea Selig started skiing as a baby and it didn’t put her off! Born in Japan, Andrea looks after the Swiss, Japan, and the new South Korea product for Ski Safari.

Booking Secret: Andrea says, “Skiing in Japan should be on every skier and snowboarder’s bucket list, but what lots of people don’t realise is that the season there can actually be quite short, and there is a finite window to catch the powder conditions. The season starts at the middle of December, and it probably won’t stop snowing until the middle of March, but after that, you can expect spring conditions and cherry blossoms! There are also key dates to avoid such as New Year and the Chinese New Year, where resorts are inundated with visitors from China, Singapore and Hong Kong. The best time to visit Japan in 2015 is after the 24th January, when the Australian schools have returned after their long summer break, and before 14th February, as Chinese New Year is celebrated on 19th February. Another date period that works well in 2015 is from 22nd February to 15th March.”

 Andy Hemingway

Who? Skier Andy Hemingway has been with Ski Safari for 2 years and heads up the Scandinavia product. Having done 5 seasons out there and being a Scandinavian Product Manager for 12 years, he knows what he is talking about!

Booking Secret: Andy says, “It’s no secret that local demand drives up accommodation prices, so if you are looking for the most competitive prices around, work out when the locals take their own holidays. It’s worth knowing that in Scandinavia families tend to spend Christmas at home, therefore prices are much more favourable at Christmas than at New Year or during the February half-term. At Easter, Scandinavian school children tend to get just one week holiday from school; as UK schools close for two weeks, it pays to pick the opposite week and the prices will work in your favour.”

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