Phil Brown from the National Schools Snowsports Association on what schools should think about when organising a trip on the slopes. 

Start planning as early as possible

You’ll have a better chance of securing your preferred dates, transport, accommodation etc. and you’ll make your trip more affordable for your students by giving them longer to pay for it.

It will make your life much easier by giving you plenty of time to plan your trip and collect all the information you need from students and parents.

You’ll get a head start on the competition from other trips – if any of your colleagues are likely to run a trip targeting the same pool of students, planning early will mean you get in there first.

Pupils show off their medals during a school ski trip

Source: National Schools Snowsports Association

Consider requirements for your group

You’ll need a good idea of where and when you want to go, as well as your budget and preferred duration.

Plus, you’ll need to know the staff/student ratio required by your Local Education Authority (LEA) or school.

Pupils and staff hit the slopes during a ski trip

Source: National Schools Snowsports Association

Choosing a suitable ski resort

Look at things such as:

  • Size and value for money. Smaller, less well-known resorts tend to work better for groups and are often less busy.
  • Transfer and journey times. Many groups choose to travel to their ski resort by coach, so you will want to consider transfer times from Calais when choosing your resort. And if you fly, you’ll want a resort that is close to the airport, as long transfer times defeat the purpose of flying.
  • Snow reliability. This is most important if you’re travelling early or late in the season, when you may want to take a close look at the resort’s snow record and altitude.
  • Accommodation. You’ll need to consider your group’s accommodation requirements when choosing your destination.
  • Evening activities. You’ll also need to think about the options available for après-ski in your chosen resort such as ice skating or bowling for the pupils.


If you’re travelling early or later in the season, consider the snow reliability. 

Decide when you want to go

Many groups travel during the February half term and the Easter holidays. But if you can travel during term time, you’ll find lower prices and greater choice. If you’re restricted to the holidays, Easter is often cheaper and with better weather.

In all instances, we recommend working with an experienced schools tour operator as they will be able to advise you accordingly.

This article was first published in the Learning Outside the Classroom Yearbook 2024. You can read the digital edition here