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Cheaper Family Ski Holidays During October Half Term

Sep 5, 2008
Taking your family on a ski holiday this season needn't be expensive and stressful. With travel insiders predicting low availability and high prices during the February 2009 half term, the October school holiday is looking more and more attractive.

According to leading online European snow report provider, skiinfo, nearly 20 European ski resorts will be open in time for the October half term. In contrast to the massively popular February holiday - and this year most schools will be off during the same single week - availability is high, prices are low, and last minute bookings are a possibility.

Austria is expected to have eight ski areas open: Solden, the Stubai glacier near Innsbruck, the Pitztal Glacier, the Kaunertal glacier, the Hintertux glacier, Tux, the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier and the Dachstein Glacier. Solden will host the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere's Ski World Cup during this period.

Zermatt, Saas Fee and Glacier 3000 in Switzerland all expect to be open by the end of October. As well as skiing and snowboarding, Glacier 3000 also features the high adrenaline Alpine Coaster downhill roller coaster ride with its ten turns, six waves and three jumps along a one kilometre track.

Options in France are limited to the glacier at Tignes and Les Deux Alpes - which will host the Mondial du Freeski and the Mondial du Snowboard during the half term week to celebrate the start of the season.

The Italian resorts of Passo Stelvio and Val Senales expect to be open, as do Folgefon and Galdhopiggen in Norway.

For those snow-seekers hoping to head further afield, the United States (including Colorado and Vermont) and Canada (including Whistler and Banff) are all worth checking out as ski areas often open mid to late October. You could just catch the end of the ski seasons in New Zealand and Chile too.

In addition to cheaper prices and quieter resorts, taking your ski holiday early may bring further benefits. Many European areas run festival weekends with special events and parties marking the beginning of the new season. You and your family will also have something to look forward to once autumn starts to creep in.

In preparation for a half term ski getaway, it's worth regularly checking with travel companies for early bird deals and the skiinfo website for updates on resort conditions. Also consider pre-booking a meet and greet airport car parking service which will make the journey with children and winter sports gear an altogether smoother and less stressful experience.
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