Currency Cards

As your holiday approaches saving enough to spend or just being wick about travelling, it makes a lot of sense to get yourself a curreny card and buy and load your cards with very good exchange rates, often up to 25% higher than airport exchange desks.And such cards are safer too han carrying wads of cash.Just use any ATM to withdraw.We normally recommend Fairfax or Caxton but there are a few options out there so go and get one soon.

Posted on 01/12/2016


Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is vital for numerous reasons. Take it from me; severe food poisoning while touring Europe and a dodgy knee sustained skiing in America, are just two from my back catalogue of holiday mishaps (sometimes I think it would be easier to get off the plane and just go straight to casualty).Travel insurance also covered the cost of flights,ski passes,car hire and accommodation I’d booked for friends going to Lake Tahoe over Christmas, when snow left them stranded at Heathrow.

Banks are bad at it and airlines are at it,trying to sell you often inappropriate cover, especially if you have any medical concerns and as the cost of your holiday mounts up as you pay for extra baggage, or using your debit card to book a flight,choosing a seat allocation or just breathing on the flight,think about whether you really want to give so called budget airlines even more of your cash, when you dont know if they will pay out or even what cover they really offer.

Cover MUST cover any medical issues you might have had or still have and MUST cover off piste skiing without a guide in recognised areas.Age can be a concern, but we offer several underwriters who can help ensure you dont get too stressed with the rates!We are aware of many "non payouts" for obscure or unreasonable reasons, but we are happy to help you ensure you get the best cover and help with any claims issue.Essential now is cover included for any supplier failure, inc flights, especially for the independent traveller, which is a rapidly growing market.Take cover and take care!

Posted on 21/07/2016


Health and Travel Insurance

One of the key rules of travel insurance is that customers must declare all major past and ongoing health conditions. However, doing so can often mean the price of insurance is hiked up or that cover is refused altogether.

In general, pre-existing conditions you need to declare include any respiratory, circulatory, heart or back condition, and any condition or disease, psychiatric disorder or mental illness for which you have ever been diagnosed or received treatment. That means that even if you are now free of a disease - cancer, for example - you’ll still have to declare it to your insurance company.

Other declarable conditions include HIV, asthma, high blood pressure, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

People with serious medical conditions generally find it difficult to find travel insurance as medical claims and emergencies abroad are one of the biggest costs to insurance companies. So people with a greater risk of claiming will face higher premiums, with some insurers refusing to cover people with certain conditions altogether.

Customers must also declare any pre-existing medical conditions of close relatives if a change in their health would mean you cancelling or cutting short the holiday, for example, if one of your parents was seriously ill.

Telling the truth

When it comes to insurance, lying or omitting the truth is known as “non-disclosure”.If your insurer finds out about non-disclosure, it may turn down a claim later on or invalidate your whole policy.

If you declare a pre-existing condition when applying for travel insurance the insurer will be able to confirm whether or not any claims relating to it can be covered. Some conditions may be covered as standard at no extra charge while some will require payment of an additional premium.

Others, including serious conditions such as cancer, stroke and heart attacks, won’t be covered at all by some insurers.

Specialist insurers

If you have a pre-existing medical condition it’s a good idea to contact certain specialist insurers or brokers directly for a quote. Then compare premiums, and other sections of the policy (such as baggage cover and cancellation) in order to find the best deal.

All Clear is a comparison site for travellers with pre-existing medical conditions. It’s been selling travel insurance for about 18 months and compares quotes from 13 different providers. Consumers can input their medical details, obtain quotes and buy their insurance on the site.

Freedom Insurance has been going since 2002 and was one of the first companies in the UK to develop specialist travel insurance covering pre-existing medical conditions.

Avanti Insurance has an in-house medical screening process allowing it to assess your health on an individual basis and offer the most appropriate travel insurance for your circumstances.

World First Insurance covers thousands of medical conditions. The family run company was the first insurer in the UK to create a policy that covered travellers with HIV and it now insures thousands of other medical conditions, including cancer, heart disease and epilepsy.

Free Spirit covers pre-existing conditions with no upper age limit on its single trip and annual multi-trip policies. Policies also include “financial failure” which covers travellers if their airline or accommodation provider goes bust.This latter point is important if booking your own overseas accommodation.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

As well as comprehensive travel insurance it is a good idea to get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are travelling in Europe.

The EHIC (which replaced the E111 form) entitles the holder to free or reduced cost state medical treatment in all EU countries. It’s basically a reciprocal agreement between the UK and other European countries so you’ll get the same treatment that the country offers its residents for free.

Posted on 24/05/2016


Chilley in Chile

 Summer skiing is alive and well in Kaprun,Tignes and Mayrhofen but to venture further afield why not check out Chile!Snoventures.com seem to know what they are doing and know the product.

Posted on 24/05/2012


New Flights to Friedrichstrafen from Manchester and Gatwick

New flights with Monarch for the ski season opening up more ski resorts in Austria and Switzerland.Check resort offers closest to the airport below.

Within 2 Hours

  • St Christoph (75 miles - 1 h 21 mins)
  • Zürs (75 miles - 1 h 21 mins)
  • Lech (77.5 miles - 1 h 26 mins)
  • St Anton (82.5 miles - 1 h 33 mins) 
  • Galtür (87.5 miles - 1 h 44 mins)
  • Flims (88.125 miles - 1 h 42 mins)
  • Laax (91.25 miles - 1 h 50 mins)
  • Klosters (91.875 miles - 1 h 53 mins)
  • Davos (95 miles - 1 h 59 mins)
  • Ischgl (95 miles - 1 h 54 mins) 
  • Kappl (98.125 miles - 1 h 50 mins)

Within 3 Hours

Posted on 11/05/2012


SAVE ON OVERSEAS MOBILE PHONE CHARGES

If you’re heading off on holiday and want to post regular Facebook updates and Tweets to tell your friends all about it, you’ll probably need to use the internet on your mobile.

But stories of “bill shock” might be putting you off. Every year thousands of holidaymakers return from trips abroad to find they’ve been charged hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds for using the internet on their phone while they’re away.

We’ve looked at your options if you can’t survive without access to the internet on your phone while overseas and the costs involved.

Use your normal tariff

One option is simply to carry on as normal and just use your phone to access the internet like you do at home. Easy.However, be aware of the massive costs involved if you go down this route. If you have a tariff that includes a certain amount of, or unlimited, data the small print will say this is just within the UK. The moment the plane lands you’ll start paying extra for data use.

If you have a smartphone accessing the internet in the background, sometimes without a user’s knowledge, just turning your phone on can turn it into a financial liability.

Within the EU, Vodafone charges £1 per MB up to 5MB, then £5 per MB after that. Orange and O2 both charge £3.07 per MB. Outside the EU, the costs soar. Vodafone charges £3 per MB up to 15MB then £15 per 15MB. Orange charges £8 per MB and O2 £6 per MB. Ouch.

But what does 1MB get you in terms of browsing? The answer is not much; a couple of minutes on Facebook looking at status updates and photos and you’ll have used 1MB. A one-minute YouTube video will use 2-4MB. So a quick YouTube clip could cost you a whopping £32 on Orange outside the EU.

You’ll be better off turning off data roaming on your phone while abroad and looking at another option.

Get a bolt-on service

Most networks offer bolt-on packages that you can add to your normal tariff. But although this will save you money compared to standard rates, it’s still an expensive option.

For iPhone customers who wish to use data while travelling there are a range of “bolt ons” available from O2. O2’s Heavy User Bolt On increases your standard data limit while abroad from 50MB (for £40) a month to 200MB (for £120) a month. Once this has been reached data roaming will stop.

Orange offers Travel Data Bundles. There’s a 30MB daily bundle for £3/day, or you can spread that 30MB out for a month for £15.

For Vodafone customers, Vodafone Data Traveller costs £2 a day (midnight to midnight, UK time) for 25MB in Europe. The same plan costs £5 per day for the rest of the world.

Use Wi-Fi

Wi-fi is the cheapest option and means relying on wireless internet while you’re on holiday. As well as being free in many cases and fairly cheap in others, wi-fi is generally a lot faster than 3G internet.

Wi-fi spots can be found in many hotels, cafes and pubs with lots of establishments offering it free to customers. However, you’ll need to remain in the wi-fi hotspot for it to work so it’s less “mobile” than mobile broadband.

If you set your smartphone to identify wi-fi networks it will let you choose which one you join each time you attempt to access the internet.

This is easily the best option and needing a wi-fi hotspot to get online will stop you being obsessed with email or Twitter when you should be working on your tan.

Get pocket wi-fi

Pocket wi-fi rentals provide you with wireless internet via a device you carry with you and fits in your pocket.

Available from www.tepwireless.com pocket wi-fi allows users to connect to the internet via a local mobile network while abroad – rather than their home network - and only pay local rates.

The device has been popular with American visitors to the UK and Europe for some time but Brits can now hire a Tep dongle to take to Europe.

Costs vary depending where you go and how long you hire the device for but you can get unlimited internet in Germany, for example, from £3.07 a day assuming you hire the device for 15 days.

Posted on 26/04/2012


Terrific Tahoe

 Stunning conditions over Easter for skiers going to Lake Tahoe with over 5ft in 3 days.

Go ski the friendly pistes or book early for 2012/13 season.Squaw Valley is a great mountain.One of the best we have skied in the US.Not a great village but great as a base to ski Northstar and Alpine Meadows.Get your ski pass early from D2Ski for next ski season and save £££££’s.

 

Posted on 25/03/2012


EARLY SEASON OPENINGS

Val d’Isère defiantly fired up its lift system on schedule this weekend to mark the start of the European ski season. But after the warmest and driest autumn in the Alps for 147 years, most resorts remain stubbornly green, with no snow on the horizon.

It’s still far too early to contemplate the dismal prospect of a green Christmas and New Year. But if you haven’t booked over the holiday period and plan to do so, it now makes sense only to consider resorts with high-altitude ski areas.

Currently, Val has some of the best, albeit limited, cover thanks to a local weather anomaly that dumped one metre of snow on its slopes earlier this month.

But springlike temperatures mean even here the snow line is far higher than usual. Neighbouring Tignes has excellent snow, but only on the Grande Motte glacier, with a thin ribbon of man-made taking you to Val Claret.

Val Thorens has opened this weekend, behind schedule, along with Ischgl in Austria, but both with a huge reliance on artificial snow.

The main glacial resorts that offer almost year-round skiing are in good shape. However a tour of webcams in lower resorts paints a picture closer to September than late November.

It must be said that the first major falls of winter occasionally don’t arrive until mid-December. A couple of storms would do much to ameliorate the situation overall and save Christmas.

However, because of the extraordinarily high autumn temperatures only the highest resorts, such as Cervinia and Zermatt, have been able to use their snow cannons – and then mainly at night.

The majority of lower-lying resorts remain surrounded by green meadows and their guns remained idle until the thermometer began to slide this week. The cannons only work when the air temperature is close to zero. At this time of year they would normally have been "farming" man-made snow for the past three weeks in preparation for their pre-Christmas opening.

The Swiss say that it hasn’t been this warm at altitude in November since 1864 – that’s seven months before Sir Edward Whymper conquered the Matterhorn.

In contrast, North America is experiencing an excellent start to the season, with Whistler in superb condition and Vail up and running in time for Thanksgiving. In Europe, my advice is don’t panic. A week is a long time in the mountains and the situation can change rapidly. But if you’re planning on a pre-Christmas trip next week to a non-glacial resort, pack your golf clubs.

Peter Hardy.. Telegraph

Posted on 02/12/2011


APRES SKI IN NORTH AMERICA

An often asked question for ski holidays in North America is about the Apres Ski, but often by people who’s knowledge of apres ski is limited to France,Italy or Switzerland.Generally apres ski is superior in most American and Canadian resorts to that of most of Europe, but nothing can compare to Austria, so if its apres skis you are really after then you wont beat Saalbach,Soll,St Anton,Ischgl,Kitzbuhel etc.Often here apres ski starts just after lunch!! But if you want to know the best ski areas in America for apres ski then here goes, with a little help from thre Ski Magazine reviews in America, but our vote for the best Apres Ski bar goes to the 39 Degree bar at the Sky Hotel in Aspen.

And the winners are....1.Whistler.2 Aspen.3 Vail.4 Park City.5 Heavenly.6 Breckenridge. 7 Banff. 8 Telluride. 9 Steamboat.10.Sun Valley.......Enjoy.

Posted on 02/11/2011


Breckenridge Comment

We tried Breck last winter following the bus debacle at Banff, where we had skied for 7 winters. Suffice to say Breckenridge was outstanding in every way, helped enormously by the fabulous condition. Yes there are no sustained steeps but we didnt miss them and it had the added bonus of keeping the boarders away!!. Fantastic grooming, excellent nightlife (cheap too compared to Canada - although the basic holiday was a little more expensive, we spent less there, and overall the cost was lower than Canada), excellent lifts, endless sunshine, cute town (well - for the US anyway). My main worry before going was the altitude - as a moderately fit 44 year old with a few spare pounds and a smoker to boot - but we hardly noticed it, except for a couple if nights of mild insommnia at the beggining. Go there, you will not be disappointed. (Independent skier)

Posted on 01/11/2011


Breckenridge

Breckenridge was 50 years old in2012, so not exactly old for a ski resort.

We have visited Breckenridge a few times and love skiing the significant terrain and finding new areas,courtesy of our colleagues who live there. There is loads of varied terrain, enough to keep the most diverse group of skiers happy with the gentle beginners slopes close to the town to the amazing cruisers and rollers off the Independence Super Chair over on Peak 8. The Imperial Super Chair drops you just shy of 13,000ft above sea level (highest lift access in Continental America) to access some incredible terrain, even for an intermediate skier or boarder, but the double diamond skiing from here is even better!

Once the slopes are closed Breckenridge really comes alive with some great bars and restaurants. You can have a relaxed meal for two or hit the town and party all night long.And the prices....five pints for 5 dollars (yes a dollar each)at 4pm in Park Avenue Tavern in April 2011.

To celebrate we have some truly unbeatable offers in Breckenridge with savings on accommodation AND ski hire and ski passes – but these offers all finish before you know it so you need to let us know what you want to do and book soon.....£266pp for a 2 week adult ski pass can’t be all that bad for powder.A veritable bargain.

Posted on 31/10/2011


Exchanging your money

A consumer watchdog says that UK travellers are being ripped off when they pay for their holiday money.

Consumers Focus has made a "super-complaint" to the Office of Fair Trading, claiming that complex charges and misleading information mean people are paying too much to exchange currency.

A "super-complaint" is one made by a watchdog organisation on behalf of consumers, which is fast-tracked by the OFT.

The consumers’ group wants to investigate three main areas where it says travellers are being short-changed.

Firstly, it says charges for using credit or debit cards abroad are complex and confusing, making it difficult for people to establish the full costs and to shop around.

Transactions at foreign ATMs can incur a charge of up to £4.50.

 

Secondly, banks and credit card companies charge cash withdrawal fees to buy travel money with a card in the UK. The customer’s fee is much higher than the cost to the provider.

And thirdly, the groups is complaining about the language of foreign currency exchange.

Phrases such as "0% commission" and "competitive exchange rates" are misleading because the exchange rates already include price mark-ups and so don’t come at zero cost, Consumer Focus says.

Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of Consumer Focus, told Sky News: "Almost half of us travel abroad every year and we face a confusing array of often hidden charges every time we buy currency.

"Converting £500 into euros can cost from under £10 to over £30 depending on where you switch your money.

 

"This is a huge difference for essentially providing the same service and typically banks offer the worst deals.

"Individuals buy holiday money infrequently and so may not shop around much or may just stick with the same supplier.

"A cocktail of confusing charges and poor transparency means collectively we are losing out in a big way. We are calling on the OFT to investigate and work with the industry to send these dubious and complex charges packing."

 

Posted on 21/09/2011


Canada - Cheap Ski Holidays are Calling

Canada is one of the most renowned ski destinations of the world. Known for its friendly people, excellent ski resorts, accommodation facilities that rival the best in the world, reliable snow and mountains that offer something for everyone.

Canada is packed with cheap resort destinations that bring the snow ski experience within reach of many ski lovers who otherwise won’t be able to afford it. Resorts like Whistler, positioned in the Rocky Mountains, and Banff, with its selection of cross country ski trains, offer not just luxury, but a price that is unmatched by any other resort destination of the world. The option of cheap ski holidays in Canada is something that attracts skiers even from Europe. The options has lured people also because not many can afford an expensive resort skiing due to recession that has affected millions world wide. Canada. One of the most beautiful county, is a must visit during winters.

Posted on 15/09/2011


Let it snow,Let it snow, Let it snowwww

It has been a tough year for the US with extreme weather affecting the entire continent, severe droughts in the south-west, 20ft waves battering the Californian coast and spring rains flooding the mid-west. There is a strange phenomenon behind it, "It’s deja-vu all over again," says NASA climatologist Bill Patzert. "Looking back over the last eight months we’ve definitely had weather whiplash and weather mayhem and much of this was due to the presence of La Niña."

While our thoughts are with those adversely affected by this phenomenon, we cannot refrain from sharing with you again that La Niña also brought more than 50ft of snow to the Sierra Nevada mountains last year. If the phenomenon returns - "temperatures at the equator are starting to drop and that really is the footprint of La Niña," Patzert says. "All the smart money is on a double bounce for La Niña," - it will be another fantastic ski season across America.

Posted on 09/09/2011


Jackson Hole Welcomes kids

 Jackson Hole offers a great deal for families with children 14 and under.

Each adult pass purchased qualifies for a free pass for a child up to age 14 ..all season.

So if you have children and want a classy resort with more or less guaranteed snow and great value..look no further than Jackson hole

Posted on 09/09/2011


Breckenridge Ski Pass Offer

Superb offer of £266 for an adult ski pass and £133 per child to ski ANY number of days in Beautiful Breckenridge in 2012/2013 with just new year mainly blacked out as well as Feb 16 and 17.For 10 days to 2 weeks thats such a deal for a resort where you never need to worry about the snow.

Posted on 09/09/2011


Aspen Ski Pass Offer

 Another great offer from Aspen and Snowmass.Ski 14 days and pay for 8.Applicable for ski hire too.Go on.Pick up the phone to Dare2ski and book!

Posted on 09/09/2011


Catered Chalets in America

Welcome to the world of amazing ski holidays. Dare2Ski is there to arrange some of the best customised ski holidays for you at some of the most amazing skiing destinations. Most travellers already know about Europe and its skiing traditions, but North America is the place to be for a more relaxing and rewarding vacation.

Apart from generally higher end self catered accommodations for less money compared to Europe,there are now several catered chalets in America and the facilities available in them are comparable to the best anywhere.These chalets apart from offering great value for money, provide an ideal home-like atmosphere and can accommodate as many as 24 people in one. Other than that, the word "catered" ensures you that you’ll be well fed and watered!.Book one for your party and enjoy your stay and forget the worries back home!

Posted on 03/09/2011


Ski Offers Galore at Dare2Ski

We all love discounts and there is nothing wrong in negotiating to get the best deals. Dare2ski is the world foremost ski holiday company and offers luxury and adventure holiday to Canada, USA, France, Austria and Switzerland.   

Most ski offers are subject to availability but if you can find one at the last minute then go for it. Dare2ski has simplified the complete booking process. The offers and other discounts can also be easily found on the website. So whether you are looking for a ski or snowboard, dare2ski gives you the complete package as an experience that will be hard to match and forget. We extend offers on over 100 resorts in different countries. The prices are updated daily for the cheap ski packages and hence the customers can be sure about finding the most exciting deals. Just be flexible and we’ll make sure you make it down the hill with your pockets filled.

Posted on 22/08/2011


Top Five Beginner Ski Resorts

You don’t know how to ski? Sitting in front of your computer surfing the net won’t help. Read the following post, pick up your ski gear and head to any of your nearest beginner ski resorts. My top 5 picks for you depending on facilities available for a beginner are:

Whistler -  Whistler, located close to Vancouver in Canada, is a classy resort open to people of all skill levels. An unforgettable destination, Whistler is one of the most famous ski resorts which provide you with impressive snow and incredible après.

La Plagne - Divided into 10 separate ski stations, La Plagne is located in a French Alpine area. It has several beginner ski areas, ski schools etc.

Obergurgl - This Austrian skiing village is located in the state of Tyrol & welcomes you to the 16 different easy to ski slopes. It’s located in the ski resort area of Gurgl/Hochgurgl.

Breckenridge - One of the best places to learn, Breckenridge ski resorts greets you with gentle slopes and availability of some very good ski schools in the Colorado region of USA.

Wengen - One of the most beautiful ski resorts & important luxury ski holidays destination in Europe, Wengen in Switzerland gives you plenty of options to learn and ski with your family.

Posted on 15/07/2011


The Talons Challenge Beaver Creek

For the 8th year, in Feb 2012 the Talons Challenge showcast the best steeps Beaver Creek has to offer. Over 24,000 vertical feet of Black Diamond and Double Black Diamond runs awaited those on Beaver Creek’s legendary World Cup Birds of Prey downhill course, Grouse Mountain, and in Larkspur Bowl. Many conquered all 13 runs in the one day and earned their spot on the Talon’s Wall-of-Fame.

The event, which is certainly not for wussies, is limited to the first 1,500 registrants.Last year’s registration sold out, so register early to make sure you secure your spot on around February 26th 2012 but exact dateTBA

Included in your $20 registration fee are a free Bratwurst and either a Bud Light or a non-alcoholic beverage. All finishers will receive a Talons Challenge cap and a commemorative Talons pin.

A portion of proceeds from the event will be donated to SOS Outreach. SOS Outreach provides 5,500 kids with an adventure based youth development curriculum.Come out for a great ski holiday on the mountain and help make a difference in the lives of youths, whilst ensuring that you complete the serious activity of the Talons Challenge, which is establishing itself as one of THE best ski days to be in the USA.

Posted on 11/07/2011


SKI RESORT TRANSFERS

New addition to the site is that you can now check out and book our great rates for transfers from most European airports to your ski resort but if your resort or airport isn’t on the site please email and we will do our best to help.

Posted on 15/06/2011


VAIL RESORTS SKI PASS

Ski Vail,Beaver Creek,Breckenridge,Arapahoe and Keystone for as long as you want for only £395 for the season or £255 for Breckenridge,Keystone and Arapahoe only.The latter pass has a blackout date over New Year but the Epic Pass has no restrictions.

Posted on 23/05/2011


WINTER PARK FREE SKIING FOR KIDS

Winter Park Resort have announced the “Kids Ski Free” programme for the 2011-2012 season.

1 free child (ages 6-12) lift ticket when 1 adult ticket is purchased

Dates include February 11-18, 2012 (half-term) and March 31 – April 7, 2012 (Easter break)

Must be booked with Zephyr Mountain Lodge, Fraser Crossing/Founders Pointe, Vintage Hotel, Winter Park Mountain Lodge and is only valid in the UK market. Available with the 2-resort TRIP Pass, including Steamboat.

Posted on 19/05/2011


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