Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to book?

To make sure you get your preferred travel dates and accommodation - especially during peak travel periods, such as Christmas / New Year period, Chinese New Year period (Japan Resorts only), Presidents Weekend (USA only) - book as early as possible. We also have some great 'Early Bird' specials for the major resorts - the best deals usually have a June 30 book by date.

Do I need to pre-book Ski School?

We strongly recommend that you book lessons in advance at all times. At peak times during the season - the Christmas / New Year period, Chinese New Year period (Japan Resorts only), Presidents Weekend (USA only) - pre-bookings are essential.

Should I purchase lift tickets in advance?

We highly recommend buying lift tickets for the USA and Canada resorts as there are significant cost savings - up to 55% off the ticket window price. Many of our specials are not available in resort so pre-booking is essential.

Will I get Altitude sickness?

Everyone is different. Some people do not get Altitude sickness on their first few trips but get it on then fourth. We recommend drinking LOTS of water and ascend slowly if you can and acclimatize at a moderate elevation before proceeding to a high altitude. For the first few days try to take it relatively easy and minimise alcohol intake.

Which resort should I go to?

This is a hard one to answer and everyone will have different opinions. A good way to figure out which one is the best for you is to read through the mountain statistics, facilities and features of each mountain. See our Destination pages for help or talk to our friendly staff about which mountain would suit you best.

Do I need to hire a car?

We recommend that you ask your Travelplan consultant as there are a number of factors to consider e.g. number of travellers in your party and proximity of the resort to the airport. Most resorts offer transportation to and from the nearest airport.

What is the best time to travel for snow quality and low rates?

Every year we get asked when is the best time to go skiing. It is impossible to know months ahead of time if the snow is going to be amazing on the particular dates you have selected. The conditions at some resorts peak in mid-January, while others peak in February and in March.

For the lowest rates, early season (December – prior to Christmas) or late season (April) will offer the greatest deals. These can be great times to visit a ski resort as the slopes are quiet, but keep in mind that big powder days can be hit and miss. Good bargains for North American can also be found mid-January with great accommodation rates/ specials and low season airfares. Late March/ early April offers good spring skiing with lower accommodation rates but increased airfare rates.

For Japan- March offers the best accommodation rates and lowest airfares.

Can I hire equipment & clothing at overseas resorts?

Equipment rental is highly recommended, and Travelplan can assist with pre-booking for the best possible discount. Travelling with skis and snowboards has become increasingly difficult with more restrictive and expensive airline baggage rules. Also whilst ski areas are accustomed to handling skis, you may find hotels and transport in stopover cities are not.

Hiring ski clothing is less common at overseas resorts. If you are planning to not purchase ski clothing, we recommend checking such services are available.

What is the tipping etiquette and US and Canadian ski resorts?

Tipping can be a little foreign and often awkward for Australians however in the US & Canada tipping is required. So who should you tip?

  • Restaurants/Bars/Cafes - with table service: 15 - 20% is the standard, depending on the service.
  • Hotels: Tip porters ($2 or $3 per bag), concierge ($10 - $20 per favour), housekeepers ($5 per day), ski valet/ ski concierge ($2-$5 per day) - everyone that provides a service in a hotel.
  • Instructors/guides: Instructors and ski guides should be tipped 20%.
  • Babysitter: 15-20% especially if dealing with multiple kids.
  • Drivers: Taxi drivers get 10-15% and guides $10-15 per person per day.

What gear do I need for the slopes?

  • Base layer- thermal top and pants and ski/boat socks
  • Second layer- fleece jacket or jumper, waterproof pants
  • Outer layer- Waterproof jacket, beanie, helmet (recommended), goggles, warm gloves or mittens
  • Correctly fitted boots and skis/snowboards
  • High SPF Sunscreen