Ski Holiday Without Reservations? Spontaneous is good. Planning is better.

(c) TVB Pitztal

To organise a ski holiday can often be difficult. A common question in many online forums is: where are rooms available? Therefore, there are a few points to consider when you are planning your trip:

  • During which period do you wish to stay?
  • When will you arrive?
  • How long will you stay?
  • How many people are you travelling with?

We would like to give you a few tips so that you can plan your perfect holiday. In addition to our tips, it is always a good idea to contact the appropriate tourism offices.

Booking during high or low season?

In Tirol during winter there is always a noticeable price difference between these two periods. High season consists of Christmas, Easter and School Holidays. Pre-Christmas, January and after Easter (provided the area is still open) is considered low season.  As the amount of guests during high season is greater, we recommend that you book well in advance, especially if you are traveling with a large group. Many rental properties have regular guests, which reduces the amount of rooms available.

When will you arrive?

Saturday has long been established as the arrival and departure day. Although guests generally do not stay as long during their ski holidays, this hasn’t changed a great deal. This is partly due to the family-run businesses in the ski industry where everyone (has to) work together on a Saturday so that the change over runs as smoothly as possible. If a property were to receive three requests for the same week arriving on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Saturday booking would get the room.

Due to this, it is often difficult to book a ‘long weekend’ (Thursday-Sunday or Friday-Monday) stay as the properties would potentially lose two weeks of reservations not to mention the added work it would be for them.

How long will you stay?

The longer you wish to stay, the earlier you should try to book your accommodation. If you plan to stay for a longer period then low season would be a perfect time for you. In the case that you are unable to find accommodation for an extended period, you should ask the hotel if they are able to recommend another property. In Tirolean ski towns everyone knows each other and they are always willing to help you, where possible, with your holiday requests.

How many people are you travelling with?

If you are travelling with a large group and want to all stay in the same accommodation then you would need to plan and book in advance. However, due to the small size of most ski towns, it is also possible to be spread across a few different houses and still be walking distance to one another.

Ski holiday without reservations?

Earlier (approximately 15 years ago) it was normal for guests to go from house to house to look at the style of accommodation before making a booking. However, thanks to modern technology, this is no longer necessary. Everything is now readily available and viewable online either through the local tourist office or other online vendors. It is normally possible to still get a room when an area is sold out as there are always last minute cancellations due to illness, injury and the like. Naturally, this is easier during the low season. As many resorts are often located close to one another, you can always stay in a neighbouring area. The likelihood that you would not be able to find a room is very small. There are always alternatives when everywhere is fully booked (e.g. sauna, drying room…); however, this is not recommended for children.

In the case that all available rooms are above your price range, there is still another possibility; take a few extra runs and try to score a deal later. Without risk there is no reward.

Our recommendation is to book in advance. Should you not have booked but the snow and weather is good, you can always go and take your chances.

How long in advance do you book your holiday? Have you already taken a spontaneous, reservation-free winter vacation?


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