If you're planning a long getaway to a ski resort in the French Alps as part of a gap break, you'll want to make sure you have everything organised, from choosing an area suitable for your abilities to finding the cheapest lift passes to use during your getaway.
The French Alps are a popular choice for skiers and have built up a solid reputation as one of the world's best locations for winter sports over the years. The area is renowned for its reliable snowfall and variety of skiing areas, as well as ease of travel from the UK, with more than 200,000 Britons visiting the destination every year.
When organising your time here, you'll want to make sure you choose the right ski resort for you, so give some thought to whether you'd like to be based in a modern ski-in, ski-out type of settlement or something more traditional in a village.
Among the most popular locations for French Alps skiing are the Three Valleys, which comprise eight resorts including Meribel, St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires. Other well-known spots include Val d'Isere and Chamonix.
Before you book a break in any of these locations, you'll want to do some research to find out what each resort will offer. Meribel caters for all types of skier, from beginner to advanced, offering 375 miles of linked piste and connections to Courchevel and Val Thorens, as well as ultra-modern lifts.
St Martin de Belleville, meanwhile, is a charming traditional village that also offers excellent skiing for all ability levels, as well as cross country skiing and 270 snow cannons. The ski chalets here are wooden and authentic, giving you a real feel for France during your stay.
Not far from here is Les Menuires - a quiet base split into six areas, all of which are connected by shuttle bus. As well as skiing, the area offers great facilities for snowshoeing, swimming, tobogganing and ice-skating.
Chamonix, situated at the foot of Mont Blanc, and Val d'Isere cater well for advanced skiers. Both resorts are extremely popular, the former for its exquisite environmental setting and the latter for its cosmopolitan ambience and excellent snow record.
You'll also want to think about whether you want to get involved in lively apres ski events, or would prefer quieter evenings in your chalet by a warm fire. There are plenty of resorts offering the chance to mingle in bars and clubs until the small hours if you want to meet new people and have a good time dancing the night away.
Before you book in to your chalet, check approximate transfer times - especially if you plan to travel to other parts of France either before or after your time in the Alps. It's also worth comparing the prices for lift passes before you travel, as you might be able to pre-book a pass at a lower cost than buying it when you arrive. You might not need a full area pass, so give some thought to how much skiing you plan to do and whether you want to call in at different areas.
If you follow these tips, you can rest assured you'll have selected the right place for your time in the French Alps and are prepared to enjoy your gap break to the fullest.