When booking a ski trip to Europe you have a couple of options available. You can do it the easy way and go with a group, or you can book your own travel arrangements and plan your trip at your convenience.
Go With a Ski Group Tour
If you think making your own arrangements for a ski trip to Europe is a hassle rather than an adventure, consider a group tour. If you go with a group (and there are tours where singles and couples are welcome to join a larger group) they will make all the arrangements for you - airfare, lodging, meals, lift tickets, and ski equipment.
Start With Ski Snowboard Europe
When you want to make your own travel arrangements and go it alone, Charlie Leocha's Ski Snowboard Europe, takes the guess work out of finding a European resort or village that fits your fancy, your skiing, and your budget. Skiing in Europe can vary from old established villages where the surrounding mountains have been developed for skiing to skiing-built modern venues of hotels, condos, and apartments.
Take some time to review the book and the Ski Snowboard Europe web site to get an idea of which location strikes your fancy.
Check the Tourism Web Sites
Once you've narrowed a location, check to see if there is a local tourism site, where you can book hotels and get more information on the area. For example, the Val d'Isere web site has information on the mountain, activities, hotels, and apartments. Sites are typically available in English as well as several other languages.
Check the Book and the Hotel Web Site
Review the hotel descriptions in Ski Snowboard Europe to get an idea of which hotels you might want to stay at. Then, check the hotel web site (most have a button to click for an English version) to see what amenities they offer i.e. internet access, shuttle to the slopes, proximity to town, etc.
Booking a Hotel
There are several options for booking a hotel. You may be able to book through the tourism web site. You can also call or email the hotel. Calling isn't a problem - most reception staff speak English. Emailing is a good option, too.
If you're lucky, your hotel will take a credit card for the deposit. If not, you may have to wire a deposit. The hotel will give you their bank account information and your local bank can wire the deposit (in Euros) to Europe. Keep in mind that it can take up to a week for the funds to arrive.
Internet access is always important for me when I travel to Europe. It varies, so ask specifically about wireless internet and the location in the hotel. Some hotels have wi-fi in the rooms, others only in the lobby or bar, or not at all.
Booking airfare is one of the easiest parts of planning your ski trip to Europe. Book directly through the airline or use one of the travel sites. If you have a connecting flight coming home, keep in mind that you'll have to go through customs in the U.S. airport you arrive in, so give yourself plenty of time in between flights.
I usually rent a car online via Hertz or one of the other American car rental companies. Be sure to request a ski-equipped car. Also, you may need an international driving permit, depending on which countries you are visiting.
Hire a Guide
In most European resorts, you can choose from a variety of certified guide services. Ski instructors are mostly locals well familiar with the area and can be hired out for day trips.
Megeve, France Travel Tips
Here are travel trips specifically for getting to and from Megeve, France from Geneva. However, they will work for elsewhere in France, as well.
Europe Travel 101
A timeline for planning your first trip to Europe from the About.com Guide to Europe. What paperwork you need to take care of, what to bring, transportation and accommodation planning and more.