When should I book?

Generally the earlier the better. Airline and accommodation costs only increase throughout the year. The best Early Bird offers usually finish by end June too. Plus the best accommodation and airfares sell out during busy periods such as Christmas and early January. In order to the get best rate at the hotel you want, it is recommended you book sooner rather than later.

Should I book ski school or lift tickets prior to departure?

Definitely. Quite often we can obtain a package discount by bundling lessons and lift passes with accommodation in a resort. Or some lift tickets often an Early Bird or pre-purchase discount. Ski school particularly can sell out during peak times eg. Whistler in early January, so pre-booking lessons is essential.

Do I need a visa?

Yes for Canada and USA. Click here to obtain your visa at least 30 days prior to departure:

Japan is visa-free for up to a 90 day stay.

What happens if the currency fluctuates?

Please note all international bookings are subject price change due to currency fluctuations and airline tax increases. Package prices will be revised at time of full payment. To minimise these changes, Blue Powder Travel recommends all bookings are paid as soon as confirmation is received to avoid any increases.

What is Blue Powder Travel’s Cancellation Policy?

Please be aware before paying for your holiday that a strict Airline and Supplier cancellation policy exist. Deposits are 100% non-refundable. All bookings cancelled within 60 Days of travel are non-refundable. However, some packages and flights and non-refundable regardless on when cancelled. Pls check with your consultant for full details.

What do I need to pack?

Have you packed your passport, chargers, goggles? To make sure you have the trip of a lifetime print out our ultimate pack list to ensure nothing gets left behind.

Is there a chance I will get altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness is caused by low oxygen levels which may occur 2500m+ above sea level. It can affect anyone, and age or physical fitness will have little bearing on whether you suffer from it. The height of the resort above sea level and the time taken to ascend can have an impact.

Symptoms may be dizziness, headaches, nausea (like being hungover) and shortness of breath with strenuous exercise. Avoiding alcohol in the first 24-48 hours plus plenty of rest, fluids and headache medication are the best forms of treatment.  Ascending slowly to a resort is the optimal way to prevent altitude sickness, climbing no more than 2500m above sea level on the first day of travel.

Resorts such as; Aspen Snowmass, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Mammoth, Telluride and Winter Park sit above 2500m.

What happens if something goes wrong overseas?

Your first port of call is always your airline, resort staff, hotel or insurance agent who on most occasions, can provide you with an immediate solution. However if this is not adequate, pls contact your Blue Powder travel agent or call one of our emergency numbers.

Click here for more information on Traveller Support.

What is the tipping etiquette in USA/Canada/Japan?

USA

This can be daunting to many Australians as the tipping etiquette is quite different. Generally, US service staff are paid a very low hourly rate so rely on tips as an essential part of their wage. The general rule of thumb is to add 15-20% (pre-tax) for any services.

Restaurant/Cafes: 15-20% should be added to the bill (before sales tax). Add an extra 5% for really fabulous service. If the bill already states ‘gratuity included or mandatory gratuity’ (sometimes this is added automatically by restaurant if it’s a large groups or for public holidays) you do not need to pay a tip.

Bars: tip $USD1 per drink

Porters: tip $USD1-2 per bag

Other Services: tip around 15-20% for services such as taxis, hairdressers, beauty therapists, food delivery/room service, tour guides. Ski instructors should be tipped 10% for private clients and 15% for adult groups. Housekeeping $2-$5 per night, $5-10 for concierge if they have performed a service. Hotel transfer drivers are tipped around $10-$20.

Canada

Canada mirrors the US in tipping etiquette but as their hourly rates are slightly higher the tipping about is slightly less.

Restaurant/Cafes: 15-20% pre tax

Bars: tip $1 per drink

Porters: tip $1-2 per bag

Other Services: tip around 10-15% for services such as taxis, hairdressers, beauty therapists, food delivery/room service, tour guides. Housekeeping $2-$3 per night, $5-10 for concierge if they have performed a service. Hotel transfer drivers are tipped around $10-$20.

Japan

Tipping is not required in Japan and can even be considered rude. The only exception is if someone has performed outstanding service. It is then customary to treat it like a gift, sealing the money in a decorative envelope before handing it to the recipient with a slight bow.

Reviews
Emma Bennett

Another fantastic trip to Japan, booked through Blue Powder. This is the third year we have used them - always great service and communication Nothing too much hassle. Would highly recommend!!

John Poulton

Drew from BPT has been looking after us for our ski trips for the last 10 years. Always does a fantastic job. This year was Big Sky Montana. A resort very worth a visit,offering a wide range of skiing options from gentle greens to savage, steep [and often pretty ugly] double blacks.

Gary Pearce

Just returned from our 4th overseas ski holiday booked through Melissa at Blue Powder. We could not be happier with the service provided by Melissa. Also great prices on flights and accommodation. We will be booking again in the near future.

David O'Connor

Just completed our third trip booked through Blue Powder and will continue to use them every year. We no longer bother to research the details, simply select a location and call Drew to sort it all out for us. Fantastic service.

Mike Woods

Have been with Mike since our first overseas family ski trip almost 15 years ago when Mike was working out of INSKI in the city. Great knowledge, service and advice. Keep on doing that voodoo that you do so well. Powder to the people!

Phil Kells

Just did a Big White trip with the family booked through Michael and Blue Powder Tours. Great trip - accomodation and everything was just as Micheal described. Nothing was ever too much trouble. Book your next trip through these guys!