Variations across the Alps
It is typical in the French, Swiss and Austrian Alps to take half-board at huts. This means that your bunk, your dinner and your breakfast come as one package - but not drinks or lunch. At dinner and breakfast, everyone eats the same, or chooses from one or two options, in effect a set menu. In Italian and Slovenian huts it's more common to choose dinner and breakfast dishes from the menu, and pay accordingly.
Alpine Exploratory trips include bunk, dinner and breakfast at all huts, except for Slovenia. In Italy, if a hut has choices from the menu then it's a free choice for our clients.
If you have a hut reciprocal rights card (through the Austrian Alpine Club, British Mountaineering Council or other organisation) please let us know: huts normally give a discount on the dorm/room fees, not food or drink, of around one third. On most of our treks including the Tour du Mont Blanc and Walker's Haute Route, all or most huts are private or don't accept cards that aren't of your own national mountaineering association. However, in Slovenia and Austria we are able to reduce your price by the amount of these reductions, and we'll let you know the exact amount as we go through your booking process.
Paying in Slovenia
In Slovenia, there is no mechanism to pay the huts apart from cash during the stay, so we ask self-guided clients to pay their wardens directly for everything. We still make the reservations, we advise on how many euros to take up to the huts, and we reflect this in the trip price. On our guided Slovenian trips, of course your leader pays for the group.
Not so much in the Alps, but in some huts of Eastern Europe, there is a convention of not eating more than one's fair share. This is in recognition of supplies coming either via helicopter or on someone's back. In contrast, portions in the Alps are often plentiful and you might be surprised by how elaborate some meals are!