Ski trips are not exactly regarded as cheap holidays. There are a lot of elements that can cost a lot of money, but there are a few ways you can enjoy your ski trip on a tighter budget.
In this article, we will give you some top tips on how to reduce your spending while still having a fantastic winter holiday.
1. Choose Your Resort Carefully
Some world-famous ski resorts are known for their luxury, glitz, and glamour. Choosing a less fancy ski resort is a lot kinder to your bank account. The other advantage of visiting these less glamorous ski resorts is that they are often quieter. This means you can avoid lengthy lift queues, busy slopes and packed restaurants.
French ski resorts such as Val D’Isere, Courcheval, and Megeve, are all excellent but pricy. Instead, why not choose Tignes, Flaine, Les Deux Alpes or Montgenevre? All of these resorts have great ski areas and lots of amenities.
Heading over to Italy will allow you to have a fantastic ski trip for a fraction of the price of other European destinations. For example, Bardonecchia is a superb family-friendly Italian ski resort that won’t break the bank.
Alternatively, Bansko in Bulgaria is a great destination for skiers on a budget. You can’t expect too many frills, but it may be precisely what you are looking for to get your low-cost snow fix.
It is worth noting at this point that resorts at higher altitudes tend to be more expensive too. They charge a premium as the snow cover is more reliable. But if you usually stay on the pistes, you will be fine in one of the many low altitude resorts.
2. Plan When You Go On Your Ski Trip
Different times of the season are more expensive than others. Peak weeks, such as Christmas and school holidays, are the most expensive times to travel. If you can avoid these weeks, you will reduce the cost of your accommodation and travel. Many ski holiday providers reduce their prices at the end of the season.
You are unlikely to score fresh powder tracks during these springtime weeks, but they do offer a different kind of ski trip. Think mild temperatures, more daylight hours, sun drenched aprés and soft, slushy snow. Some ski resorts open before Christmas. These early weeks are often heavily discounted, but snow quality can be hit and miss. Also, lower altitude ski resorts can get a lot of rain at this time.
3. Consider Your Accommodation Options
For a ski trip on a budget, you will want to avoid staying in a hotel which are often extremely expensive, but you still have a couple of excellent options:
Catered chalets range from basic to super posh. The advantage of staying in a catered chalet is that most of your meals are included.
Your chalet hosts will cook your breakfast and evening meals throughout your stay. They will have one or two nights off, where you will have to go out, but a catered chalet is a great way of sticking to a budget.
Self Catered Accommodation
When you stay in a self-catered property, you can cook for yourself or go out. Cooking yourself is the cheapest option, but you need to remember that you have to go shopping and then get your food to where you are staying, which can be tricky if you haven’t got a car with you.
Eating out is expensive in a ski resort, but you don’t have to eat extravagant meals every day. Many restaurants in ski resorts now do deliveries and takeaways, so you can still eat well with minimal effort.
4. Rent Your Equipment
You don’t need to buy your own skis and snowboards for your trip. You can save lots of money by renting your equipment in the resort.
Ski hire shops are much better than they used to be, as they have quality and up to date equipment. Some hire shops even bring ski and snowboard equipment to your accommodation. All you need to do is fill in an online form, and they will fit you with the right gear when you arrive at your chalet or apartment.
Another advantage of renting your equipment is that you don’t have to pay for excess baggage or lug more heavy bags through the airport, making travelling easier and cheaper. However, if you plan to ski or snowboard regularly, it will be better to buy your own equipment. Owning your equipment will be cheaper in the long run; you will get used to it, and it will perfectly suit your needs and ability.
Some companies rent clothing too, which is great for first-timers and means you will need less luggage space for your bulky clothes. Check online for ski clothing hire in your chosen resort.
5. Look For Lift Pass Deals
Your accommodation provider may offer you lift passes. This is great, as they will be ready for you when you arrive, so you don’t have to queue up on your first morning to buy them. They may also be discounted, which will save you money. However, they may not be able to offer discounts on all types of lift passes, so it is worth researching what is available.
Some ski resorts offer family passes or parent passes. Parent passes are ideal for parents taking turns looking after the kids, as two people can use the same pass. You may find that kids under a certain age can ski for free, while others have free ski lifts for beginners.
You won’t need a full area lift pass if you are a family or new to skiing. These passes give you access to miles and miles of slopes, but if you are just learning, you won’t make use of them. Therefore, go for a local area pass, which will be significantly cheaper.
6. Look For Happy Hours
Drinks in ski resorts are not cheap, but you can save lots of money by finding bars that do happy hours. Usually, these bars have cheaper drinks from 4 to 6 pm, often accompanied by live music or DJs to get people in. These are the best bars, and you will find that locals and seasonal workers frequent them.
You can’t go on a ski trip without putting your hand in your pocket, but there are several ways to reduce the prices. All you need is a little inside information and to do some homework. Ski trips don’t have to be wall to wall luxury to have fun. As long as you have all the equipment, a comfortable place to stay, can get on the mountain and enjoy some aprés you can still have an amazing time.
(This article has been outsourced and written by an expert in ski holidays)