Alps sunshine, skiing on fresh snow, what more could you want from your ski holiday? There’s nothing quite like being in the mountains, but it is one of those holidays that can end up being a little pricy. Want to enjoy skiing without breaking the bank? We’ve got tips so that you can have a great ski holiday on a budget.
Budget Ski Holiday
Factor it all the expenses
First of all, you have to consider the necessities that you have to get, which include lift passes, accommodation, and travel, and those that are a little more flexible such as equipment hire. Making a realistic budget is also a good idea, and confirming who you are going with and when.
Package holidays may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but there is no denying that they are a convenient way to travel. Many ski package holidays include flights and transfer, accommodation, lift pass, and even equipment hire. This not only saves you time but since the tour operators usually have agreements with the hire companies, it gets you the best deal.
Find the cheapest way to get there
If you are able to drive, and car-sharing is a viable option. This can be a great way to save money too, although it is recommended that you work out the fuel costs versus flight costs. In addition to this, many European roads (particularly France) feature extensive road toll systems for the major motorways, so research the costs for this too. One of the major advantages of driving is that you are not as limited as to the amount of equipment and luggage that you will be able to bring.
If you decide to drive or book your own flights, then this also leaves you more flexible and open to accommodation and ski pass deals only, which can sometimes be a real bargain. It can be boring, but sitting down and working out the best deal for you is well worth the time and savings.
Book last minute ski holidays…or just get organised
Last-minute deals can be a perfect way to nab yourself your dream ski holiday on a budget. Hanging on to for a bargain deal can be a little risky of course. If your travel partners and you like to live life on the edge, you can save yourself money this way.
If you’re the more organised type and set on your dates, then look into smaller resorts or end of season deals.
- Small resorts can be just as fun and are ideal if you’re a group of mixed levels since you’ll be able to find and locate each other more easily. Food and drink prices in resort will be cheaper, as will lift passes and accommodation.
- End of season deals can be a steal, and as long as you don’t mind spring snow, skiing in just a t-shirt and salopettes is living the dream!
As a rule of thumb, the more people that are going on the trip, the cheaper it’ll be in terms of accommodation, so if you can bear to get organised with a big group of people, the better. It’s always fun to have the mountain filled with friends anyway. It is also a great way to ensure that even if you are a group of different skiing abilities, you can still look after each other on the slopes.
Weigh up all the pros & cons of accommodation options
Most budget accommodation tends to be self-catered, which can really help to keep costs down. Eating pasta and rice for a week is an easy price to pay when you get to look out of your windows and see the pistes. If you are a serious skier and don’t mind skiing with a backpack, pack a picnic. It’s not only a great way to save some pennies but will maximize your time on the slopes too.
Weighing up and working out the cost of hiring or bringing your own equipment is a good idea too. As mentioned above, many ski holiday package deals include the cost of equipment hire, and especially if you are flying, this can work out much cheaper than bringing your own. Even if you’re driving, if space is tight, then hiring can still be the more practical option – you could always bring your own ski boots.
Steer clear of tempting new gear purchases
Many people can go a little overboard when it comes to buying new holiday clothes. And ski clothing can tend towards the pricier side. Before buying yourself those super cool but super expensive new goggles, ask yourself if you really need them. And if you don’t have a vital piece of equipment, chances are you have a friend or know somebody that wouldn’t mind lending you their helmet or ski jacket for a week. Ski fashions come and go so don’t worry about them too much – you’re there for the sport after all.
With a little forethought and some pre-planning, you can really enjoy a fantastic budget ski holiday without having to scrimp too much. As long as you’ve got snow, skis and the mountains, what more can you want?! Happy skiing!
Want to find out which ski resorts are the most budget-friendly? Check out our Ski Resort Guides for absolutely everything you need to know about our resorts.