How to save money when going on a skiing holiday

money-saving-tips-for-next-ski-holidaySummer is officially over and the ski season is rapidly approaching.  With the drop in temperatures, the days are getting shorter and the nights longer, many people feel tired and depressed and lose their mojo.   Now is the time to dust off the ski gear and make plans for your next skiing / snowboarding trip.   Something to look forward to is a great way of boosting your mood and breaking the monotony of everyday life.   For those who regularly hit the slopes, it’s usually around now that the winter snow withdrawal symptoms really kick in.

Winter holidays are not just limited to skiing, hiking or snowboarding, there are a huge number of activities available.   Relaxing in the hot tub with a cold beer,  shopping trips, sampling the local cuisine, local excursions to name but a few.   Popular North American resorts and European resorts such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France are easily accessible with flights from the UK.   The following sections look at how you can save some money when going on a skiing holiday.

When to book?

Most tour operators offer Early Bird offers where substantial savings can be made if you book earlier enough.   Typically this involves booking a good 6-12 months in advance.

early-bird-ski-offers

If you can be flexible with booking time off work, then booking late can get you some great last minute travel deals from London.  Airlines and tour operators will typically sell off the last few remaining tickets at a cheap prices.  Some discounted packages are also available where your accommodation is allocated on arrival – if you are prepared to take a gamble then big savings can be made.

Saving on food

A hearty meal is well deserved after a day on the slopes,  chalet food and resort restaurants are typically excellent, but if your on a budget then you should consider going self catering and booking something with a kitchenette.  This especially works well if you are in a large group as you can take turns on who cooks each night.   You also have the option to make your own pack lunches to save on the very expensive slope side cafes and restaurants.

Eating out in restaurants every night can get very expensive, but you can easily  save money with food vouchers which can be found on Groupon’s website.

Purchasing your own equipment

For beginners it is recommended you hire your gear.   Typically ski operators will allow you to hire gear as part of the initial booking,  I often find this can save a lot of money compared to hiring in the actual resort.    The same goes for purchasing the ski pass.   It’s also possible to hire your equipment in the UK and take out with you  (I suggest you try it out at a local snowdome first to ensure correct sizing and comfort).

Once you get bitten by the winter ski bug,  it is a good idea to invest in your own equipment.  The costs can soon add up if you rent year on year.   A good set of ski’s and boots can last many seasons and will likely be far more comfortable and higher performance vs what is available to hire.   Just make sure you check the airlines policy with regards to oversized luggage and any charges that apply.

Family-Skiing-money-saving-tips

You don’t have to fly

With an average journey time of 10-12 hours to the Alps, is often a cheaper option for families to drive rather than flying.  Having a car also means you can save money by stocking up at large supermarkets outside the resort.  Another option is to use the snow train, operated by Rail Europe and Eurostar which runs from St Pancras International to six stations in the French Alps.

Stay Low

Typically the closer you are to a ski lift the more you will pay for your accommodation.   If you stay in the low-valley area and drive or bus up to the ski area, you will make big savings.  Whenever I’ve been to Banff in Canada, we always stayed in the the town of Banff and then got a bus to the local hills (Sunshine and Lake Louise), which was much cheaper than staying on the hill itself.

Learn the basics

To maximise your enjoyment on your first skiing holiday, I recommend getting some lessons at your local ski slope or snowdome.   The initial first few days can often be painful when learning to ski or snowboard –  the sooner you master the basics the sooner you can start to enjoy the slopes.

powder-skiing-money-saving-tips

Get your Currency before you go.

Never leave it the last minute to get your currency.   Changing money at the airport is a mugs game,  you will get much better rates if you shop around and purchase in advance.  Be sure to check out the commission rates on currency exchange and credit cards when changing money abroad.  Some debit cards are commission free on foreign purchases.

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