There is a general and collective groan when it comes to talking about skiing holidays: “They are expensive.”
Many of us just accept that we will blow around £1,000 for a week of skiing in Europe but if you’re a couple or a family, the total cost can knock a big dent into your annual income.
Fortunately there are ways to keep the cost of a skiing holiday down.
If you have flexibility on the times that you can go on holiday and you’re willing to look at a range of resorts, you could easily knock hundreds of pounds off the cost of a week on the slopes.
Here’s 8 top tips for ski holidays on a budget from our guest blogger, Rob Simon.
1. Buy ski wear in the sales:
Many ski shops have pre-season or end of season sales. This is the best time to bag a bargain on your ski wear.
2. Go by train
A train journey to Europe’s mountains – if you live in England – can save money and will also take you much closer to the slopes so you will cut out the need for costly transfers from airports. There are many more train services to the Alps on offer these days.
3. Avoid school holidays
The price of a ski holiday suddenly goes up as soon as the UK schools are on holiday, as demand for these dates is so much higher than at other times in the season.
This means that the weeks of Christmas, New Year, February half-term and Easter are pricier than “school term” weeks. If you do not have children, the non-holiday weeks are the ones to book.
4. School holiday deals
If you have kids – and a ski holiday is a great family trip – book your vacation as early as possible and take advantage of “kids go fee” incentives, such as those from Crystal Ski.
5. Sign up to ski holiday email alerts
As the ski season approaches you will find that many ski holiday companies are looking to fill up their charter flights, hotels and chalets. They will send out last-minute deals by email. If you are able to take up last-minute holidays you could grab yourself a great bargain.
If you’re on Twitter, follow accounts like @SkidealsUK for the latest price drops and special offer from the big UK ski operators.
— SkiDeals (@SkiDealsUK) November 15, 2012
6. Budget conscious resorts
Resorts such as Courchevel 1300 (now known as La Praz), La Tania, Les Menuires in the Alps might not be the hottest choice for the rich and famous, but they offer budget priced accommodation that is still close to great skiing. We know these resorts are great value because we have stayed at them.
7. Early or late season
Take a chance and head to the slopes at the start or end of the ski season in Europe.
Make sure you book a high resort or one that is more snow-sure (eg go for a resort with a glacier and snow-making) and you’ll still enjoy a week of great skiing but at a time when prices are far lower.
Find out more about early or late season skiing:
8. Stay and drive
Booking accommodation that is half an hour back down the valley can save a lot of money. Many of these villages also have ski bus or lift connections to the main resorts but if not, consider hiring a car for the week. What you save on accommodation will easily allow for car hire and we bet you’ll still have money left over for a few Vin Chauds each day.
This guest blog was written by Rob Simon.
Rob has been involved the ski industry for over 10 years and currently heads up the ski and outdoor company ChelstonDirect.com