You might think that there’s no such thing as a “cheap” skiing holiday. Well, it might surprise you to know that there is, but there are a few things you’d need to sacrifice. Usually, that means the quality of service, accommodation, flights, and so on.
What if there was a way to book a fantastic ski or snowboard holiday without cutting corners? Believe it or not, such an idea isn’t within the realms of possibility. You just need to know what to do and how to do it!
So, with all that in mind, here’s your guide to saving on the slopes without compromising your holiday:
When is the best time to book?
As you may already know, ski holiday prices differ depending on the time of year that you book. So, is there a secret month or date you should book to get super low prices? Well, the answer is, “it depends.”
Most people that want a winter sports holiday travel in January and February. They are the most expensive times to go! But, if you travel at the start of December or mid-march, you’ll make plenty of savings.
It’s not uncommon to pay less than half the price of peak travel costs if you make some last-minute bookings too. Yes, booking earlier can indeed save money on any holidays. But, certain flights and accommodation can be cheaper by grabbing a last-minute deal.
If you have children, you’ll no doubt feel that your travel options are minimal. With the law tightened up on taking kids away during term time, the last thing you want is to end up with a big fine!
The good news is that ski holidays during Easter and Christmas are quite cheap. Well, they can be, provided you follow some sneaky tips:
- Book a holiday at a high-altitude resort. Doing so lessens the risk of skiing or snowboarding on slushy snow;
- Keep an eye on the weather. Slow starts to the season are something you can use to your advantage for a last-minute deal.
Drive instead of flying to your resort
Do you happen to live in the southeast or east of England? If so, you might want to consider driving to your holiday destination! Many people fly to their holiday resort, but sometimes driving there and back is cheaper.
Even if you take into account the cost of using the EuroTunnel or ferries, you could potentially save hundreds of pounds! Depending on where you live and the resort you’re going to, the trip could take just 12 hours.
Of course, you may want to stay somewhere overnight as no-one can drive 12 hours straight! But, if you’re in a group, it makes sense for your passengers to do some of the driving.
Once you know how much it will cost to fly to your resort, do some driving cost calculations. You’ll need to factor in fuel, ferry/EuroTunnel fees, and stopover accommodation costs.
Book a self-catering apartment
Let’s face it: hotels and full-board chalets are the accommodation option of choice for many people. But, it’s not the most cost-effective choice for a group of holidaymakers.
Whether you are going on a skiing or snowboarding holiday with your family or a group of friends, one thing’s for sure. The bill for staying in a hotel or chalet will end up quite high, especially if you are planning to travel during the peak snow season!
Instead, what you need to do is locate and book a self-catering apartment. Fortunately, you can use websites like booking.com and Kayak to find an apartment close to the resort.
Aside from price, another advantage of renting a self-catering apartment is freedom. You can cook meals when you wish, and come and go as you please. So, if you wanted to have a late start one morning, for example, you don’t have to worry about missing out on breakfast.
The only downside to staying at a self-catering apartment is that you have to do everything yourself! Still, it’s not all bad as virtually all apartments have modern appliances. Plus, if there’s a large group of you, each person can take it in turns to do the cooking and washing.
If you decide to stay in a self-catering apartment, don’t forget to check out Airbnb. The reason for that is simple: many locals rent out entire apartments, and often at low prices.
How to get a free lift pass
There is no denying that your group will be making use of the ski lifts at your resort. The trouble is, you usually have to pay for them! What if there was a way to use those ski lifts for free?
Well, you could try and sneak your way onto them, but that’s unlikely to work. And unless you’ve invented a way to make yourself invisible, you’re going to have to think of a better idea.
Believe it or not, free lift passes get offered with specific self-catering apartment rentals. Although it’s worth bearing in mind, they only tend to get offered during quieter periods.
If you book your holiday through a travel agent, you might get lucky there too. It’s worth seeing what offers are around, as you could easily save £200 or more!
Don’t pay full price for your ski hire
If you’re taking your own skis then you can skip this section. However, if you tend to rent your skis at the resort, you need to read this carefully!
So far, you’ve seen there are many ways to pay less if you want to have fun with winter sports activities. The same thing applies to the equipment that you hire from the resort.
Don’t be that person who pays full price for their skis and other items. Instead, you need to be savvy about your spending. One of the best ways to save is by pre-booking your rental before you travel. It’s not uncommon for people to save 50% or more, depending on when they book their ski hire.
If you forget to book in advance, all is not lost! You can still save money by haggling with the rental store. And if there’s a group of you, it’s easier to ask for discounts if you rent your ski equipment together.