The time of year is coming when the winter is nearly upon us and everyone is thinking about Christmas and snow skiing.
Once an elitist sport snow skiing has now taken the world by storm, with more an more facilities opening around the world, such as indoor snow domes and dry ski slopes. Snow skiing and snowboarding has now become more accessible for everyone, meaning demand for snow sports holidays has skyrocketed.
Whilst snowboarding and skiing holidays can still be expensive they can also be cheap as well, in this guide I aim to show you how winter sports holidays don’t have to break the bank, by following these tips and travel hacks you can save money on your winter sports holiday this year.
Avoid Schools Holidays
One tip to saving money on your snow ski holiday is to book your holiday outside of school holidays, (Christmas school holidays and especially February half term holidays). School holidays can be very busy times for snow ski resorts, with school groups and families with children visiting the slopes. The cost of snow ski holidays can double over the school holidays and resorts themselves can become crowded, with high numbers of people using the slopes and restaurants.
The best time to take your skiing holiday to take advantage of the lower prices is January, late February or early March, you will also get the added benefit of avoiding the crowds.
Lift passes can be expensive, resorts charge high prices because lift passes are necessary for people to go up the mountain. Take advantage of deals; some resorts have early or late season deals if you don’t have any time restraints. Another way to cut the costs of lift passes is to plan your week carefully, maybe take one mid week half day or day off skiing to explore the local town or try another activity. This won’t only save you money but it will force you to make the most out of the days you spend skiing, get the lifts early in the morning and stay until they close. Some resorts offer access to more than one mountain range, to cut costs only buy lift passes to mountains or runs you will actually go to.
Find Locals Restaurants or Bars
If you want to have a meal out, spend a night parting or check out the après, take some time to research the seasonnaire or locals bars and restaurants, they often offer cheaper prices or deals and you can get to know local people whilst saving some money.
Avoid Eating at Restaurants on the Mountain
Everyone does it, your skiing at the top of a mountain, decide to stop and have lunch at a restaurant. These restaurants can be double or triple the price of the restaurants at the bottom of the mountain, they charge a premium for being situated up the mountain, so instead of spending a large chunk of your budget on food, here is my advice – before you go skiing, visit a local supermarket, buy some items for lunch and take a packed lunch in your backpack. Many ski resorts offer picnic areas at the top of the mountains where you can take a break and eat your cheap lunch.
The most common type of accommodation in snow ski resorts is chalets, many companies offer chalets with all meals included, bars and housekeepers. Whist this is living in luxury for a week it can become expensive very easily, for budget savers I suggest you look for Airbnb apartments, self catering apartments or hostels. This way you can cut the expensive costs of staff at chalets, you can cook food instead of eating out every night and buy drinks from a local supermarket to drink before a night out.
Look Out for Deals
Sometimes you can get a great deal on package holidays, with free lift passes, food or equipment. If you aren’t time constricted you can also get some great last minute deals, some websites to keep an eye on are Neilson Holidays, Ski World, Crystal Ski or Snow Trex. You can always also just book everything individually – Easy Jet have some cheap flights to Geneva, Innsbruck, Grenoble, Turin from England and then you can find accommodation. Or further afield you can get some great flight deals to Boston, Salt Lake City, Denver or Vancouver, if you do some searching, check out my Guide to Booking Cheap Flights. There are some great accommodation deals for apartments with a quick google search.
As you can see you can make your next snow skiing or snowboarding trip as expensive or cheap as you wish, winter sports holidays don’t have to break the bank.