20 clever tricks that will save you money on your next ski holiday

skiers on chairlift - Chris Dillmann

skiers on chairlift – Chris Dillmann

Whether you’re planning your first trip to the slopes or you’re a seasoned pro, traveling alone or with family, finding ways to save money on your ski vacation has never been more crucial.

With increasing pressure on the cost of living and rising prices at ski resorts amid the current energy crisis, a recent study by Club Med reveals that value for money is now the most important factor among British skiers and snowboarders, and that’s the most important thing. concerns people aged 45 to 54.

Despite concerns, 55% of those polled by Club Med still plan to get their fix of the slope this winter. For those wishing to head to the mountains, there is a wide choice of budget resorts – in lesser-known regions such as the Pyrenees and Eastern Europe, where you will see your money go much further – but there is it is undeniable that skiing trips are accompanied by inevitable additional costs. It’s easy to blow the budget on extras such as lift passes and equipment hire and often the price of lunch on the mountain at some popular resorts is extortionate.

If you’re planning for the upcoming season, here are our top vacation tips to help you save money on your trip, including what accommodation to choose, alternative resorts to consider, how to cut the cost of extras once in the station and what to pack.

Before you leave

1. Book an all-inclusive stay so that everything is already paid for before you leave. At one end of the scale is Action Outdoors, at the other is Club Med – the great thing about both is that prices include lift passes, tuition and three meals a day.

2. If you prefer your own space, staying in a chalet or chalet hotel takes the guesswork out of how much you’ll end up spending once in resort. Chalet board means you get a cooked breakfast, afternoon tea (usually including cake and maybe soup) and a three course dinner every day except one – the day off. cottage guests. Mealtime wine is often included, which means you can also save money on the pub crawl if you wish. “Consider traveling with another family or friends, so you can book a larger ski chalet and reduce the price per person,” says Tim Andrews, founder of chalet rental specialist OVO Network.

ski chalet - Skiing

ski chalet – Skiing

3. Think flexibly – the new Heidi app uses technology to connect people to lesser-known resorts and book vacations of varying lengths, avoiding expensive Saturday-Saturday trips.

4. If you are traveling at the start or end of the season, remember to book your accommodation directly with the tourist office. Some resorts offer great packages to attract visitors during the quieter months, and this winter the Trois Vallées and Savoie Mont Blanc region are launching dedicated platforms.

5. Buying currency at the airport is an absolute no-no; you will end up getting the worst exchange rate. Also avoid using a credit card abroad, as you often get stung by a heavy load. Pre-loading a card with your currency of choice can save you money on bank charges and secure a more favorable exchange rate. The Revolut card, for example, allows travelers to spend in-store or online at no cost. Whether withdrawing cash from an ATM or using the card to pay, it automatically converts cash into local currency at the best available rate.

6. One of the best ways to save money is to forget the alpine mega-resorts and head for lesser-known places, both in terms of vacation cost and resort prices. Eastern Europe has seen huge growth as a ski destination in recent years, especially Bulgarian resorts such as Bansko, due to the extremely competitive cost of ski passes there. Definitely worth considering – however, if you are an adventurous intermediate or expert skier or snowboarder, you may find the terrain to be limited and frustrating. Choosing the Pyrenees instead, with resorts such as Baqueira-Beret in Spain, the Grandvalira domain in Andorra and the Grand Tourmalet domain in France, gives access to varied and demanding pistes at a fraction of the price of a trip to the Alps. Find the best budget ski holidays this season here.

Bansko - Hotel Kempinski

Bansko – Hotel Kempinski

7. It can be difficult for families to save on skiing as they are constrained by school holiday dates. If risking a fine for taking your kids out of school isn’t your style, choosing the Easter break over the February break may prove cheaper – and by considering smaller, lesser-known resorts, you can save twice.

For the trip

8. Eurostar can be booked up to 330 days, or around 11 months, and connecting TGV services 90 days in advance, so plan ahead to get the best prices.

9. Alikats, the Morzine-based chalet company, offers discounts of up to 20% to customers traveling by train, and Snow Space Salzburg (Flachau, Wagrain and St Johann stations) gives you 15% off your lift pass when you arrive by train.

10. Driving to the Alps can be great value – it has the added bonus of allowing you to fill your car with food (and booze), and it’s kinder to the environment. Avoid refueling on the motorway – visit plein-moins-cher.fr to find the cheapest local fuel prices.

11. Concerned about the cost of fuel? Consider driving an electric vehicle, thanks to a growing network of station charging stations.

12. Avoid the hustle and bustle of Geneva or Chambery and consider flying to less crowded hubs. Ryanair has launched new routes to Turin, with access to Italian resorts like Champoluc and Courmayeur, and to Klagenfurt, in the heart of Austria’s lesser-known Carinthia province.

eurostar ski train - Voyages-SNCF

eurostar ski train – Voyages-SNCF

On Tracks

13. Once you know where you’re going, check the resort’s website for ski pass deals, including group discounts, early bird offers and family rates. Are you traveling with children? Check the age limit for free passes – in Le Grand Massif (Flaine, Les Carroz and Samöens) it’s up to eight, and up to nine in Zermatt.

14. Consider what’s included with your pass – pool access, local discounts and more will fill your week with free activities.

15. Skiing in Italy? Visit Alto.ski, for a package that only charges you on the days you ski. Tignes and Val d’Isère offer similar benefits with their A La Carte pass.

At the resort

16. Opt for self-contained accommodation, but think about it first. Will you really want to cook every night, and can you buy what you need at a good price at the resort? To avoid additional charges, use a meal delivery service, such as hu.ski, or if you’re driving, prepare ready-to-eat meals (homemade or otherwise).

17. Chalet companies, such as Chalets1066 and Ski France, offer the classic accommodation choice but on your own terms – pick and choose the level of catering you want to budget for.

18. One of the most expensive extras once on vacation is buying lunch in the mountains, especially if you’re staying at an expensive alpine resort. Rather than shelling out €20 for a burger and fries every day, buy sandwich ingredients and snacks from the local supermarket and make it yourself. Don’t just head to any old picnic spot for lunch, head to one like Serre Chevalier’s three planchas – charcoal-free outdoor grills, and resort staff at easy to clean between uses.

Serre Chevalier - OT Serre Chevalier Briançon

Serre Chevalier – OT Serre Chevalier Briançon

In your suitcase

19. Rent as much as you can. Use EcoSki or WhoSki for clothing and pre-book your rental equipment with Intersport or SkiSet – you’ll save around 50% off resort prices.

20. Give your old ski or snowboard boots a second life with insoles. Superfeet’s winter comforts cost £50 a pair.

Do you have any other tips for saving money on your ski vacation? Join the conversation in the comments section below

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