Whether you’re a seasoned skier or are planning to head off on your first ski holiday with family and friends, these simple tips help to keep the cost down so you’ve got some more cash for some après-ski refreshments.
#1 Buy ski clothing and accessories in the summer
In a similar way to being able to pick up fashion bargains out of season, you can do exactly the same with skiwear. Unsurprisingly, suppliers are keen to get rid of unsold stock at the start of summer after the European season ends around April, giving you the opportunity to pick up huge savings. You’ll find everything from ski goggles to jackets with huge reductions, together with voucher codes specifically for ski categories at some of the main retailers across the UK.
#2 Book to stay at a smaller resort
Smaller resorts tend to be less expensive than those that are more established as they’re competing against the big boys. The only way to get new customers is for them to undercut the larger ski resorts and these are where the savings are to be had. For example, lift passes alone as La Rosiere are currently around 35% cheaper than at the more widely recognized Val d’Isere. Further discounts had be had by going further East, with ski resorts in Romania and Bulgaria offering fantastic value for money.
You should also book as far in advance as possible and you’ll also find discounts are offered to group sizes of 8 or more, so if there’s currently only 6 in your party try and get some other friends involved. As with all travel you should also book outside of any school holidays if possible, as prices will be inflated during these periods. For the ski season, the key holidays to avoid are Christmas, February half term and the Easter break.
#3 Think about cheaper travel options
You also should try and avoid firmly fixing your mind on flying (this applies to European destinations only) as many airlines charge extra for ski equipment. Instead, look at the option of going by train which is far quicker (and more comfortable) than by coach. Voyages SNCF
(previously known as Rail Europe) offers dedicated routes to ski destinations including any interconnecting tickets and you also avoid huge waits at airport to clear security.
Ferry travel may also be an option as companies like P&O Ferries offer multiple sailings across to France and you can pack as much as you want without having to pay extra.
#4 Book ski equipment in advance and compare prices
You’ll often find ski equipment and lift passes is bundled into the price of your package ski holiday. It can often be cheaper to do it this way rather than paying when you arrive and again, smaller resorts will often have cheaper lift passes.
You should then compare the bundled price with hire rates at dedicated ski rental companies such as Skimium
. More often than not you’ll get a better deal and there’s usually a discount code that can be used to cut the cost even further.
#5 Think about currency exchange rates
Currency exchange rates have fluctuated widely in recent years with the Euro losing strength against the pound. This is great for all us Brits heading off to European resorts and you should take advantage of these exchange rates to get the best deals. If, for example, the Pound drops against the Euro, everything at the European resort will be more expensive for you as you’re getting less for the same money. In this case, you may find it cheaper to go across to Canada if the Pound is at a high against the Canadian Dollar.
It may sound like a rather strange point to include, but as most of the cost of the ski holiday is actually on arrival (passes, food, drink, accommodation) rather than travel, exchange rate fluctuations really can make a big difference to the overall cost of your ski holiday.