If you’ve ever gone on a skiing vacation, you know they don’t come cheap — even before taking into account the cost of flights, accommodations, rental equipment and lift passes.
However, if you are a little strapped for cash, there are lots of ways to keep down the cost of your trip. For example: book your trip independently and arrange your own travel, buy your own equipment, and book your own skiing lessons. Throw in discounted accommodations and lift passes, and you can majorly reduce the cost of your trip.
For our guide to organizing a low-cost skiing holiday, including what to pack, have a read:
- How can I get the best deal?
To get the best deal, aim to avoid booking a vacation in peak times, such as during school holidays and over Thanksgiving or the Christmas period. During these times, vacation prices can double what they would cost out of season.
To find the best deal, do some research on recommended ski resorts that offer trips for the lowest prices. Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in Utah — one of the most popular in North America for families and groups — offers low-cost packages. Smaller resorts, such as Boler Mountain in Ontario, Canada, also offer cheap trips. So, if you are not fussed over the size of the resort, booking a smaller resort may be the best option.
- What is the easiest way to travel?
Driving used to be the cheapest way to travel, but when the cost of fuel swings up this might not be the case. If you have a young family, driving might be the best bet regardless of fuel costs — especially factoring in the fees for transporting luggage and skiing equipment.
- How can I get the best flight deal?
If you choose to fly to your destination, you will of course want to find the cheapest tickets.
If you are planning on taking your own skiing equipment with you, don’t forget to factor in the cost of oversized equipment. Large luggage will come at an extra cost, inflating the price of what might appear to be the cheapest ticket. Instead, book your flight through a company that allows you to take skis and other equipment free of charge.
If you are flying to your destination, you will of course require a transfer from the airport to your ski resort. Don’t worry, airport transfers are easy to book. Before you travel, book both your outgoing transfer and your return transfer online. By booking your taxi transfers in advance, you can relieve the pressure and stress and just relax. Alternatively, you could consider hiring a car. If you feel comfortable driving someplace you’ve never been, you may prefer to drive yourself. Booking a hired car will most likely work out cheaper than paying taxi fare.
- Are there activities for children?
If you have a young family, you will no doubt be wondering how the kids can pass time at your chosen ski resort.
Every ski resort runs beginner ski classes for children. To find the best deals have a look online and book in advance. To make sure your children have the best time possible, make sure to book a ski instructor who is fun and friendly.
As well as booking your little ones into ski classes, you may find choosing a resort with additional activities for children helpful. For instance, some ski resorts have a swimming pool, games room and kid’s club that you can book the children into. To find out more, have a look on the resort’s website.
- What about clothing and equipment?
One of the most expensive parts of going on a skiing holiday is the ski equipment. Borrow what you can from friends and family members or rent it from a store. This will be much cheaper than renting it at the resort.
Although there are some things you can borrow, there are some bits you may want to buy yourself — namely, a ski hat, goggles, waterproof gloves and a pair skiing trousers and coat.
To keep yourself and your family warm on the slopes, dress in lots of thin layers of clothing, instead of one thick layer.
- Do I need insurance?
With any holiday, purchasing travel insurance is advisable, however with skiing it is essential.
Although you will most probably survive your skiing holiday unscathed. It is important to take out precautionary measures, such as buying sports travel insurance, in case an accident occurs. Make sure that the insurance package you buy also covers any minors you bring.
To find all the best sports insurance deals, have a look online. Opt for a policy that covers everything, from a sprained ankle to a more serious injury.
- How can I book the cheapest accommodation?
The best way to book your accommodation is over the internet. Not only is it cheap, it’s also quick and easy.
First, it is important to choose the best resort. When booking in Europe, French and Swiss ski resorts tend to be the most expensive, while the best bargains lie in Spain and Poland. It is important to remember that just because a resort is cheap to book, it doesn’t mean the quality of the skiing will be low.
Once you have decided on your resort, you can then think about the type of accommodation you want to consider. The most expensive accommodation tends to be the catered chalets. The least expensive accommodation tends to be in the form of self-catered apartments.
If you are trying to save money, booking self-catered accommodation is your best bet — especially as ski resort restaurants tend to be rather expensive.
Another way you can save money is by booking a villa or lodge outside of the main resort area. This will make your accommodation costs much cheaper.