Many skiers heading on their first ski trip make the mistake of booking a package deal from their local travel agent and usually end up paying much more than they need to. By following these simple tips and putting in a little time and effort, you can make substantial savings on that dream Winter ski break.
Book off peak
This one can be put down to common sense, as any holiday, to any location is always cheaper during off peak times. The Christmas and New Year festive period is the obvious time to avoid – but depending on your choice of ski resort, the peak skiing time could be any-time from February to the beginning of March.
Look out for any festivals and avoid these dates as they often coincide with a ski resort’s busiest period. The beginning and the end of season are your best bets for a good deal.
UK Ski holiday company Interactive Resorts‘s website offers a great guide to saving on your skiing holidays by booking late.
Search for deals on ski passes
Ski passes are often included in package deals but if you want to make further savings, a trip to the resort village or town can net you some day passes at knock-down prices.
The town residents can usually tell you where to find these cut-price deals. If you prefer to have your passes ready beforehand then check out some of the great sites online like liftopia.com that offer lift passes for ski resorts all over the world at considerable discounts.
Borrow ski gear or rent locally
Ski equipment rental can be a costly affair so if you happen to have a friend who is a regular skier it might be worth your while asking if you can borrow their skis for your trip.
If rental is your only choice, then choosing a store in your hometown can be a cheaper option than renting from the ski resort. But make sure your airline’s ski baggage charge isn’t too high.
Travel as part of a group
Travelling with your friends or as part of a tour group is a great way to save a lot on your ski trip expenses. Booking flights as a group will often result in discounted prices and the same is true when booking accommodation, ski lessons, and when renting equipment.
Ski resorts will rarely offer these discounts voluntarily but if you ask you might be surprised at what you’ll get.
This obviously goes hand in hand with our previous tip regarding travelling with friends and can offer huge savings on your ski holiday. A large chalet that sleeps a group of 10 or 12 will be considerably cheaper than renting individual hotel rooms for each of your party.
It’s also possible, if travelling with your family, to share a large chalet with another family. Try asking some of your friends if they fancy a shared family ski trip and your family could be enjoying that idyllic ski trip sooner than expected.
Don’t eat out
Good restaurants are never cheap and restaurants in a ski resort are no exception. A great way to save some cash is to prepare your own meals as often as possible and steer clear of any all inclusive packages.
A packed lunch for the piste or dinner in your apartment are great ways to cut down on food expenses. Most ski resorts will have well stocked supermarkets in the town centre and stocking up on essentials such as bread, milk, fruit, and bottled water at the beginning of your trip is always a good idea.
So you have just learned a few of the little secrets that come as second nature to seasoned skiers. And now armed with these tips, you could find that a dream ski trip you once thought unaffordable, is well within your reach.
Niall is a passionate snowboarder and contributor to a number of skiing magazines as well as related blogs and travel-websites online.