Cheap Ski Holidays
Skiing is never going to be a cheap holiday in the true sense of the word but you can find some great deals out there. Read on to find out how to ski without breaking the bank.
Whatever anyone says skiing is never going to be a cheap holiday. Not when you add all the components in from accommodation, flights to equipment and insurance. But it doesn’t have to cost as much as you may think. Here we list some things you may want to consider when trying to find a well-priced ski holiday.
Consider Where You Go
In short avoid the Alps if you want to save money. Countries like France and Switzerland will always cost more. Look for countries like Spain, Andorra and Bulgaria because you will pay less. Resorts that are specifically cheaper include Vogel in Slovenia, Borovets in Bulgaria and Jasna in Slovakia. If you are desperate to visit France then consider a small, lesser known resort that has access to a larger ski area. An example is Vallandry part of les Arcs.In France you will often pay more, simply for a name like Val D’Isere.
Avoid Peak Times
The cheapest times to ski are early and late season when the snow quality is less assured. Avoid, Christmas, New Year, February half term and Easter. If you can’t avoid school holidays then opt for Easter as it is cheaper than half term.
Package Vs DIY
Some people will argue that you can get a cheap ski holiday by doing it all online yourself. This may be true if you are looking at accommodation, flights and transfers. But, a lot of package providers now include other elements such as lift passes, equipment hire, lessons, great insurance deals and all food and drink.
We think you might be hard pushed to meet the price on a deal that includes all those elements. The key is to really look at the detail of the package and try to secure things that really do save you money like 2 for 1 on lift passes (lift passes will be one of the most expensive components of your ski holiday).
Ski lesson deals are also worth looking out for as well as all food and drink as eating in a resort can work out really expensive. The other benefit of going for the package is that if you are in a large group doing it yourself can get really complicated, especially if you all want different things.
If you do organise your own holiday then avoid fully catered chalets situated slope side, as they will be the most expensive. Check out self-catering apartments which often represent really good value. Also, do your big food shop in a supermarket outside the resort, you will get more choice and it will work our cheaper.
This can be a real hidden cost if again you opt to organise your own ski holiday. You find really cheap, good value flights and then discover a hefty bill for your ski or snowboard bag. Some airlines include a ski bag as part of your baggage allowance, at the time of writing this includes Swiss air and BA. Some of the so called budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet charge you an additional fee. The key here is to use all the space, pack goggles into your boots, stuff gloves, socks, beanies etc into whatever equipment you can! But reduce what you travel with as it soon mounts up.
Lift passes really cannot be avoided and yet they will probably be the most expensive part of your ski holiday. In some resorts they can be as much as £250 for a 6 day pass for 1 adult. This is where a good package can really come into its own as the package company will either get a great deal in resort and its buying power will mean that in turn you get a good deal.
Many packages offer 2 lift passes for 1 or children go free. If you are going it alone look for family passes, consider buying online before you leave home and really consider if an area ski pass is what you need compared to the smaller ski resort area pass.
Again, ski package holidays can get you great savings here on the price of ski hire. But even if you do one simple thing you will save shed loads of money. Simply book online before you leave home. You will save up to an amazing 30% by simply pre booking online.
Insurance - Beware!
The one area of your ski holiday that we would advise you never to skimp on is ski insurance. Ski without it and you could be facing a really hefty hospital bill which is no joke. Some annual policies may include winter sports but don’t assume they do. Check and if they don’t see if you can add this cover on. Check in detail the medical cover you have.
The problem with ski injuries is that in the worst case they can involve helicopters so as a rough guide look for a £2 million medical cover. If you want to ski off piste also check your policy as some only cover you for marked slopes.
In summary we think that ski package holidays can give you the best deal if you want to spend as little money as possible. And that’s because many now include additional extras that can really rack up, like ski lessons and lift pass deals.
If you insist on travelling independently then aim to pre book as much as you can online, negotiate, travel out of season and look at countries like Bulgaria which are so much cheaper than anywhere in the Alps.