Many families would love to hit the slopes for their holiday, but the single factor that always puts people off taking a ski holiday is the cost. Often cited as the biggest obstacle for people who have never been skiing but would like to, taking a ski trip can become an expensive undertaking once you’ve considered the travel, accommodation, equipment rental, spending money and those all-important lift passes.
However, there are a few ways to cut down the costs if you’re looking to hit the slopes this winter, and here are my three biggest tips to taking a ski holiday on a budget.
– Choose your resort carefully
People often head straight for France when it comes to skiing, and it’s not hard to understand why. The country is beautiful, the skiing is incredible and the scenery is breath taking, but it can also be an expensive option compared to other areas of Europe.
Eastern Europe is an excellent option if you’re looking for lower-cost skiing, particularly places like Slovenia. However you can also find surprisingly affordable options in Italy and Austria, particularly areas such as Ellmau or Livigno. If you really want to try something different, then don’t rule out Scotland – it’s much, much cheaper and the skiing is surprisingly good when the winter is conducive to snow.
– Time it right
It stands to reason that going in peak time will be more expensive, so you should use this to your advantage. If you can take your holiday as the season is coming to an end, you should be able to get a much better package. Similarly, midweek is generally much cheaper than the weekend. Of course this isn’t always possible if you have to work around school holidays, but it’s worth looking into as the timing can make a massive difference to the overall price.
– Rent or borrow your equipment
Equipment will be one of your biggest expenses when you’re going skiing, but it’s often cheaper to rent in the resorts than buy the equipment (even if you’re buying it second hand). Similarly, if you can borrow equipment from friends or family, you’ll save yourself quite a lot of money in the long run.
Some pieces of equipment will be more expensive than others too, and your personal taste will impact the cost. For example a pair of top of the line Oakley goggles and brand new state of the art skis will cost a lot more than a fairly standard model – think about what you actually need, and see if you can go for a less ‘fancy’ option if you want to save some money.
Try booking a DIY package
Instead of booking a package deal, think about booking your flights and accommodation separately, as it can be possible to find a much cheaper overall holiday by booking everything yourself.