While in Britain the winter brings with it dreary, cold days, there’s a silver lining for adrenaline-seekers as it also brings the ski season!
Ski holidays can be heaps of fun whether you’re hitting the slopes for the first time, going on a snow shoe trail, eating your weight in cheese, or making the most of some of the world’s best après-ski of course.
While there are some incredible budget-friendly resorts out there, there’s no denying that skiing isn’t a cheap activity especially as costs of flights, chalets, ski hires, lift passes and food can quickly add up.
Check out his top tips below…
Book with a package provider
According to Jack, booking a package holiday can be “one of the best ways to make your money go further on a ski trip”, because it can reduce extra spends and any hidden costs. For example, check if ski lift passes are included in the upfront price, to avoid a nasty surprise when you arrive to hit the slopes.
Take packed lunches on the slopes
It’s no secret that the mountain restaurants often charge extortionate amounts for food and drink, so if you’re not bothered about a full sit down meal, packed lunches could be the answer. Jack explains: “One of the more obvious methods is simply taking a packed lunch to the mountains, rather than buying food. There are plenty of picnic spots dotted throughout every resort, and some restaurants will even have designated areas for you to eat your own food.”
Avoid going during school holidays
While this won’t be possible for families, if you’re not tied to term times, then try to avoid the likes of February half term. “This is because costs are always inflated, as it’s the most popular time for British families to go skiing,” Jack warns. “Going outside of peak months will reduce costs massively, and make it a more affordable holiday.”
Hire or borrow your ski equipment
Unless you’re all going together, chances are you’ll have plenty of family and friends who can lend you some of the niche clothes you might need for the mountains. While buying new gear is exciting, it can be costly, so if it’s your first time or you’re not a regular skier, borrowing can be the answer.
Jack adds: “Ski gear – like jackets, salopettes, thermals and gloves to name but a few – can all add up in cost. If you’re a first-time skier or someone who doesn’t ski particularly often, it’s worth checking if any of your friends or family have some equipment you can borrow.”
But those around you aren’t your only option. He explains: “Failing that, there are plenty of companies where you can rent equipment for the specific time period you’ll need it for, which can be both cost-effective and a more sustainable way of going skiing. When it comes to skis, boots and poles, these can all be rented from the local ski shop in your resort.”
Opt for half-board accommodation
“While opting for half-board accommodation may seem like more of a daunting up-front cost, the price of eating out means it can actually save you money on your overall trip,” Jack advises. “What’s more, ensuring you’re fuelled from breakfast is vitally important before a big day out on the mountains. So, not only will going half-board save you cash in the long run, it’ll also ensure you can maximise your time out on the mountains, and in turn, provide better value for money on your trip.”
Alternatively, you can also opt for self-catering options and head to the local supermarket.
Choose lesser-known resorts
Going to well-known or popular resorts may sound fun, but there are many other ski resorts you could get a great experience at, but at a much lower cost.
Jack recommends lesser-known resorts within large ski areas, such as Les Menuires in Les 3 Vallées or Vaujany in the Alpe d’Huez ski area, with “world-class skiing at lower prices”. He adds: “Though the smaller resorts may be slightly further away from the big snowy hubs, there are a number of local buses which can take you at little cost, meaning you can save money on your accommodation costs, without compromising on the quality of skiing.”