Skiing trips can be a lot of fun, but they can also be very costly when you account for your flights, accommodation, food, equipment hire and lift passes. However, the good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to go on a winter holiday – check out our top tips for enjoying a skiing holiday without splashing out on unnecessary extras.
1. Choose cost-effective accommodation
In many settings, self-catered accommodation is the most cost-effective option and the same can be true on a skiing break, as long as you resist the temptation to eat out at the restaurants in the village or on the slopes all the time.
Of course, you can treat yourself to the odd meal out, but do your best to prepare a packed lunch to take out with you when you’re skiing and make sure you have a big breakfast before you set off for the day. Should that all sound like a little bit too much hard work on your holiday, look into catered chalets instead.
These typically have a lot of the benefits of self-catered accommodation in that you have plenty of space, but also come with a host who will cook all your meals for you (including cakes for afternoon tea everyday). Because this is such a popular option in ski resorts, you can often find great deals on this sort of trip - Cosmos is just one company that regularly runs offers on skiing holidays. Weigh up the benefits and expenditure – you may find it can rival a self-catered apartment when you work out how much you’ll need to spend at the supermarket, particularly for a large group.
2. Equipment hire – or not?
Another big expense on skiing breaks is hiring equipment, but sometimes transporting your own gear to a resort – especially if you’re flying – can be pretty costly. First up, if you don’t have your own equipment you need to decide if you’ll go on enough winter sports holidays to warrant buying your own.
If you already have some or all of the items you need, see how many you can pack without having to pay extra on your flight. It’s also worth looking at the deals many airlines run for skiing or snowboarding equipment and deciding whether the extra in luggage charges is cheaper than renting things at your destination.
If you go down the rental route, do your research and look for holiday packages that include this or even offer a discount on hiring gear.
3. Look into lift pass options
Most resorts have variable prices on their lift passes depending on which of the slopes and skiing areas you’re going to hit. Think very carefully about whether you’ll have the time and the ability to make full use of the most comprehensive pass – particularly in destinations where two or three ski areas are easily accessible.
You may be better off saving some pennies and sticking to the pistes closest to your resort rather than running yourself ragged trying to get to multiple runs dotted all over a large area of the mountains. If you’re returning somewhere you’ve been before, dig out your old lift passes as you may receive a loyalty discount for return guests.
4. Resort transfers
Our final point is resort transfers – which is more applicable if you haven’t gone for a package deal, as these will usually include your transfer in the price. There are always buses running to the most popular destinations from the nearest airports, but these can be quite expensive.
Instead, look into whether it’s viable to do the journey on public transport (if you don’t mind lugging your gear around), or even hire a car if there are a few of you – split between several people this can be a very cost-effective choice.