Top Tips For Skiing On A Budget
Skiing holidays have a reputation for being expensive, and it’s often deserved –some resorts have price tags that make most would-be skiers gasp. With a cost of living crisis stretching out in front of us, you might think skiing is out of your budget. But not every ski resort demands a giant wallet, and there are ways to cut down on the cost of a winter sports break.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a first time skier or experienced on the slopes and trying to rein in your spending. By choosing value for money ski destinations and finding ways to spend less when you’re there, the powdery-white allure of a skiing holiday is still very much an option. Here are our tips for skiing on a budget.
Reconsider when to go
Choosing when to go skiing is one of the easiest ways to save on your trip. If you don’t have kids it’s even easier – to get the best deal, consider January, especially the start, as it’s quieter so there are usually bargains to be found. If you do have kids, choose Easter instead of February half term – it’s the end of the season so stays tend to be cheaper. Just keep your eye out for destinations with previous reports of good snow conditions at the tail end of the season.
Where to go
Another option is to travel to where your money stretches further. Borovets in Bulgaria is still a good budget-friendly option for a cheap ski holiday. It’s more affordable than the swanky resorts in France and Switzerland, and there’s some great, if basic, facilities. But Bulgaria is becoming more popular with the party crowd and the slopes are attractive to snowboarders and stag weekends, so if you want a ski resort that’s a little quieter, consider Vogal in Slovenia. It’s a small resort with a laidback atmosphere. If you choose a guesthouse that’s signed up to the area’s bus scheme, you won’t have to pay for any transport once you’re there.
Alternatively, if you’re an experienced skier looking for somewhere more affordable, bypass popular Austria and head for Sudelfeld-Bayrischzell in Germany. It might not have the scope of the Austrian slopes, but its freeride areas have the same excitement. Best of all, the dormitory accommodation here is just €25 per night.
A large wedge of the budget during your ski holiday is inevitably spent on food. Many resorts have fantastic restaurants and bars with a lively nightlife, but this will take up a huge portion of your budget. Instead, go self-catering and cook in your accommodation. In Boi Taüll, in the Spanish Pyrenees, a self-catering apartment costs around €450 a week – considerably less than a chalet in the Alps. You can buy food in the supermarket and cook in the apartment, or even take a picnic out with you for the day. Or there’s also the option, available in many resorts, of ordering budget-friendly pre-made meals that are delivered to your accommodation.
Self-drive and ski
Despite the rising fuel costs we’re all facing, driving to France is still cheaper than flying and then getting a transfer to the ski resort. Yes, it will take around 14 hours, but it’s the best budget way to travel, and you can plan your road trip ahead with some fun stops along the way. Flaine in France is one of the easiest ski resorts to reach by car. If you’re self-catering, you can take the essentials from home and stop off at the shops for groceries before you get there – which can work out far cheaper, especially as the supermarkets at some ski resorts have inflated prices.
Rent, or borrow, your ski clothing
This is especially good advice for newbies, though it can also work for experienced skiers who need new kit. If you’re new to skiing, chances are you’ll love it, but until you’ve been, consider borrowing some gear. You might have friends who ski, and they’re probably happy to lend you some outfits. For anything you can’t borrow, renting your ski gear is a good way to keep your costs down. And if you really want your own signature gear, look for second hand deals, check charity shops and search at online pre-loved stores. These options are more sustainable options too.
If you’re off on a ski or snowboard break Switched On offers great value winter sports travel insurance. Its specialist cover will provide peace of mind for any unexpected spills on the slopes, with a 24hr emergency assistance helpline, and also protects owned or hired equipment and much more. Find out more here.