Christmas and New Year are for most of us the most expensive times of year – too many presents to pay for, too much travelling to do and generally lots of financial chaos. As the recession has been tightening many of our budgets up this year and we still all need a break – often seemingly more so than when the holiday season began; we decided to look at cutting the costs of skiing and your skiing holiday this year so that we can still afford to get away and enjoy some snow!Choosing a destination
Of course, choosing where you go is going to have the largest impact on the cost of skiing this year as it is the largest expense involved. OK yeah I know that’s obvious but I’m going to be more helpful and offer some cost cutting advice too so bear with me. Firstly, you can choose a very cheap destination from one of the many up and coming ski areas that litter much of the world. This particularly applies in Eastern Europe and Russia as these areas are developing quickly but still have relatively low costs of living and cheap flights. Choosing one of these destinations means that you can cut the costs in half compared to even the Alps so it is well worth choosing something a little more out of your comfort zone.
Secondly there are a variety of other ways you can cut the costs from your destination. You can choose to share a large villa with people, (you don’t even have to know them in advance), or you can go with a large group of friends and family and pick up exclusive flight and accommodation deals. Generally the more crammed in you are prepared to be the lower the costs will be.Finally you can make sure you get a self catering option in your villa/apartment so that you can cut down your living costs whilst there. Typically local supermarkets will keep things cheap!
Sorting out the other stuff!
Skiing comes with a host of other necessities and things you need – ski passes, equipment, ski insurance, lessons, winter clothing etc. All of this stuff soon hikes up the costs of your trip so bringing these down as much as possible is a necessity.
When it comes to equipment generally it is easier to rent than to buy and you can be assured that your equipment will last you well. If you buy equipment it will last a longer time but if it breaks or is lost you will have to pay for it – plus not all airlines will let you take skis free of charge.
Generally renting as part of a holiday package is the cheapest option so we’d recommend this where possible. Beyond the actual skiing equipment you will need winter clothing and it’s easiest to rent this as well.Many people make do with standard winter clothing with very little tailored clothing and this is a good way to bring costs down – just make sure you have waterproof outer layers, gloves and goggles and you can forget most of the rest. When it comes to ski passes and lessons prices vary depending on location but generally the cheapest options are to get these as part of a package or on location – where you can undercut the tourist industry prices considerably.
Finally picking up cheap ski insurance is a must and if you shop around you can get cover from as little as £10 a trip (Complete-Ski.com). Use the standard comparison sites and you’ll soon find a decent deal – plus for families you can pick up group ski insurance which drastically reduces costs.