Swooping down a mountain, overdosing on cheese fondue, hot chocolate by the fire, screaming along to songs you don’t even understand at apres ski; Ski trips are a thing of beauty, but they can also be outrageously expensive. However, if done properly, you can avoid a few unnecessary costs. We can’t promise you this will automatically make skiing cheap, but we can promise you that if you follow this guide, you’ll be one step closer to having a regrettable snog with a ski instructor.
1. All Gear No Idea
Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding, the gear is equally as expensive, and unlike a lot of sports, you can’t get away with not having everything you need. If buying a helmet and long underwear means not ending up in a hospital or freezing your nips off, we’re going to buy the helmet and undies. One way you can avoid paying full prices on snow attire is by purchasing everything online offseason. Visit practically any snow sports brand’s website throughout late spring and summer, and chances are you’ll be getting yourself a lovely deal.
“You’ll be one step closer to having a regrettable snog with a ski instructor”
2. Book Clever
There are multiple ways to be smart here. Booking really, really far in advance is always helpful, it means you get first dibs on seats and rooms, and you can sleep well at night knowing you’re an organised goddess. Believe it or not, sometimes, booking last minute is the key to a cheap holiday. Flights and Hotels would always rather cut a deal on empty seats and rooms then leave them empty. Chances are, you’ll be able to find reduced prices on last-minute packages too. If you don’t trust your instinct, you can download clever apps like Hopper that tell you when the smartest time to book is. Genius.
3. Transfer Wise
Ski resorts can be very, very far away from big airports, so you’re going to want to do the math before you book your flights and consider renting a car to get up to the mountain or check out the local public transportation. Most resorts will have some sort of shuttle bus running between surrounding airports and their town centers. If you don’t want the stress of renting a car, these are a fantastic alternative. Just be sure to check that the schedule is in line with your flights there and back. The biggest tip we can offer you? Stay away from taxis. There is always a cheaper alternative.
4. That’s So Offseason
While a lot of people may have enjoyed a white Christmas, it isn’t always realistic. One of the biggest pieces of advice we can give you is ski offseason. Don’t go at the beginning of the season, don’t go for Chrismas or New Years, and avoid half terms at all costs. So, where does this leave you? With January and just before, or after Easter. The slopes will be quieter and your wallet will not be in floods of tears. What more could you want?
“Stay away from transfer taxis, there are always cheaper alternatives”
5. Stay Away from St Moritz
Despite the price of the sport, it is possible to go skiing somewhere where you don’t see a fur coat or fluffy Moncler jacket after 5 meters. Eastern Europe, Austria, France, and even the U.S all have semi-affordable skiing destinations. Forget about Vorarlberg, and don’t even think about most of Switzerland. Consider hitting up a resort like Borovets in Bulgaria, where they also happen to have exceptional package deals available, many of which include the cost of a ski-pass. When booking your digs, always pick a pension over a hotel and remember that all-inclusive is your kryptonite.
6. Work For It
Finally, there’s always the work option. Resorts always have seasonal jobs available. Whether it’s working as an instructor, dishing up food in a hotel, or getting tourists very, very drunk in bars, you’ll be sure to find something. A lot of jobs also come with free ski passes, so it is definitely something to consider.
Take me there…
If you’re getting some serious powder envy, then get organised! Download Nomad and invite your friends on that epic – and hopefully cheap – ski trip.