Ski Holiday – Money saving tips
Winter vacations don’t come cheap, but with careful budget planning, you can actually cut down the costs. There are many ways of saving money regardless of whether you’re travelling as a couple, family or group. These days we can all enjoy a winter vacation up in the mountains as long as we know how flexible we can be with our budget.
After reading our top ski holiday money-saving tips, you’ll be champing at the bit to start packing your bags and skis!
Transportation should be your first priority, even before deciding on accommodation. Once you pick a ski destination, you need to think about how you will get there. In many cases, driving or taking the train or bus might be a choice, but let’s just be honest. It’s very exhausting to drive for many long hours or have to change trains and buses. Chances are that you’ll end up choosing to fly to your destination. That’s very wise, but it’s even wiser to book your flight ticket as early as you can. Don’t leave it for the very last moment!
You may hear people say that if you wait until a few days before your departure date, it’s highly possible to find low rates. This is nothing but speculation! In fact, not only do airlines not lower their prices, but they even increase them as they know well that if people want or need to fly somewhere, they will pay the price no matter how high it is. So, be smart and book in advance!
As you look for ways to cut down the costs, there’s a bonus money-saving tip that not many people are aware of. Have you ever considered using a comparison website to book your airport parking? If the answer is no, then it’s time to look one up. Many UK travellers heading to the Alps for their winter holidays opt for booking airport parking through such websites to limit their expenses.
For example, when parking at Heathrow Terminal 4, you can find prices starting at £4 a day by using Parkhero.co.uk. All you need to do is to enter your airport and travel dates into the comparison tool and within seconds you will see all the available parking options for your trip. Services are ranked from the cheapest to the most expensive and you can also choose to rank by distance to the airport or customer rating. With Parkhero it is easy to find a good price whether you are looking for Park and Ride, Meet and Greet or Park and Walk services. The company makes it quick and easy for you as you do not need to make an account and with the simple to use system you can make a booking in under 5 minutes.
If you’re wondering when to book airport parking to find the lowest rates, the answer is the earliest you can. In other words, book airport parking along with booking your flight ticket and easily save up 60%.
Don’t get disheartened by the exorbitant prices of the luxurious accommodations up in the mountains. There are numerous other types of lodgings available for every budget and taste. The rule of thumb is that the more people you are, the less you’ll pay. As a group or as a family, it’s more cost-effective to rent a catered apartment or chalet, than booking separate rooms in a hotel. You can buy food supplies and cook in turn, so you’ll avoid eating in a restaurant every day, which budget-wise can quickly get out of hand. Some chalets may offer a deal package that includes accommodation, lift passes, rentals, and a half or full board.
If you start your research early and visit many online comparison sites, you will soon understand what option is in your best interest. For example, it will become clear that hotels that are very close to the slopes and have a ski-in-ski out access are extremely expensive. Opting for a chalet that’s a few kilometres far from the slopes and only a shuttle ride away will turn out to be way cheaper than you thought. If you know any people who have been going on winter vacations for years, they will surely have a good piece of advice to share with you about what to weigh up when searching for accommodation.
Regardless of your go-to winter sport, ski or snowboarding, you have to make up your mind about bringing your own equipment or renting one.
Let’s go over the first scenario that says you bring your own equipment. First of all, you have to consider how you’re going to carry around all this gear from your home to the airport and then from the airport to the resort. Not only that, but you’ll also have to pay the airline an additional fee because these types of baggage are charged extra. If you’re vacationing as a family, remind yourself that you’ll end up hauling around both yours and your children’s equipment. Of course, having your own ski gear makes you feel comfortable, and you don’t have to worry about finding fair ski rental deals.
However, renting ski accessories has become very common lately. People don’t only rent ski goggles, masks, skis, boots, and socks, but also winter clothing. Nobody wants to carry all that weight, and certainly, no one wants to worry about forgetting pieces of clothing or gear back in the resort. Many hire companies allow you to book clothes, equipment, and other relevant items online and deliver them to your accommodation once you get there. It sounds very convenient, doesn’t it?
Pick your Dates
The hard fact is that no matter how much you wish to spend Christmas or New Year at the slopes, the prices are prohibitive at that time. Once you cross out these dates, you can move on and check when is the off-peak season for your destination. For example, if you’re looking for resorts in the French Alps during the winter school holidays in France, you’ll realise that prices reach their peak then. After choosing the right resort and the right dates, check the ski passes, which are usually cheaper at the beginning and end of the season. Other off-peak periods are January after Christmas Holidays, the first weeks of December, and end of March – beginning of April.
While finding the cheapest deals is exciting, always factor in the snow conditions for the dates that you chose for your winter vacations. For instance, the best powder snow time, hence the best time for skiing, is from January to early March.
Look for Discounts
Whether you’re in search of affordable accommodation, equipment hire, transportation options, and anything else related to your winter excursion, remember to keep looking for discounts.
If you travel as a group, you can benefit from great discount deals. Many resorts in the Alps offer discounts to groups or families, so you may want to reconsider bringing more of your friends along. You can also find early-bird discounts on ski passes for families, big groups, skiers with disabilities, students and more.
Lift passes can also be cheaper when you book them for consecutive days. When purchasing a lift pass, however, make sure that you don’t buy a pass for an area bigger than the one you’re able to cover. If, for example, you’re a beginner, you’ll only need access to a limited ski area. Some resorts offer free access to beginners and young children until they start feeling more comfortable to move on to the next stage.
By following the top tips above you can easily save money on your mountain adventure and enjoy an unforgettable experience without breaking the bank!