Cheap ski vacation: is this really a thing?!

Winter is fast approaching and it’s time to think about your skiing vacation. If you are used to book weeks in the mountain, you know that it can get very expensive. However, there are many small things that can have a big impact on your budget and help you spend cheap ski vacation.

We have been skiing since our childhood and learned a few tricks to save money on the slopes. Here are 9 of our best tips:

Carefully choose your ski resort

Cheap ski vacation

There are plenty of ski resorts all over the world. The first thing you’ll need to decide is the country in which you want to spend your vacation.

In Europe, choosing between France, Austria, Italy or Switzerland – even if geographically close – will have a big impact on your budget. We mainly know the Swiss domains which –let’s be honest– are not among the best place to spend cheap ski vacation.

But even here, there are a lot of price difference between the resorts and even between the different villages in a same area.

It is mainly a matter of personal taste and you should be making your own decision but don’t forget to also consider the travel costs and how convenient reaching the resort from your home is.

Then, you need to be thinking about what you are precisely looking for:

  • Do you want to simply ski and avoid packed slopes? Look into smaller and cheaper ski resorts.
  • Do you want to have access to a great choice of slopes? Think about going to a small resort connected to an important ski area.
  • Do you want to have a great after-ski and have fun aside of the slopes? Then, you will need to consider the biggest resorts, knowing that it will be more expensive.

Have an eye out for cheap ski vacation offers

Ski resorts and tourism offices offer many special deals. Discount for early bookers, family packages, free tickets for kids, free entrance to other sport facilities (ice rink, pools, etc.)… ski resorts are getting creative when it comes to attracting new customers.

For example, our home resort of les portes du soleil proposes a cheap yearly pass for young people (under 25 years old) and many other early booking and special deals.

Pick a date wisely

Cheap ski vacation

If you have the chance to be flexible with regards to dates, picking a date outside of peak season can of course have a massive impact on your budget.

The Christmas season is obviously the busiest period, followed by the school vacation.

Play around with dates upon booking an accommodation and inform yourself on the local vacation period (in Europe, usually between mid-february to mid-march).

Visiting a resort outside of peak season will not only allow you to spend cheap ski vacation; you will love enjoying the slopes and the ski lifts for yourself.

Take advantage of special offers and packages from hotels

If you are staying in a hotel, not only the date will make a difference. As per the ski resorts, many propose special deals and offers, especially in off-peak periods. Ski tickets included in the price of your stay, family discounts, free airport transfer, etc.

Cheap ski vacation

Consider renting an apartment instead of booking an hotel

Alright, you are probably thinking that we are getting crazy at this point. There’s no way that renting an apartment is the way to go to spend cheap ski vacation, right? Well, we must disagree.

At first glance, of course it is more expensive but just think about taking a few friends with you and suddenly a weekly rent of €4000 is not that expensive once shared with 8 people.

Moreover, an apartment will allow you to cook and avoid the expensive altitude restaurants. Add to this the benefit of having more space to relax after an exhaustive day on the slopes and you will see that renting an apartment it is not so much of a bad alternative.

Save big on food

In the mountains, food quickly becomes the main position on your budget. Of course, you’ll want to go out and try some local dishes but, if you are on a budget, there are many solutions to eat for a reasonable price.

Altitude supermarkets are usually not too overpriced and will offer the same assortment as anywhere else. Buy your food and drinks in advance and prepare a picnic that to take in a backpack for lunch.

Eating outside is a wonderful way to admire the nature and, in case of bad weather, most of the resorts offer pick nick rooms in the arrival station of the main gondolas.

With regards to drinks, we recommend investing in a good insulated hydration bag that will keep you from stopping for over-priced drinks every hour while keeping your beverage at the perfect temperature.

Cheap ski vacation

Rent your gear before you go

Skiing gear is of first importance. If you do not already own yours, you might first of all be interested in reading our article to help you choose your ski clothes. If you plan on renting your equipment, do this in your home city or down in the valley rather than up the mountains, it will be much cheaper.

Consider buying instead of renting

We know, buying a ski equipment is an investment but if you plan on going back in the future, it will be very quickly amortized. The first piece of equipment we would recommend to buy for yourself is a good pair of boots. They will adapt to your feet and get comfier over time.

With regards to skis, it can be worth to rent, especially if you are beginning. It will allows you to change them as you improve your technique. Nevertheless, if you know what you want, buying a pair of used skis will not cost you more as the rental price for a week.

Don’t cheap out on a ski instructor

Ski lessons are expensive but, if you are a beginner, it is an absolute must. You need to learn the basis from a professional who will help you become independent. You will of course learn much faster if you take private lessons but booking a group course is a good way to keep an eye on your expenses while meeting new people (or having fun with your friends).

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