How To Go Skiing On A Budget
At some point in our lives we’ve all wanted to whizz about in the Swiss Alps over Christmas, welcoming in the New Year with a cup of hot gluhwein or a glass of Moet. For most of us though, that’s a far off dream! The good news is that skiing doesn’t have to stay only in your imagination; you just have to get clever about where and when you take to the slopes. For the budget-conscious travellers, here’s how you can find yourself on a ski slope sooner than you thought.
Do Your Research
Start planning your trip and looking at the various options well in advance. You’ll find that most resorts are open for set periods, some have only fully-catered options, some offer self-catering chalets. Some even offer day passes and shuttle buses so you can just base yourself nearby and go skiing a few times a week. Trying to find out all of this in a month before you want to leave can be completely overwhelming and you’ll end up overspending for convenience sakes. Plus, it always helps to know roughly what prices you can expect to pay. That way, when a great deal comes up you can recognise it straight away and snap it up!
Choose The Right Flight
It goes without saying that you want to keep an eye on flight specials and prices to see if an offer to the right destination comes up. Generally, you should book at least 2-3 months in advance but start looking before that. When it comes to skiing, you might also want to consider baggage allowance. Plenty of travellers are tempted to take a cheaper long haul flight to a nearby destination and then hop on to a low cost flight. This can work out but if you’re carting around skis, snowboards, or even just loads of heavy jackets, boots and other winter wear you might be caught unawares by all the extra baggage charges. Make sure to check out the difference in prices and see whether the extra time and admin is worthwhile for you.
Look Somewhere Unconventional
Ordering room service and champagne to your Austrian slopeside chalet comes at a price, but there are plenty of ski destinations which are a better fit for those of us who need to count pennies before a holiday. After all, unless you’re a pro who routinely whizzes down the black slopes, you only really need slopes and snow. Some of the options available for skiing on a budget are Italy, Slovenia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Bosnia, Poland, Macedonia, and Slovakia, to name but a few. They’re less crowded, less expensive and often less over the top, but just as beautiful and are great for the skiing experience without the hefty price tag.
Go Out Of Season
Obviously, you can’t go skiing in the middle of summer. If you don’t mind exactly when your holiday is though, you can plan to hit the slopes during a lull. These are typically at the very start or end of the skiing season at your chosen destination (though the snow cover might be less than usual at these times) or, alternatively, in early January after the festive period. It goes without saying that most places will be at their busiest over Christmas and New Years, and over key school holidays depending on the exact destination. Try to avoid these times as much as possible and you’ll score discounted rates!