I am always asked how it is possible that I can go skiing regularly without breaking the bank. It is simple, I do a lot of extended ski weekend trips. Don’t get me wrong, they can be expensive but with a bit of advanced planning, it is definitely possible to do without breaking the budget.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Saving Money for a Ski Weekend
There are a few important things to consider when you want to save money on your next ski/snowboarding weekend trip away? They can range from the distance to the resort from the airport, how well a mountain is suited for your group of friends or family or even what do you take on the flight.
1 – Distance to the Airport – Easily Accessible
You want to be able to fly into somewhere that is easily accessible and only a short distance to your resort. With various airlines doing more and more scheduled flights through Europe, it is possible to get midweek, early morning and late night flights. Not just the chartered flights that are usually offered from Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday.
Work on the basis of travelling time from the airport to the ski resorts from one to two hours. You don’t want to spend your whole time travelling when you could be snowboarding or skiing (or enjoying the Apreski). The further away the ski resort is from the airport, the more money it will usually cost you to get there, especially via a transfer.
Remember the closer the ski resort, the more time you can enjoy your ski weekend.
Read More – Learn to Snowboard or Ski in England
Hire a car for the day
If there is a group of you or if you have a family hire a car to drive to the ski resort, as it will usually work out cheaper than ordering a transfer. If you like to get a FREE, easy and fast comparison of hiring a car, then try out Skyscanner’s car comparison site. If you are worried about getting lost it should not be a problem, as most car hire companies hire Sav Nav too.
Top Tip for choosing an airport
Look at airports like Geneva international which has a variety of ski resorts in both France and Switzerland and is roughly within an hour and a half travelling time. Also, being a major international airport they offer a variety of flights/times of day to suit your needs too.
2 – Choosing the right Airline
Saving money on your accommodation as well as on your flights is a big part of your ski trip budget. You don’t want to book a cheap flight and then have to add on extra for luggage like ski boots and skis to find out that it ends up costing you more than the flight its self. If you are not a frequent flyer and don’t have the benefits like free additional baggage it might take a little research to choose a relevant airline.
Take care though and check the fine print. I have been caught before thinking I could take my skis and bags, only to find when I arrived at the airport they only charged me for my bags and not my skis.
If you are only going for a couple of days, try taking your ski boots as carry on (depending on the airline) and check your bag in. Sometimes hiring just the skis for the weekend can be so much cheaper than checking in your own skis on a flight (Not to mention the inconvenience of carrying them around).
How about these suggestions for ski boot bags that you should be able to use as carry on for your flight.
Top Tip for free ski boot carry on
Some major airlines like Austrian Airways and Swiss Air allow you to take your skis and snowboard without additional cost on various routes during the winter season.
⇒ If you like to get a FREE, easy and fast comparison of flights, then try out Skyscanner’s flight comparison site.
3 – Choosing Accommodation
Accommodation for an extended ski weekend is not always easy to book or come by, most places still want to offer Week to Week (especially during the high season). They usually only release the availability at the last minute for short-term which is sometimes limited to the days that they have.
The problem with this though is that you could end up paying more money than if you booked a week skiing package and will not save money. As either your flights or accommodation will be too expensive as your booking either one of these things at the last minute.
If you have an idea which resort you want to go to for a ski weekend, book your flights in advance and then look for accommodation afterwards. As flight prices tend to rise higher or more quickly than accommodation prices in most cases.
Read More – Jahorina Ski Resort Sarajevo
You also have the option that if you cannot stay in the ski resort you want, you can book accommodation in the nearby resort or ski region. As most resorts and ski regions are linked via chairlifts, gondolas and buses these days which gives you greater access to a ski area or desired resort.
Top Tip for booking accommodation
Most resorts tend to offer Saturday to Wednesday and Wednesday to Sunday bookings due to things like overlapping of their week to week bookings. Also, Saturday to Wednesday tend to be a little quieter so better for taking families, not to mention cheaper for a ski weekend.
4 – Runs/Slopes
After you arrive at your resort, what matters most are the ski slopes themselves, right? You don’t want to choose a resort to find that when you get there the runs are not for you. For example, not being an overly confident skier and then trying to go down the last run of the day only to find it is narrow and full of moguls.
Also try to get familiar with the grading of ski slopes, as not all countries are the same, like runs in Austria are different from the grading in France. This will allow you to enjoy your ski weekend even more.
Make sure that you have the right travel insurance so your mind can be at ease when you are hitting the ski slopes in the Alps. Compare the best holiday insurance for FREE
Top Tip for downloading a piste map
If you’re not sure on the runs, you can always go to the resort’s tourism site and download the Piste map. This will give you a good indication of the type of runs they have within and around the resorts.
5 – Buy your Ski Pass online
Nearly everything is available online these days and most ski resorts now offer ski passes online before you arrive. Look around because some resorts offer ski weekend discounts meaning you can be saving money and spending it on the all important apres ski!
While online you can familiarise yourself with the runs before you arrive which saves more time for the skiing.
6 – Apres ski (Social Activites after a day of skiing)
Though this one really is a personal opinion and may not be a factor if you are travelling with your family. Apres ski is usually an important decision maker when you are travelling with a group of friends whether you’re on a ski weekend or for a week.
There is nothing more enjoyable than having a nice glass of wine (or beer) after a hard day of skiing and dancing around in your ski boots singing along to the trashy music and not having a care in the world that you know all the words to every song!!!
Top Tip for staying safe while having apres ski
If you are not a confident skier or snowboarder and don’t want to have a drink and then try to ski home, a lot of bars have free shuttle buses. If you are too high up on the mountain the gondola/chairlift will stay open, allowing people to get back down the mountain safely.
⇒ Make sure that you have the right travel insurance so your mind can be at ease on your adventures holiday in the Alps. Compare the best holiday insurance for FREE
Ideas of where to ski in Europe
If you are interested in discovering ski resorts that are within an hour of an international airport and I think are great for a ski weekend with either a group of friends or family. Then you might be interested in the following articles. All are great options for a weekend trip with friends or with family hiking.
A winter holiday guide – La Clusaz France (Less than an hour and a half from Geneva airport)
The Italian side of the Matterhorn – Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort, Italy (Less than an hour and a half from Turin airport)
More to offer than Skiing – Les Gets Ski Resort, France (Less than an hour from Geneva airport)
Thank you for reading this article ‘6 Top Tips for Saving Money for a Ski Weekend’. I hope it helped you get some ideas on saving money for a Ski weekend. Do you have any tips for saving money on skiing or snowboarding? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
If there is anything more you would like to know or want more tips for saving money for skiing, please do not hesitate to message me. Happy Skiing and enjoy your adventure
Here are some good suggestions for day backpacks for skiing or snowboarding, all are reasonably priced.
Disclaimer: All views are my own and based on my own experience.