Skiing regularly does not have to break the bank and there are plenty of top tips for saving money for your ski trip. Don’t get me wrong, they can be really expensive. However, with a bit of advanced planning, it is definitely possible to do this without overspending. Saving money means more skiing vacations.
Tips for saving money for a Ski Trip
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.
Here are some tips for saving money for a ski holiday;
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1. Consider the distance to the Airport
One of my biggest tips for saving money is considering the distance from the Airport to the ski resort. You want to be able to fly somewhere like Grenoble that is easily accessible and only a short distance. With various airlines doing 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. During the winter season, BA does a flight out to Innsbruck on a Wednesday and a return flight on Sunday.
I work on the basis of travelling time from the airport to the ski resorts from one to two hours for a ski weekend. You don’t want to spend your whole time travelling when you could be skiing and enjoying the Apresski.
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. Jahorina Ski Resort is only 12 miles away from Sarajevo international airport, it is less than 45 mins drive.
2. Choosing an Airport
Choosing an airport to fly into can be a factor in saving money for your ski trip. This is due to various things like the frequency of the flight’s to the destination a day. The more flights offered usually means the flights should cost less.
Airports like Geneva which is a major international has a variety of ski resorts in both France and Switzerland. Flights from London to Geneva are not only frequent but you can also go from different airports in London. Geneva International airport is also roughly within an hour to two hours to some of Europe’s major ski resorts.
Remember the closer the ski resort, the more time you can enjoy your ski weekend.
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Ski resorts close to International airports
- An hours drive from Geneva to Les Gets Ski Resort France –
- An hour and a half drive from Verona to Monte Bondone Ski Resort Italy
- An hours drive from Geneva to La Clusaz Ski Resort France
3. Choosing the right Airline
Saving money on your accommodation as well as on your flights is a big part of your ski trip budget. So choosing the right airline can save you money, especially with forward thinking. You don’t want to book a cheap flight and then ends up costing you more than the flight itself. After you have to add on extra’s like luggage, ski boots and skis.
If you are not a frequent flyer and don’t have the additional benefits like free additional baggage. Then it may take a little research to choose the right airline and check the fine print.
I have been caught out before thinking I could take my skis and bags for free. Only to find out that the airline I was travelling with had changed their rules a few months before. When I arrived at the airport to check in my skis, the person said that I needed to pay an additional fee.
4. Take your own ski gear
Taking your own ski or snowboard gear with you on a week long ski trip will save you money. As it means that you won’t need to hire any ski gear. Which can add up over the week, especially if you are hiring everything and you need insurance on top. I found the benefit of taking your own ski equipment is that you feel more comfortable skiing.
If you are going on a package holiday, ski companies usually charge an additional fee for your skis and snowboard to be checked in.
Depending on the route during the winter season, some airlines allow you to take your skis at no additional cost. An airline that offers this service is Austrian Airways. However, double check as it might have changed due to the covid situation.
I use rebels head ski bag to carry all my gear apart from my skis, similar to this one. I fit everything in there even my ski helmet.
Whether you are a confident skier or a beginner, it is always best to wear a ski helmet ski helmets when skiing.
5. Take some of your ski gear for a ski weekend
I am aware that using your own gear will save you money on your ski trip. However, sometimes it is not worth taking all your gear for a weekend ski trip. If you are only going for a few days, take your ski boots and hire your skis at the resort. You can usually take them as a carry on and check your bag in.
An airline once wanted to charge me more money for the skis than for me to be on the plane. When I checked the ski rental it was less than half the price of taking my own skis.
Sometimes hiring just the skis for the weekend can save you a bit of money. Also, some ski resorts usually rent out the latest skies on the market. Meaning you can test a different brand or type of ski that you have been wanting to try. When I was in Saint Nicolas de Veroce, I tested out the new ZAG Chamonix H-96 lady skis.
I use a Head unisex ski backpack to carry my ski boots on the plane, similar to this one. It’s super comfortable when carrying it on my back. It fits not only my ski boots but my laptop and other personal items.
Here are some other suggestions for ski boot bags that you should be able to take on a flight.
6. Hiring a car instead of taking a transfer
One of the useful ways in saving money and one of my top tips for your ski trip is by hiring a car. Sometimes it is usually cheaper and more convenient than getting a transfer. Especially if you are going as a small group or if you are taking a family. It worked out cheaper for my husband to hire a car to Breuil-Cervinia Italy, for a few days. Then it was getting a transfer one way.
Check a free comparison site like the Travel Supermarket and compare it to how much a transfer would cost. Then decide on an option to take, if you are wanting to save money on your ski trip.
7. Choosing Accommodation
Accommodation for an extended ski weekend is not always easy to book. 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 the 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.
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
8. Book in lesser-known resorts
Think about booking accommodation in a lesser-known resort that is connected to a popular ski resort. It is a great way of saving money on your ski trip. Most resorts and ski regions are linked via chairlifts, gondolas and buses these days. Giving you greater access to ski areas or desired resorts.
Accommodation in these lesser-known ski resorts are usually a cheaper option. But you can still get the benefits of the major ski resort. Sometimes they are even included in your lift passe of the more popular resorts. Valtournenche is connected to the more popular Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort and it is part of your lift pass.
families, not to mention cheaper for a ski weekend.
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.
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Read More – Learn to Snowboard or Ski in England
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.
Don’t forget your GoPro for your adventures on your snowboard and ski adventures.
10. Buy your Ski Pass online
One of the easiest tips I would suggest for saving money on your ski trip is simply by purchasing your ski pass online. All ski resorts should have a website available these days. Making it easy for you to check before going.
Some resorts offer discounts on lift passes to entice you to ski in their resort. There are even some resorts that offer packages on lift passes for weekend ski trips.
While online you can familiarise yourself with the ski slopes before you arrive which saves more time for skiing. Not to mention, you can check out the other things that you can do.
11. Consider Half Day lift passes
Consider getting half-day lift passes, especially on your first or last day on your ski trip, saving you some money. Most ski resorts offer half-day lift passes for either the morning or in the afternoon. Gives you around 3 to 3.5 hours of skiing time, sometimes that can be enough for someone.
A benefit of skiing in the afternoons only is that you can get warmer weather but the snow can turn to slush. Skiing in the morning only can benefit a lot of families who might only have 3 or 4 hours of skiing in them.
12. Apres ski (Social Activities 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!!!
Tips 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.
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13. Take a day ski backpack and carry snacks
Another simple tip for saving money on your ski trip is by taking a backpack and carrying water and snack. Buying bottled water, other drinks and food can add up very quickly.
By taking your own water, you will not only keep hydrated but you will be taking care of the environment.
Here are some good suggestions for day backpacks for skiing or snowboarding, all are reasonably priced.
14. Budget-friendly Ski Resorts
Here are some ski resorts that I think a good budget-friendly and are close to international airports.
- Chatel Ski Resort France – Closest airport Geneva
- Jahorina Ski Resort Bonsia – Closest airport Sarajevo
- Val di Fiemme Dolomites Italy – Closest airport Verona
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Thank you for reading this skiing article. I hope these tips help you in saving money for your next Ski vacation. Do you have any tips for saving money on skiing or snowboarding? I would love to hear about 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.
Looking for other skiing articles, then please feel free to check out my ski page.
Disclaimer: All views are my own and based on my own experience.