Some people think that skiing is only for the rich because of the steep prices of the world’s most popular ski resorts. Little do people know that it enjoying a ski trip does not have to cost an arm and a leg if you make the right (and often unconventional) choices.
Exploring new places
If you go where everybody goes, chances are you will be shelling more money than you ought to be for the experience. With thousands of tourists pining for their rooms, resorts are bound to raise their rates more than a notch or two because they know that ski-lovers are still going to bite the bait no matter how far they go, just for the prestige.
Try exploring your options, though, and inquire at a less known ski resort in Bansko and Pamporovo (Bulgaria) as opposed to the Alps. You’ll find that the rates are hacked down significantly because not many people frequent these skiing sites. They’re not less popular, though, because they’re less worthy than the Alps. They’re actually recommended for beginners because aside from the friendlier rates, the slopes are more conducive to learning basic skills, too.
You may also want to try Poland’s Zakapone skiing hub. While the peak season rates are still a bit steep, the skiing hub does give discounts and ski passes to those who bother to look for them. If you don’t want to leave the USA just to enjoy a good weekend skiing with the family, you can also try the Snow King Mountain close to Jackson. If you’re a beginner, ski at the Badger Pass. The views are stunning, and the lifts cost no more than USD42 per day.
Travel on Off-Peak Seasons
Following the rules of pricing and how it is affected by the principles of demand and supply, all ski resorts would offer lower rates during their off-peak season. Some of the rates could be hacked by as much as half the peak rates, so keep an eye on these offerings. There are perks and sacrifices to travelling off-peak. As for the perks, aside from enjoying lower prices, you also have more elbow room during your stay at the ski resort.
Most families travel during the peak seasons, that is, during holidays and months when the location is filled with festivities. If you travel off-peak, there would be less little skiers to dodge on the slopes. You will most probably be in the resort by yourself, or joining an all-adult group who are also trying to enjoy the off-peak rates.
On the down side, you will be missing events, and the weather might not be as perfect compared to peak season settings. However, if you’re on a ski trip for the pure love of skiing and not to socialize or attend events too, off-peak deals are the ones for you.
Shop for the right flight
Aside from choosing the resort, you must also be extra careful when you choose your flights to the ski resort destination. Bringing your own equipment can save you a ton of money compared to renting out the gear at the resort itself, but you will be saying goodbye to your savings if you pick a flight with a very steep limit for check-in luggage. Some airlines actually charge more if you’re checking in sports equipment.
The skiers’ airlines of choice are Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, and Swiss Air because their rates are very competitive and they don’t charge too much for sports equipment. Make sure you check the fine print before finalizing your ticket purchase. Most airlines have miniscule rates upfront, but their over-loaded baggage charges are very steep.
There are discounts for everybody
No matter how popular a ski resort is, they would always have great deals in store for people who car pool, for students, for large groups, for families, for the disabled, and for clients who are planning to stay for a long time. If you want to save money, you will keep your eyes and your ears peeled for these discounts. Some of them are publicized, while others are discreetly given away. The most common are large group and family deals, but compute and examine the discount to find out how much you’re really saving.
When it comes to ski resorts, the higher the location is, the higher the rates are, too. This is because of the ski resort’s proximity to the peak, and some people do pay for the convenience of skiing right out of their ski resort’s door. Don’t forget, though, that there are shuttles and ski lifts available, and most of these cost only a fraction of the rates you’ll be paying for a premium ski resort’s room. Stay at a ski resort which is located somewhere in the middle of the mountain, or better yet, close to town. Take a daytrip to your ski site and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Go for Travel Packages
Some ski resorts partner it up with airlines and other travel companies which is why they offer travel packages which work for them and work for you, too. These travel packages were designed to make sure you spend money on specific groups of service and accommodation providers. They work for the ski resorts and airlines for the obvious reason that they get more sure clients. They work for you too because you can get anywhere between 20% to 70% off the original prices simply because you’ve chosen to “bundle” your loyalties.
Minimize your visits to overpriced cafes
While it’s tempting to join the rest of the tourists as they head to the most expensive cafes in town after a day of skiing, be more critical. These beverages are obviously overprices, and if you’re freezing from the snow, there are less costly fixes for the chills especially if you’re staying in a ski resort which encourages self-service. Fix yourself coffee or hot coco from the kitchen and enjoy the view from your cabin window. Bring audio CDs and play with the lighting, if you wish, to mimic that touristy and expensive cafe vibe.
Stop Renting your Gear
If you think you’re only skiing once, it might be alright to rent your gear. However, very few people only ski once, and the rental prices in ski resorts are atrocious, especially during peak seasons. If a brand new gear is too pricey for you, you might want to go for preloved items. Check Preloved.com or Gumtree.com. Most of them are almost good as new.
Adjust your Timing
Ski passes could be expensive, so you might want to cut your ski passes a day or two. The difference is significantly big, and you won’t regret cutting your costs because there are quite number of sites you can ski for free, too. Go for easy cross-country slopes if you’re in the French Alps just to fill in the remaining days of your stay.
Try getting a job related to skiing
If you want free ski passes, you might want to consider getting jobs at the ski resort. They’re looking for receptionists, chefs, bellboys, assistants, and other fillers during the peak season. The pay isn’t much, but at least you get to stay for free at a ski resort of your choice and enjoy gear rentals and free ski passes as well. If you land a job you like, you might even enjoy getting some elbow grease before hitting the slopes.
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