Let’s be honest, ski holidays aren’t cheap – but they don’t have to break the bank either. We’ve pulled together a list of the five best, budget-friendly locations to hit the slopes without taking your bank account off-piste.
Keeping the cost of ski holidays down: a few tips
Before we get into the real meat of the article, we thought we’d share a few tips that can really help keep the cost of ski holidays down. They’re all common sense really, but we thought they’d be worth sharing. (And, if you’ve got your own clever trick or tip for saving the pennies when you’re out on the snow, let us know in the comments or on social media!)
• Go skiing in March (or January): It goes without saying, but going outside of the school holidays is a sure-fire way to save a lot of money. If you’ve not got kids (or, are leaving them behind!) then going after Christmas but missing the school holidays is a must.
• Buy your own equipment Taking your own equipment can save you a huge amount on rental charges. If you don’t want to buy new equipment, keep your eyes on Gumtree or eBay during the summer – lots of people sell on their skiing equipment at decent prices during warmer weather.
• Book ski lessons in the afternoon While most people want an early morning ski session while they’re away, why not get a few extra hours in bed and hit the slopes in the afternoon? The prices are considerably cheaper, and the slopes are quieter. Win/win.
Cheap ski holidays: The Destinations
For obvious reasons, most of the cheap ski resorts are in the Alps – they’re the closest and therefore cheapest and easiest to get to. However, it’s well worth checking websites like Holiday Pirates and lastminute.com for any cheap ski holidays that crop up.
Les Saisies, France
Tucked away in the picturesque Beaufortain valley, Les Saisies boasts almost 200km of pistes. With gentle slopes, it’s ideal for beginners or those who haven’t taken to the slopes in a while.
And, with prices as cheap as £245 per person (based on 6 people sharing), it’s a pretty cheap place to catch the skiing bug too.
If you’re looking for a village with character and has a huge range of ski runs, look no further. The Valloire resort not only boasts great views from 2,600m up, but affordable self-catering apartments and all manner of things to do, from a sauna and spa to cinema and ice rink.
Plus, prices start at around £250 per person (if you book in advance) for a self-catering apartment.
If you’re looking for decent slopes on the Portes du Soleil circuit at an affordable price with decent accommodation and bits and pieces to do (that aren’t skiing, of course) then Avoriaz might be the resort for you. Although it’s at quite a low altitude, it’s worth it when you consider that prices can be as low as £120 per person. Again, as with all of these resorts, if you want the proper bargains, you’ll either need to book early or book at the very last minute.
Cheap ski holidays, a little further afield
Remember when we said that most of the cheap places were in the Alps? Well, we’ve found an exception. Well, a few actually: Poland, Bulgaria and Norway are all making a bit of a splash at the moment for their skiing scenes and, because they’re not the well-known, go-to resorts, the prices are often considerable cheaper.
For a more in-depth guide to these smaller, lesser-known ski resorts, The Guardian have written a brilliant low-down on all of the places to check out.
If you’re considering looking for cheap ski holidays, don’t forget to follow our handy tips to travelling on a budget – you might be able to slash the cost in ways you hadn’t even considered before. And, with a bit of luck, you might be on the slopes in no time.