If you’ve not been skiing, then, well, you should. For all the cliche taglines which bombard holiday marketing companies, there’s one which does exactly what it says on the tin when it comes to skiing – ‘The best week of your life’ – try to find someone who wouldn’t agree.
If it isn’t having a having hot chocolate at 3000 metres, it’s the pint(s) of beer after hours of skiing in the mountains; if the ‘perfect day’ had a definition – then a day skiing would be it. But, the drawback is the cost; zero chance you’re making it smoothly to the following payday if you go skiing this winter; virtually impossible when a plate of chips cost north of €20.
The whole package is a bank buster. The primary costs of a holiday are usually the travel and accommodation, but this is just the starters for a ski trip; once the ski pass, skis, poles, helmets, and equipment needed starting with every letter in the alphabet, you may as well take out a mortgage before you’ve finalised the costs.
On top of all this, ski resorts then pile more misery on that little bit of plastic in your pocket by charging an arm and a leg – who doesn’t love a British idiom – on every single item within the ski resort; it’s as if you’re walking around and being billed for breathing air.
But there are – sort of – ways around it. You can do a ski trip without maxing overdrafts and credit cards if you do things the smart way/follow the anagram GADES.
Go in a big group. Research the deals around and get the biggest group possible together. Ski companies love a big group, and it’s quite literally: ‘the more, the merrier’ in this case; you’ll be happier for it as the discounts go down, and the ski company will be happier with more punters walking blindly into a financial crisis.
It goes without saying to avoid peak times where the demand is higher. For instance, don’t go looking to go skiing around the New Year where every man and his dog is looking to hit the slopes; go in times where everyone else is staying at home. Very early December or March time have generally proved to be the ‘lower end’ of demand time.
Plus, avoid the more ‘premium’ resorts. Places like Zermatt, absolutely beautiful, but it’s high prices are virtually non-avoidable. Aim for the ‘cheaper’ resorts – places like Livigno in Italy or Söll in Austria are good starting points.
Sure, it will eat into your holiday, but driving could save you up to £150-200 over flying. Look for the cheap buses – yes, it’s horrific for 36 hours – but the cheaper packages of a bus will avoid your own petrol and road tax costs; 100% worth it… once it’s over.
Get on your trip early doors. The sooner, the better. Last minute deals, on occasion, may work in your favour. But, play the safe option and get looking as early as possible.
ALWAYS look for self-catered accommodation. Who cares if you have to live off pasta and ham sandwiches for a week? The skiing makes up for it.
Following such a criteria will still likely see you rack up a bill in the region of £600-800, but the week is worth it. The following month back in wherever you work will be tough, but, totally worth it for the ‘greatest week of your life’.