VIENNA (DPA) : A skiing holiday can get expensive – even if it only lasts a few days. Some people even think they’ll never be able to afford such a holiday. But if you take a few tips into account, you can save money.
1. Go in the off season
If you don’t have to go on holiday during the school holidays or festive period, it’s better to avoid it and make plans for the off season instead. Holiday dates are usually the most expensive, confirms Florian Schmidt of the German Ski Association.
If you have to travel as a family with children during the festive season, you should at least skip the most popular days at New Year’s Eve or Easter, advises the tour operator Snowtrex. There are much more attractive offers before Christmas, after the New Year or after Easter.
2. Choose a smaller ski resort
“The more unknown and smaller a ski resort is, the cheaper it usually is,” says Sandra Timár from the Austrian National Tourist Office, where famous resorts like Ischgl and Kitzbühel tend to charge a premium.
Admittedly, there might only be a few kilometers of slopes, a small selection of huts and older lifts. But if you’re only going on a skiing holiday for a few days, have children with you or are a beginner, smaller areas are not such a bad idea.
The tour operator Snowtrex has calculated that a skiing holiday in a manageable area in France, Germany, the Czech Republic or Poland can bring savings of up to 70% compared to large areas. Ski passes, equipment rentals, ski schools, meals and accommodation are significantly cheaper.
3. Holiday rental instead of a hotel
Instead of a four-star spa resort with a three-course menu, it’s better to look for a holiday rental to save money. This is cheaper and just as relaxing, says Florian Schmidt.
4. Longer journey times to skiing areas
The rule of thumb: the closer the accommodation is to the lift, the more expensive it is. That’s why Sandra Timár advises anyone looking to save money to stay in a place that doesn’t have a ski lift and isn’t right around the corner from a ski resort. From there, you can usually get to the nearest ski resort in less than 60 minutes by public transport.
5. Compare prices for equipment
If you don’t have your own equipment, you should compare prices for rental equipment before you go. In some cases, it may be worthwhile to rent equipment from a sports shop back home and take it with you, says Florian Schmidt.
If you don’t want to transport the equipment, you should reserve or book it online in advance at a sport shop in the ski resort, advises Snowtrex. This can save you up to 70%.
In Florian Schmidt’s experience, some sport shops also offer special deals for buying ski equipment for children: you can then pay a service fee when you need to exchange the children’s ski set for the required new ski length, up to three times.
Alternatively, you can return the used equipment and the price will be deducted proportionately from the new ski set.
6. Buy a multi-day ski pass
If you’re spending several days at a ski resort, you should always buy a multi-day ticket instead of individual day ski passes. The rule of thumb: the more days you ski, the cheaper the ski pass per day. According to Florian Schmidt, offers such as “pay for five days, ski for six” are particularly worth taking a look at.
7. Discounts for the kids
Sandra Timár advises looking for offers or packages on the websites of the ski regions that, for example, significantly reduce the price of a skiing holiday with children.
According to Florian Schmidt, in many ski resorts children up to the age of six ski for free if one parent buys a ski pass. In some places, this also applies to older children. Families should keep an eye out for such offers when placing their booking.
The German Ski Association expert says there are also often discounts on ski passes for schoolchildren, young people, students or senior citizens.
8. A packed lunch instead of eating out
Warming up in a rustic mountain hut at lunchtime and eating a hot meal: After a long morning of skiing, it’s definitely tempting. The huts know this, and prices are often steep. The alternative: pack yourself some sandwiches and a thermos for the slopes.
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