Skiing is one of the most exciting winter sports of our time; it’s full of adrenaline, gives you the most magical snow-filled backdrops, and offers a nightlife that never sleeps through its infamous après-ski culture. Ski resorts are bursting with glitz and glam; unsurprisingly, this doesn’t come cheap. But if you’re on a budget, there are many ways you can scrape back the bucks whilst planning your winter ski trip. Here are 5 handy tips for saving money.

Choose the Right Resort

Resorts, no matter how close in proximity to one another, will not have the same pricing structures. Ski passes and equipment hire can vary drastically from resort to resort so be sure to research the different destinations. It will also be useful understanding the core customer groups and main crowds of each resort. Family-friendly resorts such as Galtor (Austria) may have a larger variety of mid-priced restaurants whereas a super-glam resort such as Courchevel in France may have more high-end dining options due to its affluent crowd.

Book Early

It’s not always possible to plan ahead. But with ski resorts – unlike the benefits you get from holding out for late flights – the earlier, the better. Because keen skiers book their holidays a whole season in advance, meaning that most chalets and lodges will be booked up before you know it. Reduced availability can cause inflated prices so don’t let all the best deals slip away – book ahead to save money.

Post Your Ski Equipment

If you’re carrying a large amount of equipment, you should be prepared to pay extortionate premiums with most airlines. A more affordable and very convenient alternative is to post your ski equipment overseas using a courier service. Arrange with your hotel / chalet reception and you could have your equipment ready and waiting for your arrival. European ski destinations such as Austria, France and Germany use services such as TNT Direct.

Choose Self Catering

Eating out is not cheap when you’re skiing – particularly for the more high-end resorts. Choose a self-catering chalet and you will have the option to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Take Ski Lessons at Home

Not only can the price of ski passes and ski hire add up, but many beginners and intermediates require ski lessons on arrival – and this can really chip away at your après-ski funds. If you’re watching your dollars, take ski lessons back in your home country. Not only will it be much cheaper but you can spread the cost over a number of weeks or months to suit your budget.

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