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How to Take a Cheap Ski Vacation

Ski Vacation
Allianz - Ski Vacation

Ah, skiing season. Long days on the slopes, hearty meals in the evening and plenty of laughs. What's not to love? Unfortunately, all that fun comes at a price. There's just no getting around it; skiing is expensive, but in this handy guide, we offer seven invaluable tips to ensure your skiing holiday is both fun and affordable.

Book Independently

Booking a package skiing holiday does come with the peace of mind that everything will be taken care of, but you'll be paying extra for that convenience. Booking your trip independently allows you to shop around for the best deals on flights, accommodation, ski rentals and so forth. It'll also add more flexibility and individuality than you would get from a package deal.

Choose Your Ski Resort Wisely

If you want to ski at Whistler, Vail or in the Swiss Alps, you're going to pay for it. Most people don't need to spend their holiday at the resorts with world-famous names; they'll have just as much fun at the less renowned, less expensive and less crowded resorts. If you're skiing in Europe, look at Andorra, where the skiing is excellent and the prices have remained low. Slovenia, Bulgaria and Austria also offer great value.1 In The States, you can find terrific deals on the second tier, but still excellent, ski resorts like Ski Cooper and Silverton Mountain in Colorado and Powder Mountain in Utah.2

Ski During Low Season

Between work vacations and school holidays, it can be difficult to take a skiing trip during the low season, but those who do will be rewarded with handsome rates for lift tickets and accommodation. The potential downside to this arrangement is that not all lifts and runs may be open and the resort's enticing ski season atmosphere may not yet be in full swing.

If you can't make it to the shoulder season, at the very least avoid visiting during the peak of the ski season, usually around the holidays and long weekends.

Stay in Self-Catering Accommodations

Hotel costs can add up very quickly, especially if you're traveling as part of a family or large group. Instead, consider booking a self-catering apartment or chalet. The larger the accommodation, the cheaper per person it becomes, especially if costs are divided between 8-12 people. You'll save plenty of cash, have more space to relax and still be close to the ski lift.

Staying in self-catering accommodation also lets you save money by cooking your own meals; buying all your meals at a resort adds a hefty expense. In the evening, you'll have a space to hang out with friends and family so you don't have to spend money visiting the resort bars.

Don't Rent Your Skis from the Resort

There's no getting around it: Whether you rent or buy, you're going to have to spend money on skiing equipment. Your decision to rent or buy equipment will depend on such things as how often you plan on skiing and whether you'll have to pay extra to transport your equipment for your trip.

If you decide to rent, don't automatically get your equipment from the resort as those prices are generally inflated. Instead, shop around for the best deals; towns close to the resort will have sports equipment stores where it might be much cheaper to rent equipment.

Join a Group Lesson

Unless you have patient friends who are willing to teach you, it's crucial that you sign up for a few lessons if you're a beginner skier.3 You simply won't enjoy your trip if you don't, and you'll also be putting yourself and others in danger. So get a lesson for your own safety; you don't want to have to use your travel insurance! You can save money by booking yourself into a group class rather than getting a much more expensive private lesson. You won't receive the same attention as a one-on-one lesson, but you'll learn the same skills and get to meet other beginner skiers.

Get the Right Ski Pass

Ski resorts offer different levels of ski passes depending on how much you're planning to ski. While you might be tempted to get the pass that offers you the most access, you won't know how much you plan on skiing until a day or two into your trip, especially if you've never been on a skiing trip before. If you're booking your ski pass beforehand, remember that skiing is tiring, and it's likely you'll want a day or more off if you're going for an extended length of time. Think carefully before you purchase your pass; you can always upgrade it later, but you won't be issued a refund for days you don't use it.

These tips will help you save money on your next skiing trip, but don't forget the number one objective for going in the first place – to have fun! Stay safe and protect yourself with Allianz Travel Insurance for the peace of mind you need to relax.

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