Hello HolidayHypers! We’re pleased to host a guest writer from Quidco, the UK’s number one cashback and voucher code website.
Winter has arrived which means if you’re of a skiing persuasion you’ll be eyeing continental weather reports and planning a trip to the mountains. Those who hit the pistes regularly will know all too well that ski resorts are far from cheap, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t savings to be made. We run through a few tips for economising in the snow.
Try somewhere new
The hoi polloi may be heading to Courcheval, Val d’Isere and Aspen, but if you’re happy to look off the beaten path there are plenty of very decent, less fashionable alternatives. Nestled between France and Spain in the Pyrenees, Andorra’s four resorts are ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers. Featuring state-of-the-art lifts, great ski schools and superb nightlife it should appeal to those who like a party as much as those with young children. Like Andorra, Bulgaria and even Cyprus are similarly accessible for beginners. The slopes are far less hectic than their Alp equivalents and ski passes are much more suited to those on a tight budget.
Book in a big group
For the biggest savings, booking in large groups and as early as possible is best. From sharing chalets and apartments to booking lessons, the more people to help cover the cost the better. Self catering breaks can be more budget-friendly than full-board, but if you are going to cook and clean for yourselves make sure you remember to buy food and supplies lower down the mountain where prices are considerably lower than those at resorts. If you’re hiring a car or people carrier, a big weekly shop at a local hypermarket before the climb up the mountain is advisable.
Book ski hire in advance
While regular skiers and snowboarders are likely to own their own skis, boards and boots, the improved quality of rental equipment means that those who don’t have all the gear can still have a comfortable time on the slopes. Rather than organising rentals on arrival, book online as soon as you’ve sorted your flights and accommodation and you’ll likely guarantee yourself a big discount. The biggest pan-European ski rental companies offer very tidy price reductions in the build-up to busy periods which could well put a few euros in your pocket for an après-ski drink or two.
It goes without saying that winter sports are dangerous so ensuring you’ve suitable insurance is a necessity. A normal travel insurance policy probably won’t cut the mustard, so check the terms and conditions as you’ll likely need a winter sports package. There are all manner of insurance comparison sites to help you get the best deal so make sure you shop around – remember if you use Quidco you could get cashback as well. If you’re skiing on the continent, you should be taking a free European Health Insurance card (EHIC) along. The card can be used in state run hospitals in EU countries and entitles holders to care at the same price as the locals.
Get kitted out
Unless you’re a pro skier trying to stay as aerodynamic as possible, or care more about posing on the pistes than skiing, there’s no reason to spend over the odds on flash salopettes, jackets and other ski accessories. Staying warm is often the most important part of being comfortable on the mountain so as long as you’ve enough layers you should be fine. If you’ve friends who ski, but aren’t planning to be away at the same time, you could always ask to borrow their gear. If that doesn’t appeal, you could always plan ahead and snap up ski gear when it goes on sale in the summer!