[TRAVELS] 6 ways to save on your ski holiday this winter

STORY BY
Robert Stewart
9th January 2017

There’s been recent coverage in some of the national newspapers highlighting surcharges by a well-known ski tour operator, due to pressures on the currency exchange rate between the Pound and the Euro.

Despite these articles suggesting that many tours operators are following suit, there’s currently only four independent companies listed on the ABTA website as doing so.

The two largest UK ski operators, Crystal and Inghams, have officially stated that they will not be surcharging their customers this winter. This is obviously good news, although because we know that our Pound will not go as far in the Eurozone or Swiss Franc area as it did last year, we look at several ways to help save money on a ski holiday this winter.

….because let’s face it, thinking about not going skiing or snowboarding this season is simply not an option is it?

1 – Action packed savings

Action Outdoors offer ski and snowboard holidays in twelve of the most popular resorts in the French Alps, with accommodation in the basic but comfortable UCPA centres. The unique aspect being that everything – full-board accommodation, weekly ski pass, equipment hire and lessons are all included in the price, typically between £550 and £650 for seven nights. Because the costs are all paid in Pounds before you go, the exchange rate becomes far less relevant once you’re there. The organisation has literally hundreds of different courses to suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders, from complete beginner to expert off-piste adventurer. www.action-outdoors.co.uk

2 – Take the bus

Whilst flying between the UK and the Alps presents good value for money already, taking the bus has some advantages beyond the obvious financial benefit. Firstly, there’s no excess ski carriage charges, then no airport hassles – departures are from central London, often easier for people to get to on public transport than airports and perhaps most importantly, you’re delivered directly to your final resort destination. During school holiday time, prices are considerably cheaper than flying from the UK to Geneva on Saturdays, plus you get an extra afternoon on the slopes too. www.snowexpress.co.uk

3 – Go direct to owners

If it’s a chalet holiday you’re after, then a new service, NetChalets, offers to put holidaymakers in direct contact with owners of chalets in the Alps. Holidaymakers don’t pay for the service as the chalet owner subscribes to the site and unlike other like-by-like online booking websites, there’s no extra service charges – the transaction is purely between the owner and the guest. This ensures that you can get the best possible price and perhaps even negotiate something a little more interesting that the advertised rate. www.netchalets.com

4 – Stay at home

OK, so we don’t mean literally at home, but we do forget sometimes that Great Britain has some amazing mountain terrain in the North of Scotland that currently doesn’t require an exchange of currency or a mandatory passport check when you travel there (by car, train or plane). It’s certainly not the Alps in regards to infrastructure, extent of terrain, stable weather or food (actually, who doesn’t like a decent pie and chips?), but the charm of skiing in Scotland can make up for it all. When the snow is good and the sun comes out, it’s arguably one of the best places to ski in the world. www.facebook.com/braemaraccommodation

5 – Alternative East

For many years, Eastern Europe has offered budget ski destinations where a beer costs the same as it did here in 1976. But, some of those resorts lack the kind of infrastructure and interesting terrain that the Alps offer and therefore whilst good for beginners, they’re not necessarily good for the more advanced. The resort of Jasna in Slovakia is fast becoming known as a destination that combines the kind of value you expect as you travel east, with the kind of terrain, standard of accommodation and resort facilities you might find in resorts located in the major Alpine countries. Direct flights with Whizz Air to Poprad Airport from Luton make the journey easy and affordable. www.jasnaadventures.co.uk

6 – Freedom to roam

If you’re lucky enough to own a motorhome (of course you can also rent one) then there’s several destinations around the Alps where you can park up, plug in and stay for a fraction of the price of a hotel. Often the campsites are located close to the resort centres and are set up for winter holidays – for example, Camping Jungfrau in the town of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, allows easy access to the resorts of Wengen and Mürren. Having your own kitchen means saving money on food during the day and the evening, plus if you get bored of the skiing there, you can get on road and go somewhere else. www.baileyofbristol.co.uk

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