Summer ski trips that won’t break the bank

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The Independent Online

Over the past few years, greater numbers of people have considered taking a skiing holiday. Whether it’s the rush of adrenaline that follows the thrill of zooming down a hill with two bits of wood strapped to our feet or because it is something completely different from sunbathing on a beach, is unclear but regardless, the holidays remain very popular.

For any trip, there are a lot of things to consider within the cost such as getting to whichever of the ski resorts you have booked into, the cost of accommodation, weekly or fortnightly passes for the ski lifts and slopes, plus the cost of hiring equipment. Then there are other additional costs, such as feeding yourself and family or friends three times a day for the duration of your stay.

It may appear that skiing is a very costly holiday, but do not despair just yet. There are ways of cutting the cost of any skiing trip and if you know where to look then it is possible for you to book a good value ski trip this summer.

Firstly, when you are deciding to choose your holiday destination, you must think about the dates long and hard. Try to avoid dates that are very popular and expensive; such as the summer holidays, Easter weekend and Christmas as company’s prices increase rapidly. Although this can be difficult for families with children, to ski cheaply in the summer, try to pick dates during term times to avoid the higher prices.

When you are looking for a company to book with, keeps your eyes peeled for possible deals, discounts or offers available. Some companies may offer packages that include free weekly ski slope passes, especially if you can find dates that suit you during the less popular summer skiing season.

Next tip; balance the option of France ski holidays with other great venues. France is one of the most popular destinations for summer skiing, especially areas around Tignes, Val D’Isere and Alpe d’Huez. Opting for the less popular areas, such as the Stubai Glacier around Innsbruck in Austria, can often prove to be a cheaper option.

Summer skiing is also available in Courmayeur, Bormio, Madesimo and Santa Catarina in Italy at reasonable prices. Skiing enthusiasts from the UK also head to Switzerland with Zermatt, Saas Fee and Verbier being popular destinations.

Another tip to save costs, wherever you stay is to find cheap local accommodation. Try staying in lesser-known resorts as they are often cheaper and a cosy hotel room is often less than half the price of hiring a ski chalet.

It may be possible to save money by driving to your destination. Although the rising cost of petrol, compared to the reduced rates offered by budget airlines means this is not as cheap an option as it once was. An advantage of driving, however, is that there is the chance of stumbling upon one of the many villages that has their own lift up the mountains, so if there is snow about, you could do a spot of skiing or snowboarding without having to stay in a resort.

It is also possible to self-cater when you go on skiing holidays, which is usually a much cheaper option than paying for hotel breakfasts and restaurants meals every day.

If you do choose to fly however, make sure you research your flight company well because although cheap flight companies may look appealing because of thecheap transit, they may fail to let you know they charge extra for stowing baggage below (you are allowed one 10 kg carry-on bag), and some may charge more for skis. Swiss Airlines however, will allow you to take skis onto their planes free of charge.

Sometimes it can be a good idea to wait until a couple of weeks before your holiday to book because a lot of companies offer some great last-minute ski deals that could end up saving you a significant amount of money.

Ski resorts

France ski holidays

Last-minute ski deals