Getting piste on the cheap: The art of the budget weekend student skiing holiday


Deadlines and bills can knock most students down to breaking point. With little enjoyment left in life, money can serve as a comfort, going out and splurging cash on a fancy meal or a new outfit can provide a temporary solution. However, forking out for a long weekend on the slopes is a resort many have to turn to in the search for a less temporary solution to new years depression as a student. A high adrenaline holiday is enough to take anyone’s minds off of the stresses of student life.

That uncontrollable desire to get out in the snow and ski some stress away throws desperate students into the hard task of organising their own ski trip with the miserable few in the need for a break. The prospect of organising all aspects of the getaway can turn many away from the idea. But for no longer, as there are just a few simple steps until students can trade in lectures for luges.

Set a date

Getting a big group of students to agree on a date is probably one of the hardest things slaves to higher education will have to do all year. To get the cheapest deals, avoid jetting off inside the Easter half term period. Going abroad during term time, although inconvenient, is the most cost-effective way to vacate the UK. Numbers are likely to drop with this decision, but groups will be fuelled by a determination to race down slopes with a belly full of mulled wine.

Location, location, location

Budget ski resorts in 2014 are easy to find, with the already cheap Eastern European resorts having considerably dropped in price, you may never need to look at the huge pricetags of luxurious French destinations. Bulgaria remains one of the most affluent places for a cheap student ski trip. However, the traditionally expensive Alps coldspots boast great conditions, an energetic nightlife with a surprisingly low bill at the end of the holiday. With the quality of bars a more important factor than the slopes, themselves avoid the alluringly cheap prices of small French villages such as Les Arcs.

Getting there

For the few who have proven their researching skills and managed to find a reasonably priced French mountain to live on for a few days, it may be cheaper to drive. Twisting a friend’s arm to sit behind the wheel for 15 hours may be a harder task than the essay you’ve just completed, but could prove a serious money saver. For those surrounded by stubborn friends who just cant bear the idea of sitting in a confined space together for more than three hours, cheap flights can be found.

Websites such as Skyscanner and Icelolly offer great deals on flights and hotels both in advanced and at last minute for those who have better skills in drinking than organisation.

Don’t forget about ski hire

Surrounded by the most affluent group of young skiers at university, borrowing ski gear shouldn’t be too much of a task. Covered from head to toe in last years Helly Hansen products, the next task is to find the cheapest, but best, ski hire. In most cases, going to the outright cheapest ski hire will only result in you half way up a mountain with two twigs attached to your feet.

The trick is, on the first day, to do a bit of shopping. This will help get an idea of which ski hire will be best for your price range, as well as providing a tour/bar crawl of the various different bars in the town centre.  

Food, drink, fun

The luxury of desired catered accommodation may be out of the price range of the average student loan. However, there are solutions to avoid high-priced lunches that do nothing but leave a dent in your pocket and an unsatisfying feeling of hunger.

Try to avoid the on-piste restaurants and bars. With the nearest competition coming from the other side of the mountain, these restaurants can happily hike up prices. Chomping down a cheap meal before leaving town for the slopes is an easy solution to divert a warm, overpriced meal.

I can already hear you saying: “But what if I need a break?” If your lavish student lifestyle has left you with the fitness of a Victorian chimney sweep, then take a seat off-piste and whip out your own personal bar, right from your pocket. A cheap bottle of schnapps inside that discount hip flask should be enough to accompany that glorious view. Better, and cheaper than any bar, in my opinion.

Enjoy it

I know it seems like a lot of hassle just for a few days away from the lecture theatre, but following these simple steps will result in a stress free holiday with exactly that… no stress.

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

KS2 Teaching Supply Wakefield

£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Primary Teachers Needed for Supply in Wakefield

£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments