Taking your family skiing in the school holidays can make for some amazing memories, but it can be pretty devastating on your wallet!
Spending time with the family in the mountains offers a much-needed break from the grind. Not only does skiing give a fantastic full-body workout, it also offers shared experiences while reducing stress levels. However you don’t want to come back from your holiday to realise there’s no money in the bank. Skiing in the school holidays can be incredibly pricey!
Be sure to do your research and read our top tips to make skiing in the school holidays as affordable as possible.
Tips for skiing in the school holidays
Ideally we would all opt for skiing during non-peak times to avoid the most expensive flights and accommodation. But this isn’t always an option, especially now with school fines. So we’ve put some top tips together for other ways you can save some money if you have no option but to take the family skiing in the school holidays.
Transport to the Alps
Consider driving to the Alps. There are some real benefits to making the trip to the Alps by car. It can be more fun and likely less costly, particularly for a family. Besides, having your car handy means you can be flexible and visit any of the nearby (or even far away) ski resorts. If you drive it also makes staying slightly further away from the slopes an option. Or, stock up on groceries away from the often-pricey ski resort shops.
The Dover to Calais ferry is the most popular route to get you to those fabulous French ski resorts. It takes just 90 minutes. The P&O ferries run up to 23 times every day. The DFDS Seaways ferries run up to 10 times a day. Ski resorts can be anywhere between 7 and 13 hours’ drive from Calais. A big difference when you’re stuck in a car packed full of people and ski gear and every extra hour is 60 precious minutes missed on the slopes. So find out which are the best ski resorts to drive to.
Choosing a ski resort
Often smaller resorts offer better value for money. And it doesn’t always mean they offer less skiing either, some are just a bit further down the mountain but still connected to extensive lift-linked ski areas. Find out about our favourite five cheapest ski resorts.
Consider renting rather than buying your ski equipment, particularly if you’re a beginner. Charges made by airlines vary but some ski hire shops charge as little as £75 for skis and boots for a week. What’s more in most resorts nowadays you should be able to find a modern, dynamic ski hire operation who will offer you a good choice of current or last season models that are expertly serviced and set up to be in top working order. For more information on this, read our article on hire or buy skis.
Lift ticket deals
Look for lift ticket deals – you can often save money by purchasing ski lift tickets in advance or by looking for multi-day passes or for families/groups. Bear in mind if you’re a beginner skier, you probably don’t need to buy a multi-resort lift ticket as you won’t get your money’s worth.
Accommodation prices can really mount up. Consider staying in more budget-friendly accommodation, like hostels or an Airbnb if there’s a group of you. If you’ve hired a car or drive out to the Alps, choosing a accommodation a little further out of town is also a great money saver.
By staying in hostels, apartments or an Airbnb, you can cook your own meals, which means you will substantially save on dining out. A great tip if you have a car is to drive to an out-of-town supermarket, which are often a lot cheaper, and stock up for the week.