School holidays are out. Prices almost double for these prime weeks, so steer clear of Christmas, New Year’s, February half term (which spans at least two, some years three weeks of the year when all the european school breaks are considered) and the Easter holidays. Mid to late December is often a perfect week to snap up a bargain but book high to avoid the risk of limited snowfall. Most of January is ideal, as are the weeks between half term and Easter. Assuming late snowfall, which has been increasingly prevalent over the past decade, April also delivers the goods and you can usually head home with a lovely bit of colour. Again though, it’s best to book high to guarantee some skiing.
Short-breaks can seem like a good idea to reduce costs but it’s not a sure thing - only certain resorts make sense and because the majority of accommodation providers are weekend to weekend only, supply is limited and demand is high. If you’re not careful you can end up paying the same as for a week-long deal.
Bulgaria and Andorra each have excellent value ski resorts. If you’re not picky about the type of accommodation you sleep in, you can often get everything you need for just £400 per person. The skiing in Borovets and Bansko in Bulgaria and Pas de La Casa and Arinsal in Andorra are sufficiently extensive for a week’s intermediate skiing and they all offer lively aprés.
Even in some of the most popular French ski areas you can find self-catered ski holidays for under £700 per person- there are bargain self-catered apartments to be found throughout the Three Valleys, Espace Killy and Paradiski.
The upfront cost for an Austria trip tends to be a little higher than France or Italy, but in-resort costs (bars, restaurants, and supermarkets) are often much more reasonable so your bank balance can be in better shape when you return. No guarantees though, that’s on you!
Generally, self-catered apartments are the way to go to keep costs down, especially if you crave a top resort. The leading French resorts have a load of self catered apartments that range from extremely budget - think 5 person studios with bunk beds in an alcove and sofabeds - to actually very smart yet affordable. Outside of peak season, it’s very possible to get somewhere decent, roomy and on the slopes in a big resort for under £800 per person for a week all-in.
For catered accommodation, book an early chalet deal and win - catered chalets can come in under £700 per person before lift passes and equipment; and you can take advantage of excellent discounts if you take a chalet on sole occupancy - groups of 6, 8 and 10 tend to do well.
Lift passes can often be the most expensive part of a ski holiday. The best way to avoid being burned is to package it with everything else so you benefit from the best possible combination deals. Our travel planners will look after you in this regard and ensure you get the best price you can.
It’s important to pre-book your equipment to get the most affordable rate, it can even be cheaper than bringing your own (especially with easyJet’s outrageous fees!). If you haven’t pre-booked, the ski shops know your options are limited and make the most of it!
Maybe not, but hopefully this has helped give you an idea of how to keep costs down when planning a winter break. If you’re a busy person and you have taste, tell us what you’re looking for and our travel planners will help you work out what makes sense. They’ll then present you with options personalised to your group’s needs. You’ll be able to share them around easily and when you choose one of them, we’ll set up a trip page that everyone can log into, add their chosen extras and then pay separately.
We’ll be on hand from thereon, ready to advise on lessons, activities or to make restaurant recommendations while you’re away. All conveniently available on WhatsApp & Messenger.