No one wants to pay more for something than they have to. A cheap ski holiday is what we are all after here! Discounted ski vacations can easily be found by following my tips for getting that cheap ski booked, and saving you money.
I worked as a travel agent for years, and always saw customers making the same mistakes when they came in to book a holiday. If you are looking for a cheap ski holiday, take these points into consideration.
Book early for a cheap ski holiday
It goes without saying that booking your ski holiday early helps you take advantage of Earlybird sales. This is true for discounted flights, hotel availability and sometimes even activities. Booking early gives you great options to choose from.
So while Airbnb may not have special Earlybird rates, there will be more available and therefore more choices for you to choose from. Having a wider range of properties to book can allow you greater discounts.
If you are booking a hotel holiday, check with the hotel directly to see if they have early bird discounts. Some do. Some might offer a little freebie like airport pickup or a drinks voucher. It never hurts to ask!
Airlines will often have cheaper flights months out from your travel dates, so start looking at them early on to gauge what a good flight price is. Sure, they sometimes drop in discounted fares but rarely are they for your exact travel dates. If you are flexible with travel dates this may help get you a cheap ski holiday. This brings me to be next point.
Cheap ski holidays can be had by travelling in the shoulder seasons
What I mean by this, is if you are truly looking for a discounted ski holiday, you may want to look at the ski season dates and plan around that.
For example, if I was booking a holiday to Les Arcs, I can see the ski season runs from 11/12/21 to 30/04/22. Usually, the snow is best during peak ski season. This is also when everyone else wants to travel, and of course, that drives the prices up. If I wanted a cheaper ski holiday, I would look at booking my flights out to the French Alps around the very start of the ski season, or the very end to take advantage of these discounts.
This is absolutely a risky plan though, as ski conditions might be rubbish the year you try and travel in the shoulder season. If you are an avid skier, this is not the best solution for you. I would suggest using one of the other options to ensure you get a cheap ski holiday in 2023.
One great thing about travelling in shoulder season is the possibility of being able to do both summer and winter activities. If the weather is average on the slopes, you might be able to go mountain biking instead for example. Again, not everyone’s idea of a good time, but it’s worth mentioning. If you want some other ideas on what to do when the ski conditions arent perfect, check out this list of 10 alternative activities to do around the Savoie Region.
A bigger group gets the bigger discounts
This is a game of numbers. Sometimes it works, sometimes It doesn’t, but it’s worth checking. Many ski chalets offer well priced holidays in the Alps if you are travelling in a group. Have a chat to friends and see if you can organise a ski holiday with a chalet. Some of these chalets can easily take 8 or 10 people, which when you break down the weekly cost per person, is really affordable.
The chalets in France often also include staff so you will have breakfast and dinner catered for you each day. nothing is better than coming home from a long day skiing with your mates and sitting down for a hot meal. A chalet holiday doesn’t need to be crazy expensive. There are lots of budget chalet holidays that suit everyone.
If you prefer to stay in hotels, you can contact the hotel directly and ask if they have group discounts. Often you will need to have a minimum of 10 rooms booked for this to happen, but if you have that many friends, go for it!
Cheap Ski holidays are easy when you self cater
Another way to really save money when you are on a ski holiday is to self-cater. Booking a property with a small kitchen allows you to save money on food. It’s not a huge saving, but it does add up. And if you are on a family ski holiday, you will really notice it.
I suggest shopping at the SuperU in Bourg-st-Maurice when you first arrive. They have everything you need, like cheese, bread and wine. They have other things too but let’s be honest, you came to France for a couple of reasons, and food is usually one of them! On that note, if you do want to brush up on your French food knowledge, I have a handy list of 5 local Savoie dishes you must try while you stay in the French Alps. So delicious!
Bring your own ski equipment for more savings
Hear me out. I know ski equipment runs into thousands of dollars, so of course, it’s not a cheap way to save money. Buying ski and snowboard gear is expensive! BUT, if you already have ski gear, it makes sense to bring it with you instead of hiring. It will be cheaper (even with the airline sports equipment fees) and you will be using equipment tailored for you. Not the worn-out stuff that’s been kicked about by other tourists for an entire season.
Hiring skis and the rest of the kit can easily add an extra €200+ to your budget.
Buy your ski pass early
Again. Get those Earlybird discounts to make your ski holiday even cheaper!! Every ski resort in the French Alps will sell discounted ski passes as early bird deals. You just need to keep an eye out for them and buy them when they launch. We will try and update you when we see their presales happen, so keep checking back here- the information will be on the front page.
Buying your ski pass early can save you €100 or more. And that’s easily worth a box of beers and a few nice wines when you arrive. Or a nice dinner out at a scenic restaurant or a round of drinks at Folie Deuce 😉