How To Ski On A Budget

Posted on: 25 September 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Cut the cost of your skiing holiday.

Skiing can be notoriously expensive, but there are ways to cut the cost.

Generally, a week away for a family of four will rarely give you much change from £5,000 once all the equipment, tuition, lift passes and other extras are paid for – but with our ski holiday budgeting tips, skiing no longer needs to be a luxury you can no longer afford.

There are ways to cut costs and still have a great time on the slopes if you know how.

1) Buy A Pre-Paid Currency Card

Pre-paid plastic works like a pay as you go mobile phone. You top up with euros or dollars before you go away and then use it just like any other debit or credit card.

Caxton FX guarantees the best exchange rates - which means they always beat bigger brands such as Marks and Spencer, Travelex and the Post Office, giving you the best deal.

Purchases in shops and restaurants are also free of hidden charges and commission. Visit for more details.

2) Avoid Peak Season

Christmas, Easter and mid-February’s half term are the most popular dates to be on the slopes. January and March - April is the best time to go if you’re looking for a cheap deal.

3) Book Last Minute

If you’re travelling in a smaller group, it is advisable to book your holiday right at the last minute as the later you leave it, the cheaper it becomes and most resorts usually have room.

This is most advisable for smaller numbers – if you’re a party of 10+ there is obviously less chance of securing the desired resort and accommodation.

4) Use Catered Accommodation

Staying in catered accommodation means you won’t spend a fortune in expensive restaurants and shops.

5) Be Forward Thinking

Top Location Tips

For Nightlife: Val Thorens, Verbier, Tignes and Val D’Isere are excellent resorts with superb night life and huge ski areas.

For Romance: Courchevel 1850, is a perfect resort for that romantic retreat with some of the finest accommodation in the world.

For Families: Meribel, Le Praz 1300, Les Gets, La Plagne are particularly suitable for families.

Make sure you book your ski pass and ski hire online before going abroad as many websites offer great deals such as 2 for 1 ski hire and online discounts. Check out for more information.

6) Go Somewhere Different

Steer clear of the big locations in European skiing - Val D’Isere, Courchevel, Meribel, St Anton, Verbier, Courmayer.
Try a different location, Bulgaria for example, which is an up and coming hot destination.

7) Buy A Local SIM Card

Using your English mobile can cost up to 10 times the price you would pay in the UK. Instead, buy a local SIM card before you leave for your holiday so local and international calls are much more reasonably priced.

8) Dynamic Currency Conversion

If you’re given the option to pay in local currency or sterling, always choose the local currency. This is a new process called Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC).

The retailer or ATM invites you to pay in sterling and then does the exchange rate at an unfavourable rate, which costs you money.

During last year’s ski season, Caxton FX research shows that around £30,000 was wasted at just five of the most popular ski resorts in Europe through DCC.

Have you been skiing recently? Do you plan to go skiing this winter? What are your money saving secrets?

Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below. Alternatively, share your thoughts in the 50connect forums.

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