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Smarter travel tips – seven ways to save money on your ski holiday


Ski holidays can be expensive, and the extras add up. Here are seven ways to save on the slopes…

After the lead-in rates come the lift passes, lessons and equipment hire – unless, of course, you buy your own.

But there are ways to approach ski holidays smartly, and to save money along the way. Here are seven tips to help make the costs melt like snow in the sun.

1. Choose your moment

As with most holidays, ski prices vary considerably between peak and off-peak.

Peak means school holidays, particularly over Christmas and the February mid-term. If you can ski outside of these weeks – in January or March, for example, or early February – package prices can be hundreds of euro cheaper.

If your dates are flexible, check the special offers tabs on tour operator websites – they’re where to find discounted weeks, resorts or packages.

Watch out for add-ons like free lift passes for children, too.

10 questions to ask about skiing – a beginner’s guide

2. Save money on ski clothing

One of the easiest tips for saving on the slopes? Don’t buy new clothes.

Ask your circle of friends to see who has anything in the attic; ski outfits can collect dust for 51 weeks a year, after all.

Check sites like or for second-hand ski gear, or keep an eye on the middle aisles – Aldi and Lidl can often have affordable ski clothes, or elements of the outfits you’ll need. TK Maxx is another idea for discounted gear.

If you want to be even cheaper, make your move immediately after winter – when leftover ski gear will often go on sale. As well as city brands, don’t forget to check outlets and larger, suburban stores like Decathlon.

As a rule of thumb, choose clothing from a good brand. Technical high-quality ski clothing will keep you warm for a lot longer.

A time-out on the slopes. Photo: Getty

3. Save on ski equipment and lessons

If your ski holiday is a one-off, or a first-time experience, rent your skis and boots.

If you get the hang of it, and plan to go more often, look for second-hand equipment. You will earn back the price of it after just one or two ski holidays (as with clothing, your best bet is immediately after the high season).

Another reason to rent? Airline fees. Ryanair and Aer Lingus charge €45/€40 to carry skis, each-way.

When it comes to lessons, consider taking some before you go on holiday – a bundle of four lessons at the Ski Club of Ireland in Co Dublin, for example, costs €185/€140 for adults/children (

Practise sessions are available too – they may save you from embarrassing falls on site. Moreover, you get the most out of your ski holiday.

4. Try lesser-known destinations

When booking, consider the less popular ski resorts, which can be cheaper.

Have you ever thought of Bulgaria, for example? It can be considerably cheaper than better-known ski hubs in France, Switzerland and Austria.

Not only are the ski passes cheaper here, you also spend considerably less on accommodation and food on the slopes.

As a general rule, Andorra can offer lower prices too. Another tip? Group discounts are big in skiing, so consider teaming up with family or friends when you book.

Ischgl in Austria’s Tirol. Photo: Paul Biris / Getty

5. Save on ski pass costs

Include the cost of a ski pass in your price comparison.

Some areas offer a free ski pass for children or young people and on package holidays the ski pass is sometimes included in the price. For those who go skiing with the whole family, this saves a sip of Jägermeister with drinks.

More and more ski areas are offering flexible ski pass rates, which means you can save money if you ski outside the busiest periods.

And buy your ski pass online, which will save you euros and time.

6. Save on ski accommodation

In general, the closer to the slopes, the more expensive the accommodation.

If you are looking for a stay on the slopes, you will pay for it. As nice as it is to ski straight from your home or hotel, staying a little further away can save you money – though remember to check if there is a ski bus or transport close by.

If you are booking flights and accommodation yourself, and not as part of a package, bear in mind that many accommodations allow you to cancel for free up to a certain date. Until then, check back weekly for cheaper options – as the arrival date approaches, rates can start their descent.

7. Save on food

Eating on the slopes is part and parcel of a ski holiday, but what about bringing a packed lunch?

Invest in a good thermos that you fill with something warm in the morning and bring sandwiches with you in your backpack. You avoid the queue in the restaurants and you get the fun for free.


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