Winter sports rouse all kinds of exhilarating sensations: a fresh breeze rushing past your face, bright snow stinging your eyes, and the palpitations when you first set sights on the ski pass prices.
Skiing and snowboarding don’t come cheap, but for those of us counting pennies rather than ordering room service to our luxury ski-in suites, there are ways to lighten your costs.
These 10 budgeting tips should see you hitting the slopes without having to sell a kidney.
Yes, the big-name resorts are renowned for a reason, but venturing a little off-piste with your resort choice not only means less crowds on the slopes but also potential savings financially.
1. Brave new territories
Bargains can be found in far-flung centres that are often less accessible, but there are some resorts within a snowball’s throw of the big-hitters offer similar terrain for a fraction of the cost.
For example, a day’s lift ticket at Cooper ski resort in Colorado is roughly half the price of neighboring Copper Mountain.
Even amidst the well-carved ranges of Western Europe there are tons of great budget-friendly ski resorts that are equally as rewarding as the big names, you just have to be willing to branch out.
To bag a bargain ski pass, find out when your destination’s off-peak season is, sleuth out the dates of local school holidays and, if possible, avoid the busy Christmas and New Year period.
2. Perfect timing
Picking your ski time is equally as important as picking the right resort, with ski passes usually cheaper at the beginning and end of the season, as well as during the post-festive lull in January.
Remember, no matter the time of year, there's always somewhere in the world you can ski.
Budget airlines can still have bargains, despite the seasonal rush for flights to snowy climes, but don’t get spiked by extra charges to bring your skis or snowboard.
3. Choose your flight wisely
If you have your own gear, consider an airline that won’t charge you to stow them in the hold: SwissAir, Virgin Atlantic and Air Canada all have reasonable allowances for sports equipment.
Though a topic of debate, booking your flight at least two months in advance is a good rule of thumb to get the best prices, and remember that flights can often be cheaper on weekdays.