Go skiing for less
Choose the right time
Choosing the right date to go on your holiday can make a big difference to your wallet. Christmas, Easter and February half-term are popular dates to travel and are therefore more expensive. As a result, they are well worth avoiding.
For cheaper options, you might want to consider going a couple of weeks before Christmas, and in the last few weeks of January/start of February.
For example, using the website crystalski.co.uk, I found two adults could book a seven day holiday in Austria for as little as £299 per person (bed and breakfast) from 23 January 2010. However, if you chose to go during February half-term (13 February), it would cost you £705! That's more than double the price and all you get in return is double the amount of time spent queuing for the chair lift!
Go last minute
If you're fairly flexible about when you can go on holiday, it might be worth plumping for a last minute deal. I find uk.travelzoo.com and alpineanswers.co.uk are good websites to check out for last minute bargains.
And if you're booking through a tour operator and you're feeling brave, it might also be worth trying a spot of haggling to see whether you can knock any more off the price!
Choose the right destination
Right now, while the pound is so weak against the Euro, heading to the Eurozone is going to cost you a fair bit. So why not consider visiting countries outside the Eurozone, such as Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia? You'll get much more for your money!
When choosing your accommodation, it's worth considering going for half-board or bed and breakfast as these deals are usually good value for money. This can save you spending a fortune in expensive restaurants and most of these offers include a decent breakfast, afternoon tea, dinner and sometimes free wine.
Although in theory, self-catering might work out to be slightly cheaper, don't forget, when you've been out skiing all day, the last thing you'll probably want to do is cook up a meal each night. So even if you have the best intentions, you might find yourself resorting to the local restaurants and spending more than you'd planned.
Before you set off on your holiday, make sure you think about your travel money options carefully and shop around to ensure you get the best deal. You can find out more in Five ways to get the most holiday cash.
However, a good option is to take a prepaid currency card with you, such as the Travelex Cash Passport, the FairFX Currency Card or the Caxton FX Currency Card.
All you have to do is choose your card, and then pre-load your spending money before you jet off. You can load the card with Euros, US dollars or Sterling, and you can top it up with extra cash whenever you need to. You can find out more about this in The very best card to take on holiday as well as our video on prepaid currency cards.
Go with the right airline
It's well worth checking airline terms and conditions before you book your flights so you know whether you'll be charged for bringing ski equipment with you. For example, Ryanair will charge you a hefty £40 per item per flight for online bookings, and £50 per item per flight if paid at the airport. easyJet, on the other hand, charges slightly less - £18.50 per item per flight when pre-paid, or £26 per item per flight when paid at the airport.
So make sure you shop around and take these fees into consideration before choosing who to fly with.
When buying clothes for your ski trip, it's a bit of a toss-up between quality and price. If you don't want to spend much, have a browse in shops such as TK Maxx, Matalan, and Primark. Littlewoods Direct is also worth a look and of course, trusty ebay.
Just be aware that the lower the price you pay, the poorer the quality is likely to be. And while this might be acceptable for a jacket, make sure you don't scrimp when it comes to safety equipment such as a helmet or wrist protector - you do need to make sure yours are of good quality.
Of course, don't forget to have a good shop around on the internet before buying to compare prices, so you know you're definitely getting the best price possible.
Finally, if you're planning to hire your skis or snowboard, take a look at Ski Set and Snow Rental and book what you need online. This will often work out cheaper than hiring when you arrive through your holiday company.
According to research from esure, nearly 2.8 million people will be hitting the ski slopes this winter. Yet one in eight skiers and snowboarders surveyed won't take out travel insurance before they go. But if you're one of them and you end up having an accident on the slopes, you could end up forking out thousands of pounds for treatment. So whatever you do, make sure you're sufficiently covered.
The first step is to make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to free or subsidised medical costs in any European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.
Just be aware that the EHIC only covers basic medical costs, and won't pay for extras such as repatriation costs or an air ambulance. As a result, you will still need to take out travel insurance. Whether you already have travel insurance in place, or you're looking to buy a new policy, make sure it definitely includes winter sports cover - don't just assume it comes as standard.
If you're planning to take part in activities off the regular ski runs, it's important you check which activities are covered under your policy and contact your insurer if you're unsure. Off-piste or cross-country skiing might be covered as standard, for example, but only with a qualified guide or on recognised routes.
Similarly, if you're planning to go bobsleighing or ski jumping, it's also worth checking your policy to see if you'll be covered.
Finally, remember to check the small print carefully for restrictions and exclusions. For example, you might find that if you've had a drink or two, your policy will be invalidated.
Ensuring you're completely covered for your trip may cost you a little more, but it'll be well worth should the worst happen. If you want to learn more about winter travel insurance, read We're all going on a winter holiday.
Get help from lovemoney.com
If you need a bit of help cutting the cost of your holiday, we can help.
- First, adopt this goal you are reading: Have a cheap holiday and read all our other top tips on how to cut your costs.
- Next, watch this video: The worst holiday rip-offs
- Finally, why not have a wander over to Q&A and ask other lovemoney.com members for hints and tips about what worked best for them?