We can all agree that skiing is an activity that usually requires rather deep pockets, especially in such a beautiful place as Meribel, considered one of the best French ski resorts. Even if you think you’ve found a great deal online, with so many extra things to shell out for, that cheap getaway can soon turn into an expensive nightmare.
Skiing tends to be viewed by most as a holiday that only the rich and well off people can afford, nowadays this isn’t the case. Skiing has become far more affordable now and can cost less than a family holiday to the beach. It provides a lot more excitement too!
But fear not, even if you think that skiing is out of your grasp there are things that you can do to keep your costs right down. I’ve listed some of the best things you can do to save yourself some money.
Pay with a credit card
Let’s start from the beginning, when you first decided to book yourself a skiing holiday. The money question always rears its ugly head. How am I going to pay for it? If I pay a deposit now then in ‘X’ months I’ll be able to pay the rest off, right?
While this is what most people do, there is always one thing to bear in mind, and that is what happens if there is a problem with the tour company, hotel or airline before your trip.
A great way to take this load off your mind is to pay for your holiday- or even just the deposit- by credit card. That way, if any part of your holiday should go bust or fail between booking and taking your holiday, you are covered for the full amount under the Consumer Credit Act. Obviously, DO NOT use your credit card if you cannot pay it off or if it is going to add unnecessary interest and bump up the price of your holiday.
These next two points go hand in hand really and could save you hundreds of pounds, especially if this is only going to be a one-time trip rather than a regular occurrence.
Book ski equipment online
Booking your first ski holiday is exciting, but don’t let that excitement go to your head. You might be thinking that as soon as your holiday is booked you need to go out and buy lots of shiny new ski equipment.
This is one of those ideas that falls under the category “Reasons I no longer have money”.
Brand new ski equipment can be very expensive (we’re talking north of £500 to fully kit yourself out) and like I said, if you are only thinking of going skiing once it just doesn’t make sense to spend that kind of money.
To save yourself a lot of money, rent your equipment from your tour operator or from a local ski rental shop and consider renting online in advance as this can save you up to 40% at some shops.
Borrow ski clothes
Ski clothes are another cost that can quickly add up. A full ski kit can cost a small fortune (we’re talking up to and above £1000), but to avoid this added cost, try one of these two things.
- Rent your ski clothes
This is a good option for some people. While not every country offers this service, it can be a pretty cheap way for you to get the ski clothes you’re after without having to shell out full price for them.
- Borrow clothes from friends and family
You would be surprised at how many people you know who will own ski clothing. Simply asking around your friends and family can eliminate this cost from your budget.
Avoid school holidays
We’ve all been there. Travelling during a school holiday can be one of the most expensive things you could do. It is a well-known fact that prices skyrocket during these periods and going skiing in the holidays means that you’ll be sharing the slopes with far more people than you would be a week later.
Book a package deal
To drive your costs right down, it’s a good idea to find somewhere that you can book an all-inclusive skiing holiday. There are companies that offer all manner of skiing holidays. For example, if you’re looking to stay in the chalets in Meribel, it could easily cost you under £500 and would include direct flights, resort transfers, chalet accommodation and half board meals.
Choosing a hotel or chalet with a board option will easily help to keep your costs down, when you consider that meals on ski slopes can cost about £35 per person per meal, food alone on a 7-day holiday could cost two people around £500! If you’re considering the French Alps and the Meribel valley region, it is considered cheaper than its European rivals.
This goes to show that booking your perfect skiing trip doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, using a company dedicated to skiing holidays can reduce your costs enormously.
On the subject of food, restaurants and bars on the slopes can be notoriously expensive, with some places charging up to €20 for a bowl of chips! Therefore, if you wanted to keep food costs down even further then consider taking some sandwiches and other food up the slopes with you.
This might not sound like anything other than a sensible bit of holiday advice, but when you consider what you’ll be doing on you skiing holiday, you’ll realise you need it!
Accidents during skiing are commonplace, and the costs for medical care are truly terrifying! According to statistics, helicopter mountain rescue can cost around £20 per minute of flying time and even something as small as a dislocated shoulder can cost up to £2000 for manipulation treatment. On top of that, you’ll have to factor in transportation home if it’s a slightly more serious injury, flying yourself back to Britain from Meribel can cost up to £10,000!
Therefore, if you want to eliminate the possibility of your trip costing you thousands of pounds more, make sure you purchase good travel insurance.
Lift passes are another pricey addition to your ski trip. Looking at a popular ski resort, Meribel, you could be looking at paying around £280 for an extended area pass. Unless of course you’ve booked through a company such as Alpine Elements where lift passes are included in the price! The extended area pass in Meribel gives you access to all the ski slopes in the 3 valleys which includes Meribel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, St Martin, Orelle & Courchevel. Now here’s a quick tip to lower that cost:
That’s right, by staying in Meribel you could reduce the price of the lift pass to £239.
Equally, if you know that you won’t be spending as much time on the slopes as you will be having a drink in the bars, then consider getting a half day pass. These half day passes cost less than a full day pass and if you know for sure that you’ll be done on the slopes after half a day then this is another easy way to save money.
As you can see, even though ski trips can be super expensive, there are some easy things you can do to reduce your costs. In the end, it comes down to your budget and what you want from your skiing holiday.
Skiing holidays in Meribel don’t have to break the bank, and with these simple tips, you could be skiing in a beautiful resort in the French Alps in no time.