Is it possible to have a cheap skiing holiday?(21 Posts)
My DH and DDs are really keen to go skiing (I'm not so bothered but will give it a go). The only time we could realistically go it during the school Christmas holidays.
We don't have a big budget as I tend to prioritise summer holidays ;)
Would Scotland be an option? We could drive, self-cater etc. but what he skiing be like? We are all beginners (DH and DD1 have been once before).
Cardy - how long to you want to go for? A week/ two? What is your budget?
Probably just a week, or five days if that possible. Haven't thought about budget just wanted to see if cheap is doable. We usually spend about £4k on a summer holiday for two weeks but wouldn't want to spend that much. Would £2k be possible for a weeks ski holiday?
Yes, you can do that. Does mumsnet allow pm? If yes I can send you some details/directions.
Last two years we did not spend more than £1k for 5 days of skiing ( me and 2 kids), that includes 2-3 hours of 1:1 lessons for all of us.
Don't try Scotland if you have never skied before. It's cold and damp . Not at all like a lovely blue sky day in the alps. It would put you off.
You have a few options
1. Go off season. Countries like Bulgaria. Andorra have good off season deals.
2. Go DIY. Drive to alps. Organised own chalet. Lessons etc.
3. Go DIY to a cheaper country
It's pretty easy to do theses days with the internet.
Avoid Austria finland Norway some French resorts and Switzerland. Very expensive.
It's always expensive though however you do it The equipment hire lift passes and lessons s are essential pert of the holiday. Good luck.
Also during xmas the snow is very unreliable so look for a high resort.
Christmas isn't a great time to go for beginners
The last couple of seasons have had very little no natural snow by Christmas - the worst in decades, so you are reliant on man-made snow and glaciers higher up
This means the runs get very crowded, bumpy and slushy which is all the things you don't want for beginners
Is there any possibility of going at another time?
Wouldn't bother with Scotland - I live there and snow is unreliable and it's still pretty costly. Had a great and affordable trip to Andorra a few Christmases ago, would recommend
Weve got a great deal going to a high resort in Austria in last week of Easter.
It's still going to cost 3k though but thats half board. Nice hotel with pool.
We usually go diy so treating ourself this time.
I've done it for under 2 k off season but in school hols it can be double the price.
Could you go at Easter?
Easyjet haven't released their flights yet so if you get them as soon as they come out then they should be cheap and you can book accomodation through booking.com reasonably cheaply. However the big costs are lift pass , lessons and ski hire. The cheapest I've done it for is around £3k for 3 of us.
I have been skiing in Scotland- once- and we live in Scotland. Thats how appealing it is. If you get good snow and nice weather it can be fantastic, but realistically that's generally only 2-3 days per season.
We skied for 1st time as a family Dec 2015 and doing it again this Christmas. Had 5 full days skiing, family of 5, cost about £2.5k.
Ridiculously cheap flights to Geneva (£300 for 5 of us), car hire plus petrol to Cervinia £250 (one of highest resorts in Europe), accommodation in AirBnB (£500 for 6 nights), about £900 for ski hire & 5 days international lift passes so we can ski over to Switzerland and £300 for 3 x private lessons for the children. Spent about £400 eating out / on the slopes.
There was little snow on the ground in the resort and a couple of the very low runs were closed but there were masses of runs for us to choose from (albeit on snow cannon snow) lower down and then all the real snow (couldn't tell the difference to be honest) further up and on the glacier.
Some days it felt like we had the resort to ourselves - wasn't busy at all. More people around Boxing Day and afterwards but it was glorious. We loved it, it was brilliant.
I've skied pre children probably 5 or 6 years at Aviemore. Would agree with a pp that in my view it's for dedicated skiers. There was usually a day or so each time where the road up the mountain was closed or the weather was so bad that only a couple of runs were open. It's also usually freezing even on "good" days where the wind makes it feels much colder. I don't think it's a great destination for young beginners.
Thanks for all the advice. It looks like Scotland isn't worth bothering with as a beginner. Some good advice on how to save money. The thing is for me is that I couldn't replace a summer holiday with a ski trip so it would have to be in addition this keeping the costs to a minimum.
Have you had a look at the Peak Retreats brochure?
They focus on self drive (or fly/car hire) and self catering chalet accommodation.
We have used them several times and they seem to be cheaper around Easter....still perfectly possible to ski then!
You could get them a few lessons at a UK snowdome as a Xmas present so they can hit the slopes running.
Have also skied at Aonach Mor resort next to Ben Nevis and have never been so cold in my life. We had to abandon after a couple of hours each day.
It's worth to have a look at Ukraine, cheap and good service. Nice blue sky and not damp.
We went skiing in bulgaria (Bansko) in march. It was near the end of the skiing season and very cheap. Got cheap flights with Ryan Air to Sofia and our hotel.was lovely and barely cost anything really.
I wouldn't bother with Scotland either you could go abroad cheaper and get better conditions.
Look at Snowbizz. Much cheaper than any of the big tour operators.
When the children were small we drove to French Alos. We stayed near to La Clusaz ( or Morzine would work) in cheap and cheerful local hotels bed, breakfast and evening meal terms. We would drive to slopes a few miles and bought local pass only until they were competent... borrowed Clothes / second hand topped up with Decathlon. Doing it this way was good for the children as we could stuff all the gear in the car including spares and park almost slope side so very short walks etc. We have been 1-3 times a year for over 20 years and stayed in lots of different resorts and types of accomodation Skiing isn’t cheap anywhere but it can be a lot more manageable that packages look.
We have most regularly stayed in logis de France type hotels, book direct and ask if deal available on pass. Go for slightly less fashionable resorts eg Tignes rather than Val D’isere and don’t get dragged into perfection as far as ski in ski out etc are concerned. It will still be fun.
It depends how the dates work out but the week after new year can be very cheap and if you go somewhere snow sure there are often deals last minute . A couple of years ago my older children went self catering with Inghams to Val D’isere in an apartment for just a few hundred each including flights/ transfer/ Accor and passes. They rented skis and bought food/ drink which kept costs right down.
My DD is a keen poor skier and waits until the last possible moment to book. She usually goes with friends and keeps an open mind about style of accomodation. She had fantastic snow conditions in Bansko a couple of years ago and last year went in quite a large group to a last minute chalet in January for £500 each flights, accom,transfers, fully catered and pass. You have school holidays to think of but by being flexible as to resort and type of accomodation and leaving it to lastminute you can trim costs. A pp mentioned peak retreats and we have twice hot self catering accomodation and done self drive with them at a good rate last minute.
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