Sunday, 12 February 2017

My Top Tips for Saving Money on a Family Ski Holiday

You will have probably noticed the flurry of snowy photos on my blog and across my social media over the past few weeks from our recent holiday to Tignes in the French Alps. From comments, questions I've been asked and just in general posts on social media, it seems as though many of you would quite fancy taking your families away on a ski adventure, with many people saying they now feel more confident they could go skiing even with very small children.  But what I have noticed is that many people are put off by the cost of skiing and the extortionate prices in ski resorts. There's no secret that a ski holiday will cost you quite a lot of money- on top of the usual holiday flights, transfers and accommodation, there is a lot of other stuff to think about, from equipment hire, lift passes, lessons and ski clothing, it can be mind boggling to think about. As I hadn't skied before, I wasn't sure where to really begin. So having now been on our first family ski adventure, I thought I'd share a few of my top hacks for saving a bit of money while you're away enjoying the slopes.

I'll begin by saying we stayed at the Chalet Hotel Aiguille Percee in Tignes on a half board basis with Mark Warner. Breakfast, afternoon tea, kid's tea and dinner with wine was all included, meaning we just needed to sort our own lunch and snacks. 

Ski Wear
  • I spent most of December fretting about ski wear and the cost of it. It can be ridiculously expensive unless you shop around. I looked in lots of places, bought things and returned them again after finding cheaper items elsewhere and it took me weeks to finally sort all our gear. You'll read that TKMaxx is the place to go, but do shop around. They tend to sell more high end ski wear at discounted prices (I got my white Atomic salopettes from there for around £40 reduced from about £300) but some of the ski jackets were still quite pricey. I got my Campri ski jacket from Sports Direct at the bargain price of £31 reduced from £85. 

  • Trespass do some great deals in January and they also have a lot of choice for men, ladies and children. LO's grey salopettes were from there and cost around £18. We saved money by using his regular winter coat and Little L wore his regular dinosaur snowsuit from Mini Club at Boots. 

  • You'll hear a lot about Merino wool too. Yes it's very warm but it's also pretty pricey. I really feel the cold and I was fine without the need for Merino wool socks or merino wool base layers. For socks, I found the best place was Amazon. I got this set of socks for £11.99 which were comfy, warm and fitted perfectly inside my ski boots. I used fleecy base layers from Trespass which were amazing. We also purchased our ski goggles from Amazon as there were loads to choose from and at good prices.

Food and Eating
  • Make sure you pack loads of snacks with you in both your hand luggage and your suitcase too. It saves having to buy pricey snacks at the airport and it'll keep the kids happy on the long coach transfer. We stocked up on lots of cereal and granola bars in Tesco before we left, and had these as snacks up the mountain to keep our energy levels up. 
  • Food in resorts and up the mountains is eye-wateringly pricey. Most resorts will have a mini-market like a Spar shop so check out if they sell baguettes or any ingredients you can make your own lunch with. Many resorts have outdoor picnic areas and most people tend to stay in their outdoor skiwear for lunch anyway so being outside isn't too much of an issue. It will save you so much money over the week.
  • Buy bottled water from the local mini-market as it's so much cheaper than in a bar or cafe. You get incredibly thirsty when you ski and it's a good idea to keep a bottle with you. One thing I learnt was to wear a small backpack when you ski to keep water and snacks in too- it's a pain having a bulky water bottle in your trouser or coat pocket.
  • We saved lots of money by not buying alcoholic drinks at the bar in the hotel, bar on one evening. We discovered wine was included with the meal anyway at our hotel. 

Toddler & Baby
  • Take your own nappies with you. Yes they are bulky but they can be really expensive to buy in resort. Also, be sure to pack the usual medicine you may need- Calpol, Nurofen, Paracetamol etc as it will be much cheaper at your supermarket at home than in resort and also save you the hassle of going out in the snow to find these things.
  • Explore the local shops for child and baby sledge hire. It's hard work pushing a buggy or pram across the snow so a sledge will come in handy, plus it's a really fun activity to do with them. We spoke to so many families who had gone out to purchase a sledge to use which they then couldn't take back home. We discovered a ski hire shop which hired out specific child and baby sledges for €2.40 for an afternoon. 

Lift Passes
  • One of the bigger expenses of a ski holiday is the lift passes and it's assumed you need to buy one automatically when you go skiing. Check your resort website to see how many free lifts operate around the resort because as a beginner skier, the chances are you won't be going to explore the far reaches of the other mountains and valleys, especially not at the start of the week anyway. In my lessons, we stayed on the free lifts the whole week and when I wanted to go further afield with Mr F, I simply purchased a one day lift pass for a fraction of the price. 

So they're so of my top tips for saving a bit of money on your ski holiday. Before we went, I literally had no idea about anything to do with skiing so had to discover these things as I went along so I hope you find it useful. Have you been skiing before? Do you have any top tips of ways to save money when you go skiing? I'd love to know!

NB: We were kindly sent on our trip to Tignes by Mark Warner. However, I purchased all our ski wear myself and I haven't been paid or sponsored to mention any of the brands, I just thought the links would be useful. 

1 comment

  1. These are some fab tips! I've been skiing a long time and making your own lunches was always my favourite way of saving a few pennies. Nearly all ski towns have a small supermarket which stocks all the key ingredients. Then all you need to do is buy a hot chocolate when up the slopes to warm up a bit :)


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