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Keep it on the low!

3 skiiers walking towards the ski slopes

Ski holidays have a reputation for being expensive and a rich person’s sport. Undoubtedly, you can certainly let your budget run away with you if you let it. Jackets can cost thousands and accommodation with hot tubs, private chefs and pools can all add up to eye-watering amounts. But it doesn't have to be like that.

The less crowded resorts have a wide range of accommodations from self-catering to 5-star hotels. If you need clothing, there are many options too with not everyone wearing Moncler. Most people will be seen in more standard brands - or even borrowed skiwear - so don’t feel you must have all the gear. After all, you know what they say: “All the gear, no idea.”

Travelling to and from the resort is another challenge. There is an assumption that driving is cheaper than flying and this is not always the case. The cost of driving can soon add up when you consider ferry or Eurotunnel fees, fuel, tolls, food stops, additional insurance and possibly an overnight hotel stop.

Some of the smaller resorts we use require you to fly to lesser-used airports that can be cheaper in terms of flights compared to more popular ones. Of course it will depend on when you book, when you plan to holiday and where you plan to go - but have a look at our top 10 tips on how to keep your costs down and what is worth paying for.

These are things we here at SkiGems take into account when planning all our customers' holidays.

1. Don’t assume driving will be cheaper. Have a look at the closest airports to the resorts and see whether flying may actually be more cost-effective. Many of the airports run efficient and good value transfers to the resorts.

2. Looking to go for a long weekend? You need a short transfer but consider going late Thursday and returning late Sunday. You only need one day off work and three nights’ accommodation for three full days of skiing.

3. If you have accommodation with a kitchen, even if you don’t want to stay in every night, having breakfast in the apartment every morning will save you a pretty penny.

4. If you plan on doing some self-catering, grab your groceries from a supermarket before you get to the resort, if you can. Supermarket prices tend to be higher in resorts.

5. Do you need clothing? If it’s your first time, why not borrow clothes from friends or family? You don’t want to splash out on new clothes for a sport or holiday you do not like. If you are buying, look online - there are some great bargains.

6. Don’t buy your own skis. The technology on skis is changing all the time and the chances are, your skis will be out of date in no time. Also, by the time you have included the cost of maintenance and carriage, it’ll take a lot of ski trips before you break even. The skis at the ski hire shops are great, up-to-date and well-maintained. You can also swap them throughout the holiday. To ensure you get the best deals, sign up for newsletters from the ski hire shops in your chosen resort. You’ll find yourself being offered discounts on your hire.

7. Do buy your own boots. If you will be wearing these for up to eight hours each day, you want to make sure you are comfortable. Having boots which fit properly will make such a difference.

8. Be flexible. The more you can be flexible around resorts and dates, the more chance you have of finding a bargain.

9. Understand the resort and purchase the ski pass which is best for you. Many resorts allow you to purchase add-ons to ski in other areas/resorts. Understand what this means; you don’t want to pay for an additional area if you don’t need it.

10. Location, location, location! This is true when buying a property and staying in a ski resort. You don’t want to be walking for a long time in ski boots. Can you store your boots and skis at the property or the ski hire shop? Are you close to restaurants, bars, shops and ski lifts?

At Ski Gems, we take all of this into account - you can contact us to make sure your next ski trip ticks all of the boxes.

Matt Purser

Director, SkiGems

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