Dec 18

Winter holiday: get your share of snow this season

Ski deals are everywhere right now. If you want a skiing holiday bargain, this is the place to come. We have searched around for the latest and best value trips and deals for snow and winter lovers.

If you fancy an active skiing or snowboarding trip, or just want to indulge in some ice-skating here in the UK, we have some great information, advice and links for you here when booking your winter trip.


 Skiing holiday bargains

Just like any other holiday, you have the option to book a package ski holiday, or construct your own and book everything separately. The advantage of booking a package deal is that everything is done for you, however you could end up paying for things you do not essentially need or could get cheaper somewhere else e.g. meals and equipment hire. On the other hand, you will often find freebies thrown in and an assortment of special offers and discounts.

Alternatively, although a DIY skiing holiday may cause some temporary stress in the organisation department, you could end up saving on essentials by comparing elements like flights and accommodation – particularly if you travel and stay in a large group.

Check out our advice and deals for skiing holidays this season

Sneaky ski deals


Best ways to save

Before you go

  • Shop around. With the internet at our fingertips, it’s easy to look around at different websites and tour operators to find the best online deals for your holiday. You will probably find that the online companies that deal with ski holidays only will offer the best prices. Use websites like Crystal Ski to avoid tour operators’ brochure marketing costs and travel agents’ commission.
  • Think outside the box. Instead of heading to the Alps, try out Eurozone countries like Slovenia and Slovakia and up-and-coming Eastern European resorts such as Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic and Romania to save you some money. Make certain, however, that you do your research before you opt for a completely new resort to ensure that it will cater to your needs and make your holiday as enjoyable as possible.
  • Book outside of school term times (if possible). Prices for all holidays can increase double or even more when the kids are out of school as these are the times when everybody wants to go on holiday. Apart from suffering raised prices at the resort, you’ll also be battling against avid little skiers on the slopes.
  • Book your trip well in advance to take advantage of the best prices. Prices arc, starting low when they are first released and then gaining in price once the demand has been stimulated. Yes, last minute deals are essentially cheap in a bid to fill up those last seats on the plane, but if you wait until then you run the risk of losing out on the best holidays that will be snapped up early.
  • Fly past your bedtime. If you choose to fly to your destination, selecting flights in unsociable hours will save you some money. Although this might mean catching a flight at 4am, it will also mean that you will get more time to ski!
  • Go the long way round. Another way to save on your travel is to go by coach. This obviously takes a lot longer and will only suit those with a tolerance to sit still for hours, but you can save a massive amount of money and also experience the scenic route to your destination! (Coach Trip, anyone?) Book through Eurolines and travel to nine different ski resorts in France from just £99 return.
  • Go with friends. You can save on your accommodation costs by going self-catering and booking a chalet or apartment for a group of you. Usually, you will pay just one price for the accommodation and this can be split between all of you. Use to search through accommodation in hundreds of resorts in places like France, Bulgaria and Andorra, including fully-catered, B&B and self-catered options. If you’re specifically looking for ski chalets in France then we recommend Ski Bonjour who offer an excellent range of catered ski chalets in Tignes and Val d’Isère.
  • Cheap accommodation is out there. If you are not fussed about your accommodation and are simply looking for a place to keep your things and rest your head, there is always the option of booking into a hostel. If you use a website like Hostelworld, you can search for budget hotels and hostels in over 170 countries for as little as €15 per night per person.
  • Book your ski hire before you go. If you book a package deal, your ski rental should be included in the price. However, if you are organising the trip yourself, save a bundle by booking your ski hire in advance. With Snowrental, you can save up to 50% by booking everything before you go. Simply type in the name of your resort and choose from a selection of skis and snowboards. It will give you the price in Euros to be sure to convert this if you are unsure of the exchange rate. Snowrental cover 802 shops in 575 resorts in 12 different countries!
  • Get your ski clothing at the right time. In order to get your ski clothing cheap, you’ll need to be picky about when you buy it. As the season closes, retailers will offer their stock discounted in order to make room for new lines. This does mean buying your ski clothing and equipment in the spring for the following winter, which is not always ideal. Alternatively, TK Maxx has a wide selection of men’s, women’s and kids jackets, trousers and accessories at discount prices, as do Skiwear4less. Also, don’t forget eBay for some ski clothing bargains.
  • Beg and borrow. Only going skiing once? Know someone who has been skiing before? It might be an idea to borrow some of your friends skiing wear if they’re not using it. This is also great for kids as you might know someone who has grown out of their skiing gear and would be happy to lend it to you.
  • Keep your eye on local charity shops. Particularly if you live in a posh area. They often have ski clothes and equipment donated to them. These tend to go quite quickly so get in before the season starts (when they generally put them on the hangers) and keep popping back just in case.
  • Save on lift passes. You can save up to 10% on lift passes by booking in advance, as well as the time taken to queue at the resort and get one! With SkiExtra you can book your pass online to either be delivered to your accommodation or picked up by you from the reception or ski-lift office, depending on the resort.
  • Remember to get insured. One thing that you really do not want to cut corners with just to save a few pennies is your holiday insurance. Because of the increased chance of injury on a skiing holiday, your average travel policy will not provide the level of cover you will need and you could find yourself in a financial as well as a medical mess if you skimp here, as treatment can cost thousands of pounds. Winter sports insurance is your only option, providing comprehensive cover and piece of mind for every eventuality. This can be bought as a bolt-on to any travel insurance you may already hold, or a stand-alone policy. To compare prices and get the best deal, visit our travel insurance comparison page.
  • If you are over 75 or you have a medical condition… remember you can still get travel insurance that covers skiing trips with AllClear Travel.

When you’re there

  • Make a packed lunch. Restaurants in tourist ski-haunts make a fortune on British skiers who become hungry and fatigued on the way down the slope. Make sure that you have few sandwiches, a bag of crisps and the sort with you before you set off in the day and you’ll save more money than you think.
  • Look out for free events. Many ski resorts around Christmas and New Year hold events such as free wine tasting, firework displays and winter festivals free of charge. To find out what is going on where you’re staying, just visit the local tourist office where they should have a listing of all events happening there and nearby.
  • Want a day of rest from skiing? Instead of paying money to find something to do whilst you’re resting, why not indulge in some free winter activities such as building a snowman outside with the kids, going for a walk in the snow-covered pines, or even light a fire and see if the hotel has any spare board games to play.


Ice skating

If you don’t fancy skiing, then why not try ice skating this winter?

England’s outdoor ice rinks are set to feature in some of the most beautiful and historic spots in London this winter. From biomes and farms to old historic palaces, don your hats and scarves and get ready for the best outdoor ice-rinks in the country. The festive period may well be over, but there’s still a couple of rinks open!

  • Canary Wharf ice-rink – tickets start from £12.50 each.
  • Somerset House ice rink – skate in this impressive 500 metre-squared 18th century courtyard. Tickets start from £12.50.
  • Natural History Museum ice rink – Get your skates on in the shadow of one of London’ds most iconic buildings. Tickets start at £9.


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