Skiing on a budget, but don’t forget the quality

With the weather getting a little bit colder and nastier day-by-day most of us start day-dreaming about travelling somewhere far away, to warm waters and welcoming sandy beaches. But not all of us. There are a fair few, who like to embrace the winter in its full force and enjoy all the good things about the cold season, namely skiing. Million travellers, young and old venture out every year to the mountains in search of a thrill. But there is one problem and it is very simple: skiing is an expensive hobby. Or was it? With the crisis hitting a lot of family budgets, a lot of skiing resorts are desperate to offer some really good deals for last minute travellers with up to 50% discounts (especially if you book just couple of days before). But that is not the only way to save some cash on your next skiing trip. Here are some tips for fun-seekers and winter-lovers.


First of all, look outside the “big five” (Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland) and look further… further east for one. Skiing in Eastern Europe was also looked down upon and we heard a lot of horror stories from that end, not to mention the infamous language barrier. But it is all changing, maybe slowly, but in the right direction. We hear more and more people talk of resorts in Serbia, Slovakia, Romania and Russia (with Olympics coming up and all) but those are just slowly rebuilding and getting the hang of it, although Krasnaya Polyana in Russia does offer one of the best off-the-piste skiing in Europe. At the same time Poland, Czech Republic and Bulgaria (especially Borovets) have already renewed their lifts and offer a very high level of service overall, including accommodation, ski lifts and slopes. Something definitely to look out for.


Although if you do decide to enjoy the Alps in all their glory, a possible way to lower the costs is through booking accommodation in a satellite village, from which you can still access the entire piste-network, but save a fair few euros due to lack of restaurants on your doorstep. Although it should never be a problem really, as the shuttle service, interconnecting the entire areas run regularly and efficiently.


Secondly, timing. One thing that can be very useful in the price-cutting chase is being rather flexible with your timing. Keep a close eye on those hot deals and pre-organized group tours, which can help you save on travelling arrangements. If unfortunately you are not your own boss, then it is important to remember what time period it is better to avoid. Worst timing is February mid-term, when the schools go out and not only the prices, but also the queues double. It also always sounds like a real fairy-tale spending New Year’s Eve on the slopes with friends and family, participating in some crazy antics organized by the locals, but unfortunately it is always one of the most expensive times. Although Christmas can actually be an option: as many people prefer spending this jolly time at home, demand decreases and so do the prices. Do you fancy a white Christmas?.. Start looking now! The cheapest deals overall are normally in the beginning of December and middle of January as the weather is extremely unpredictable or just not so pleasant and suitable for skiing.


But it’s not all about saving, remember to have some fun and enjoy a good Apres-Ski! One tip: there is always a place that serves free food when you are drinking: just find that and your dinner is paid forJ

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