Anyone who watches the news, reads the papers or scans the internet will be aware that economic predictions for most European countries are not optimistic.
We will be tightening our belts as the cost of just about everything to do with living rises – petrol, food, energy, mortgages – you name it, it’s on the up. The years of cheap flights, cheap food, cheap loans, are over it would seem, as a set of global circumstances come together to make us rethink and cut back.
Travel could be one of the casualties; the cost of fuel obviously making it more expensive to get anywhere, and the higher of cost of everything else meaning we have less disposable income to spend on getting away from it all.
Ski industry sources predict that people will still be taking their annual ski holidays - but certainly will be watching pennies.
For ski holidays of course, there are some important criteria. Mountains and snow records play an enormous part in the decision making process. Experienced skiers will still look at going to their favourite resorts – but the experience they have when they get there could be different. They still need to buy their lift pass but it is likely that the peripheral spending could be cut back – fewer lunches on the mountain and more packed lunches, one less après ski beer, buying new equipment or clothing may be postponed.
There are certainly ways to have cheaper ski holidays, so here's some ideas which may help you out:
- Short haul flights, if booked early enough, can still offer good bargains. So if you're not looking at a last minute holiday getting your flights organised early will save money. It's also worth investigating train travel if that's convenient for your resort.
- Transfers - it's worth investigating what transfer services are available from airports - and again booking in advance. Many transfer operators will offer a semi-scheduled service with cheaper seat prices. Look at ATS for some ideas.
- Driving - clearly a reasonable option when the cost can be split amongst 4 in a car.
- Lift passes - if you're planning to make several visits to one resort it may be worth checking out the cost of a season pass and seeing what lift pass offers are available on the resort website. Some resorts will give good discounts if passes are booked in advance.
- Booking early - many chalet operators and owners offer early booking discounts - just take a look at the Chalets Direct Promotions for example.
For many people the ski holiday is more important than any other annual break they may take - an essential rather than a luxury. Once they arrive in their resort they have to get the lift pass, they'll need equipment and of course accommodation - these are the items they can't cut back on. So for all of us it's a challenge to find bargains on the things we can cut back on!