3. Embrace the packed lunch
One of the most notoriously expensive extras once on holiday is buying lunch up the mountain – particularly if you’re staying in a pricey Alpine resort. Rather than stumping up €20 for a burger and chips every day, buy sandwich ingredients and snacks in the local supermarket and do it yourself.
However, eating a home-made baguette while sitting in the snow and shivering is a miserable experience, so look out for resorts that have picnic rooms designed for thrifty skiers to enjoy their lunch in the warm and dry. The French resort of Val d’Isère, which isn’t known for having the cheapest on-slope eateries, installed a new picnic area for the 2016/17 season – it even has microwaves.
4. Be currency savvy
Buying currency at the airport is an absolute no-no; you’ll end up getting the very worst exchange rate. Also avoid using a credit card abroad, as you frequently get stung with a hefty charge. Pre-loading a card with your currency of choice can save money on bank fees and ensure a more favourable exchange rate. The Revolut card, for example, allows travellers to spend in shops or online without a charge. Whether getting money out of a cash machine or using the card to pay, it automatically converts money into the local currency at the best available rate.
5. Swap the Alps for…
…Eastern Europe, Andorra, Spain – take your pick. One of the best ways to save money is to forget Alpine mega-resorts and head somewhere lesser known, both in terms of holiday cost and in-resort prices. Eastern Europe has seen huge growth as a skiing destination in recent years, particularly Bulgarian resorts such as Bansko, due to the extremely competitive cost of packages there. This is definitely worth considering – however, if you’re an adventurous intermediate or expert skier or snowboarder you may find the terrain limited and frustrating. Choosing the Pyrenees instead, with resorts such as Baqueira-Beret in Spain, the Grandvalira area in Andorra and the Grand Tourmalet area in France, gives access to varied and challenging slopes at a fraction of the cost of a trip to the Alps.
6. Don’t pay for a lift pass
We’re not suggesting you make a raid on the lift pass office (please don’t do that). Instead, look for packages that include a lift pass in the price. This means you won’t be subject to an unfavourable exchange rate.