Cheaper ways to do half-term Ski holidays
Half-term ski holidays come with eye watering prices. It’s sad and deeply disappointing for parents who ski. I recently read a top-ten ski deals article where nothing for a family was under 5K. However, with a bit of careful consideration and planning there are ways to reduce the pain.
Considering the below points and applying a little lateral thinking to your planning may help find a happier solution. What at first glimpse seems too expensive may with a bit of tweeking become viable.
Do you really need a full week?
When kids are small a whole week of ski school and snow fun is quite a big deal for them. Easing them in gently with a shorter break, especially if they are skiing for the first time may be a good move. A five day break is ideal. Consider you would also be paying less for ski hire and lift passes and it makes great sense. You can time flights on cheaper days and avoid the Saturday departure which has sky high pricing.
Does the whole family need to go?
Sounds harsh, but having lost a fortune on un-used lift passes and hire in the past I reconsidered if a trip was really for the whole family. My youngest won’t ski, my partner is not too fussed, so I tried something different. I discovered a short ski trip with just me and my daughter was a great solution. It was the perfect work around and it allowed us some rare quality time together. If you are lucky enough to be in a situation that allows it then it’s definitely worth considering. We shared a ski trip with a friend and her son and I would recommend doing with others to share the cost and boost the fun factor.
Do you really need a huge resort?
A family ski trip is vastly different to the one you did with your mates in your twenties. You probably won’t be doing the same ski mileage. Things like short ski transfer, quiet slopes and being close to lifts become even more important. You can shave a bit off costs by finding lesser-known resorts and the benefit of having quieter runs over half-term is gold.
Easter ski break instead?
Warmer, longer days, cheaper prices and quieter runs make Easter really tempting for family skiing. If you gave me the choice of the same break at the same price in either half-term or Easter I would go for Easter for that reason.
Could you take a relative to help with childcare?
Finding suitable childcare over half term is hard, it restricts your options massively and it never comes cheap. If there’s a way you can persuade a granny or a niece who might like a subsidised (by you) holiday, you may find your options just improved a whole lot.
Go posh package last minute
The price gap between really nice and really budget often even ups in half-term last minute if you are looking at one week packages.
If you do have the time and budget to cover a half-term one week package it’s worth bearing in mind a few extra tips. Surprisingly, the cheap deals to places like Bulgaria/Andorra may not be much cheaper than a nice option in a slightly classier(!) resort.
Having said this, half-term ski trips do tend to get sold out, so I would never advise leaving it last minute as it’s quite a gamble.
If you have set your heart on skiing in the half-term then get it sorted as soon as possible! May or June is a great time to start looking. Hotels often do some great price drops around this time to keep them going over the quieter few months. I have managed to save myself over a grand by booking a hotel this early!