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The cheapest way to ski?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Given the current financial situation, and presuming that:

I've got to get there
I don't own skis or boots
I want a roof over my head
I need to eat
I need to use the lift system

what is the cheapest realistic way to spend a week on the slopes?

(I'm not hitching in Europe again rolling eyes ).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Pick the right week is a good start, early December and mid-January can be good. Late March also, depending on when the school holidays fall (think it clashes in 2019 though).

UCPA is a good option too, they do coach trips and include food. Accommodation might not be top of the pops, but you can’t have standards if you want cheap.

And Snowheads always offers value, the PSB was a fantastic deal last year.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@marodo2712, Find 3 like minded folks, fill up a car with your gear, take food if you want and head off to the Alps for the week, share the cost of the fuel. Choose a lesser known ski area where prices are lower and get a 4 bed appartment, booked off Air B&B, eat pizzas and supermarket lunches.

Never been to a SH bash, plenty to go at and i'm sure they are good fun but we're always skiing ourselves and never enough time and/ or spare cash for them, so if that works could be a good option.
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Never seen UCPA before, looks interesting.

@Markymark29, I don't know 3 people who'd want to do that unfortunately...

I know from personal experience that in Sauze D'Oulx the Ghost bar and the Village Café have food on the bar around coming off the slopes time. The Village Café in particular has a large range of pizzas and other snacks that you can just wolf down FOC, and they keep on replacing them, so, if you time it right, just buy a pint in the Village Café, fill your stomach, and that's dinner sorted for 7 days.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Last minute booking will get the most elements of the overall package for the least amount of money
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I don’t think you can do it cheaper than UCPA (Action Outdoors are the U.K. agent). You can even do accommodation only. Though I think the lessons/guiding is excellent value.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
UCPA is probably best if you are of that age group (inclination), and the inclusive package including ski hire and boots.

An alternative to UCPA, is to search out hostels in ski resorts. Some out of the way hostels (like Klosters in Switzerland), can be quite reasonable when combined with an Easy jet flight to Basel and a Swiss rail transfer ticket. However, you have to hire skis and boots (but compared to flight transfer costs this can be equivalent)

Try to cost it like £100 per full day skiing including transport, accomodation, lift pass, ski hire or your own skis transport, then add food on top. If you can get it for £100-£150 per full day skiing it is a good price.

So you can shorten the time abroad, but that will increase the cost per day. Increase the time abroad and it will reduce the cost per day. Lift pass will typically make up 40% or more of that daily cost. So go somewhere that the lift pass is cheaper.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
+1 for a Snowheads bash. The Birthday Bash in Arabba in the Dolomites in February was brilliant. Great skiing, scenery, hotel, food and best of all a hundred plus like minded internet weirdoes who just want to have fun. There will be loads of people of varying levels of skill to ski with. (I was a relative beginner). You'll never have to ski on your own, unless of course you want to; and there will be lots of people who know the area well to help show you round the 1,100km of runs!!!

Why don't you get yourself to the Okobertest (ski test) in Hemel in October to meet some of the southern based Snowheads?
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@Awdbugga, the BB is brilliant value but it ain't cheap. The lift pass alone is one of the most expensive in Italy.
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maggi wrote:
@Awdbugga, the BB is brilliant value but it ain't cheap. The lift pass alone is one of the most expensive in Italy.


I thought it was good value, and the lift pass wasn't too bad, given the size of the area it covered. But then I have nothing to compare it against, being my first ski trip. I just love the whole ethos and the vibe. snowHead
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
The Pre Season Bash in Tignes is the cheapest/best value.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Awdbugga, good value but that's no cheap ski holiday.

@marodo2712, if you don't have 3 mates to ski with then the 'solo skier' part of snowheads can be a useful tool in season. I've used it a couple of times to find people to ski with.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
A few ways
Get an Amex Avios card
Hit minimum spend Bonus
Refer yourself for SPG card (£75 yearly fee)
Get referal bonus
hit minimum spend Bonus
refer yourself for Amex Gold
get referal bonus
hit minimum spend bonus

Use avios to book cheap flight to Innsbruck
Transfer Amex Gold points to Marriott - so you have 30,000 points
Transfer SPG to Marriott (they are merging soon so may not be needed) so you have 30,000
Book Marriott hotel in Innsbruck for 15,000 a night + 5th night free for the 60,000 points + 2 euro a night tourist tax
book 6th & if possible 7th night with remaining points.

so 14 euros for accomodation, £75 credit card fee, £70 flight (usually £35 EW for taxes), 200 euro lift pass
whatever price hire & food is

2nd option - look on https://www.pierreetvacances.com/gb-en/ski-holidays-france_om
for deals

3rd option look on resort website for tourist deals.
Valloire.net do some good deals for their resort. 7 nights apartment, 2x lift passes, 2x ski hire + bed linen for under £800 (need to find your own way there!)
could always head to eastern Europe & see what Balkan have to offer with 1/2 board options
https://www.balkanholidays.co.uk/winter_ski_holidays/index.html

lastly, book last minute.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Wed 15-08-18 16:47; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Booking last minute is not an option with hostels. You need to book well in advance, otherwise it will be fully booked when you want to go. You will not pick up a bargain last minute at a hostel. It will be the same price. (HI hostels)

If you live in the South of England, then your best and cheapest bet will be a low cost flight from London. So you are unlikely to find Scotland either cheap or good value.

However, there are many companies which do weekend skiing at resorts close to Geneva. (eg, Chamonix or St Gervais) You can also arrange this yourself cheaper. (DIY transfers are frequent and low cost by bus or train) Chamonix has a HI hostel, which can be used. Not the cheapest per day, but for a weekend the overall two or three day skiing cost will be low.

https://www.hihostels.com/hostels/auberge-de-jeunesse-hi-chamonix-mont-blanc

The male or female dorm with half board, linen, and full area lift pass in Chamonix is £50.83-£58.42 per night in December. So you have about £40-£50 pn for transfer costs, ski and boot hire, and transport there.

6 nights would give you £240-£300 for flights, transfers, ski and boot hire. Should be doable fairly easily in December. (if you book flights in advance using skyscanner)


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Wed 15-08-18 16:42; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Given you offer no criteria on ski requirements...

Eastern Europe booked late thru a TO.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Mr.Egg,
Quote:

Get an Amex Avios card

Hit minimum spend Bonus

Refer yourself for SPG card (£75 yearly fee)

Get referal bonus

hit minimum spend Bonus

refer yourself for Amex Gold

get referal bonus

hit minimum spend bonus



Use avios to book cheap flight to Innsbruck

Transfer Amex Gold points to Marriott - so you have 30,000 points

Transfer SPG to Marriott (they are merging soon so may not be needed) so you have 30,000

Book Marriott hotel in Innsbruck for 15,000 a night + 5th night free for the 60,000 points + 2 euro a night tourist tax

book 6th & if possible 7th night with remaining points.



so 14 euros for accomodation, £75 credit card fee, £70 flight (usually £35 EW for taxes), 200 euro lift pass

whatever price hire & food is


Shocked
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Bigtipper, I love the idea of the Chamonix hostel, it seems pretty cheap at £50-60 pn including pass.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Bigtipper, afaik, no TO does cheap weekends in Cham.
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In fact, I don’t know of any TO doing any cheap weekends.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ice and fire in la plagne and Les arc have good solo traveller deals with no single supplement. Good chalets and service from the staff, decent food too. Only been once but had a very good experience. Owner is called snowcrazy on here.
Argentiere's a good place for Air BnB type apartments. Easy access from Geneva, decent ski hire shops, small place with excellent skiing plus easy access to Chamonix, or Les Houches via free ski buss on whiteout days.
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Quote:

Owner is called snowcrazy on here

Snow and Sunshine, I thought.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@pam w,
Sorry yes you're right!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Markymark29, has it right. 4 in a car in a non peak week to a not too expensive resort. If this doesn't work then last minute probably as good as any though you might cop a single supplement
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grass skis
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Do three working parties at Yad Moss and you get a free season pass. Might be a bit expensive getting there from St Albans however Sad
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Being a single skier I'd want to be with others in the same boat.

I like the idea of the Chamonix HI. UCPA also looks promising.

The bashes are a dream, but with the cost of accomodation added to travel, they look quite expensive (not a criticism).

The ideal would be £700 door to door, but I think, in terms of packages, those days are gone.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@marodo2712, some of the bashes include more than others (e.g. food, lift passes, transfers). The PSB last year cost £544 per person. Price included accommodation, evening meals, 6 day lift pass, transfer from Geneva (and heavily discounted prices in the hotel bar).
Add on a return flight from Luton to Geneva including a hold bag (£110 from Skyscanner) and ski hire (guess £40). Total £694.

Similarly the EoSB cost £484 and included accommodation and lift pass. Add on flight (lets say £110 again though I paid less), lardy bus transfer (£58 return) and food (a generous £100 for self/group catering in the Oxalys) and ski hire (guess again £40). Total £792.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@marodo2712, if the PSB isn’t in your budget then you might have to get a new hobby because there really aren’t many cheaper options for a solo skier.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Chalet hire in Bourg St Maurice at Huttopia http://checkout.huttopia.com/checkout/quotations/2/905/53/is just over 500 euros (sleeps up to 6) for the first week in Jan (after New Year) walk to Funicular, (google says 20 mins but I don`t recall it taking that long!) I believe the Funiculars use is included in the Les Arcs lift pass and you do have to have a lift pass lol. Train from the UK to BSM can be bought relatively cheaply if you get in quick when the fares are released (especially if you are under 25), but the cheapest way usually involves crossing Paris, not too bad on the metro with a little planning. Walk from train to Huttopia (again google says 20 mins but I think that must be walking rather slowly) though if you are carrying lots of luggage that might be a pain. Rent ski`s boots etc at the bottom of the Funicular and leave them there overnight. Shop at either of the two supermarkets over the road from Huttopia, or eat at one of the cafes. Many other French camp sites rent out small chalets or mobile homes fit for winter use and these are often very close to ski lifts or the free navette stops regularly at the entrance. However the advantage of the BSM one is the convenience of the train to get there, plus easy access to cheap food shopping.

Huttopia may have smaller chalets or mobile homes to rent but I haven`t looked.

Just a thought!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@marodo2712, if you want cheap and don’t mind about the quality of the skiing then you could consider Bulgaria. In January 2016 it cost me just over £400 for single room, half board and flight/transfer from Gatwick with only liftpass and skihire not included.

I found it much better value to pay a bit more and go on a bash.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Rabbie, +1 and Slovenia is also cheap.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I would also generally say cheaper dates and last minute (or not, but keep eye out for early to autumn offers like 1/2 price passes, free hire etc) via TO (Crystal usually cheapest) or online agent. Not sure how well it works for singletons though.
I have priced UCPA and SH bashes and not as cheap if you are not fussy about resort (but that was for a couple).
Or a full DIY option if there are deals on; room for 2 could still work out cheaper?, transfers are per person anyway.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
marodo2712 wrote:


The ideal would be £700 door to door, but I think, in terms of packages, those days are gone.


Certainly hard for a single - my benchmark used to be roughly £100 per day on snow but I think this has long since gone out of the window by me conveniently excluding lift pass costs and probably using Avios fares.

If I was to say cheapest practical DIY solution for decent skiing in comfort- flight to Milan, book single HB at a family hotel in or near a town at the edge of a connected area, hire a Fiat Punto and have at it. Places like Valtournenche, Pinzolo etc have good value hotels.
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Italian hotels often have single rooms.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If you are close to an airport that does cheap flights to Innsbruck, you will find that the transfer could be saved by walking from the airport to Innsbruck. (if you are really hardcore)

There are several youth hostels in Innsbruck, and skiing from Innsbruck. Also day trips can be done from there to neighbouring ski resorts.

I have never done that, but it crossed my mind until I realised that direct cheap flights to Innsbruck from Scotland are pretty scarce.

I once booked a return flight from Glasgow to Frankfurt - Hann return for £1, on the premise that even if I did not use it I was winning. (only a £1 cancellation charge)

In the end I did not use it, as it was forecast rain the whole time in the Mosel valley where I planned to walk through the vineyards (it was September time). They do not do such bargains anymore, I guess there is a high chance of overbooking.
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Bigtipper wrote:
If you are close to an airport that does cheap flights to Innsbruck, you will find that the transfer could be saved by walking from the airport to Innsbruck. (if you are really hardcore)

And really, really broke. The bus from the airport to the city is about €3.50 Toofy Grin
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@Bigtipper, it's actually only 40 minutes from my front door to Luton departures.

This wasn't a desparate plea, just a question out of interest, though it's highly likely that i won't be able to afford to go next season, but i think that's more to do with exchange rates and 8yo twins than anything else! 😣
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Yes, I can confirm that twins are expensive.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@McKenzie, testify
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I have 14 year old identical twin boys & I returned from NZ on Monday with them after skiing there. That was expensive.
However my normal day trip to Glenshee is considerably cheaper.
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