Skiing season will soon be upon us which is incredibly exciting. I feel like as soon as it starts getting colder the countdown to Christmas kicks in and then it shifts to skiing although you probably start thinking about both at the same time. Skiing holidays tend to be booked way in advance, kind of like Christmas, and ours has been booked for at least a couple of months already.
In February we’ll be off to my most favourite resort, Flaine. I say it’s my favourite but I’ve only actually visited two other resorts which were Belle Plagne and Val Thorens so, while there isn’t much to compare it to, it really is the home of skiing for me and I’ve written about this before; it’s the first resort I ever went to when I started skiing almost 5 years ago.
The Post Office Ski Resort Report 2017
Post Office Money have today released the results of their annual ski report which explores the best value places to ski this season. A Slovenian resort took the crown last year but if you want to ski on a budget, where should you be looking this year?
A rise in sterling’s value and falling local prices means that those of us who need to watch the purse a little bit more can still have the skiing holiday we’ve so been looking forward to. Produced in partnership with Crystal Ski Holidays, this year’s report has found that, of the 22 European resorts surveyed, 75% of them have decreased their price. Winning!
I think it’s really important for these resorts to understand just how expensive a skiing holiday can be and why it’s their responsibility to ensure that prices are, at the very least, fair and reflective of the resort and it’s services. Skiing is more than just a holiday for us; in fact I’d probably even go so far as to say it’s the least holiday like holiday we go on. There’s so little relaxing, especially with our two boys around – although it does mean we can get in a cheeky early night if need be. But it’s absolutely an education* and something that everyone should get to experience.
So Who Takes The Crown For ‘Best Value’?
Ultimately the best thing about this report is that you can easily compare prices between different skiing resorts, but it also saves you doing most of your own homework. Well.. I’m pleased to say that Slovenian resort ‘Kranjska Gora’ has taken the win again this year with a total of £325.47 (per person). Previously it had been Bansko in Bulgaria who had worn the crown, a six time winner in the annual report, but which now sits in third place.
All prices are inclusive of ski school fees but factors out the cost of things like travel and accommodation as this is obviously quite subjective depending on how you like to live for a week.
We drive every year as we tend to go for a self catered apartment so that we aren’t restricted by meal times and it’s just so much more flexible for us with the kids and lots of our meals are pre-planned so we bring a lot of food over with us. Of course there are catered chalets, hotels and all other kinds of sleeping arrangements so you do need to price those up on top of these report prices.
And Where Can I Expect To Spend More?
If you’re looking to splash out a bit more then, out of the 22 European resorts included, you need to be heading for a resort in Switzerland as they take up places 20, 21 and 22 with Zermatt coming in at £839.32 for the same holiday.
If you take a good look at the cheapest resorts then Italy is seriously challenging Eastern Europe at the moment with four resorts in the top ten. The biggest price fall since the last report was 13% which is Morzine in France.
What Advice Do You Have On Booking A Skiing Holiday?
There is always increased pressure on the purse strings when it comes to any type of family holiday. While prices are down in 75% of the resorts included in this report the best savings to be had are where the improved exchange rate combines with falling local prices and this is why Kranjska Gora comes out on top as it’s a good bet.
However, it’s absolutely worth doing your homework before you go. Here are a few tips from Post Office Money about your money and budgeting:
- Consider your whole holiday budget and take enough cash as well as spare cards “just in case”. 55% of all UK holidaymakers overspent on their last overseas holiday.
- Keep a regular watch on exchange rate movements and purchase foreign currency when the pound is looking stronger.
- Try using a prepaid ‘Travel Money’ card – so much safer than carrying cash around with you although don’t put all your spending money on here, you can guarantee you’ll need some cash for the chocolat chaud pit stop in the mountains.
- Beware of headline-grabbing rates which are unlikely to extend to all currencies.
- Avoid the airport trap by planning ahead and buying your currency in advance – we have to because we drive!
- Plan well ahead – don’t forget your passports.
- Take out the most appropriate travel insurance – we always spend a little more than we probably need to but it’s just not worth the risk of underinsuring yourself for the sake of a few quid, especially on a skiing holiday.
Above all, just enjoy the skiing for what it is. Take in the mountains, the fresh air, the snow, the views and even just enjoy falling on your backside sometimes! I think the main message here is that if you shop around and do your homework you can ski for less and still have an amazing holiday and since Post Office Money have done a good half of the homework for you, there’s no excuse to miss out on one of the ‘Big Four’ this season!
*I’m not advocating taking your kids out of school for a skiing holiday. I just thought that some of their opinions and trains of thought were similar to mine in terms of what skiing can offer from an educational point of view.
**This post is in collaboration with Post Office Money