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Top Tips to Cut the Cost of Winter Sports

By: Kate Simpson BA, MA - Updated: 30 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Winter Sports Trip Cost Cut Budget

Winter sports can be expensive – there is no avoiding this fact. Winter sports trips are often seen as the preserve of the rich, particularly during otherwise strained economic times.

But while winter sports trips do involve certain unavoidable expenditures, there are ways to reduce the total cost. With a bit of creative thinking and some forward planning, you can help to make winter sports more affordable.

Consider Second-hand Equipment

Equipment is one of the most significant costs associated with winter sports. Regardless of the sport that you choose, you will need some specialist equipment – whether that is skis, specific clothing, or safety gear.

Even if you choose to hire things like skis, you will almost certainly have to buy some clothing or miscellaneous equipment. In these cases, rather than forking out for brand new kit that will only be used occasionally, consider looking for second-hand deals. There are dozens of dedicated second-hand winter sports shops around the country, but you might also choose to look online, particularly on places like eBay. Above all, avoid buying kit at the resort, where prices will be significantly inflated.

Shop Around for Insurance

Insurance is an often forgotten but potentially costly expense. Winter sports obviously carry a higher risk than the average holiday pursuit, and this is reflected in the insurance premiums.

But by shopping around you can make sure that you minimise the cost of insurance to as great a degree as possible. Try using price comparison sites to get a range of quotes, and then choose a suitable deal from those. It is important, however, that you read the policy and the ‘Key Facts’ document first, in order to make sure that you understand what is and is not covered.

Choose Resorts Carefully

If you are heading to a resort, your choice will be one of the most important financial decisions in your trip. Your choice of resort will have a major impact on the total cost. Many people go to the large, well-known resorts simply because they are the ones they have heard of. But there are a few potential problems with this.

First of all, while the large resorts often have good facilities, they can be very crowded, particularly during peak period. Just as importantly, though, they can be expensive – and you can often end up paying over the odds simply for the name. Do some research before making a booking, and consider whether you might be able to get as good (or better) an experience in a smaller, more affordable resort.

Consider Budget Chalets

Chalet arrangements have become increasingly popular amongst winter sports enthusiasts. Many resorts now offer very attractive chalet deals. These often include virtually everything you will need during your stay, with the exception of après-ski. Indeed, many even offer packed lunches for you to take out onto the slopes.

One of the major benefits of this is that you will know exactly what your costs will be before you head out. Furthermore, you will be able to avoid the inflated on-slope prices that you would otherwise have to endure. Chalet deals can therefore be a great way of keeping on budget.

Don’t Forget Flight Costs

Many people forget to factor in the cost of flights when planning their trips. In reality though, flights can be amongst the biggest outlays. Again, shopping around is the key here. Remember to check a range of airlines before making a booking in order to make sure that you are getting the best deal.

You should note, though, that many of the cheapest budget airlines do not give fares to price comparison sites. As a result, you will need to check their websites individually. You should also remember to factor in the associated costs like car parking and transfers. These can bump up the total cost of travel by quite a lot – and sometimes they mean that it is actually more cost-effective to use a ‘non-budget’ airline.

There is no doubt that winter sports can be expensive. Indeed, trips of this sort are simply out of the financial reach of many people. But with a bit of thought and some time spent planning, you can cut the cost of your trip quite significantly.

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