How much does a ski holiday to the Alps normally cost?

Ski holidays are one of the most expensive type of holidays you can do on as there are so many costs for various things surrounding the trip. But how much does a skiing holiday normally cost today? We take a closer look at all the expenses you might have during the ski trip, and also ways to save a little and avoid spendings when possible.

Lonely skier in the Alps

Example of how much a week's ski holiday to the Alps can cost

The example below is a ski holiday by air for 7 days, which means 6 hotel nights and 5-6 days of skiing depending on the travel times, and this applies to the price per person with a trip for 2 people, as you then might share some costs.

  • Flights: 300 euro - an average price, the price of flights can vary greatly
  • Accommodation: 400 euro - shared cost of a double room in a nice 3 to 4 star hotel
  • Transfer: 200 euro - return transfer, can be a shared cost
  • Ski pass: 400 euro
  • Ski rental: 200 euro
  • Food: 350 euro - based on lunch and dinner as breakfast is often included
  • Other expenses: 150 euro - some drinks, snacks and more
...and all this adds up to a total price of around 2,000 euro for the entire ski holiday. Note that this is only a rough estimate, there are several factors that can make the trip more expensive but also areas where you can save on costs, which we will get to.

Example of how much a week's ski holiday to Eastern Europe can cost

There are a lot of nice ski resorts in the eastern parts of Europe. Although they may not be compared to the best ski resorts in the Alps, they still offer very good skiing. The largest and most popular of ski resorts in Eastern Europe are Polish Zakopane, Czech Spindleruv Mlyn, Bulgarian Bansko and Slovenian Kranjska Gora.

So, is it cheaper to go to these ski resorts? Yes, it certainly is. The flight may not be something you save money on, but as far as everything else is concerned, it's cheaper. In Bansko and Zakopane you can find accommodation as cheap as around 20 euro per night per person, something you don't come close to in the Alps. The ski pass is often 20 to 40% cheaper, ski hire up to 70% cheaper and food and drink 20 to 30% cheaper.

For example, in Bansko you can reduce the price from 2,000 euro as in the Alps to the range of 1,200 to 1,500 euro in total cost for the entire trip. But again, all prices are a rough estimate but at least show how much cheaper it can be.
Kid kind of skiing

What is the difference in price for children and youth?

The cost of a ski trip for children is slightly lower than for an adult. Some costs are the same as for an adult, such as flights, accommodation, and transfers, while lift passes and ski hire are usually a little bit lower in price. Children also eat cheaper child meals in restaurants and (normally) drink less of the more expensive alcoholic beverages than adults. As a rule, you can count on saving 200 to 300 euro for a week's ski trip for a child, so even if it is a little cheaper, it is not a big amount.

Where can you save on the cost?

There are plenty of areas where you can skimp, but at the same time you obviously want to have as nice and pleasant skiing holiday as possible, so if you don't have an extremely tight budget, you have to ask in some areas if it's worth skimping because you want to save a few bucks. Anyway, here are some tips to bring the total price of the ski holiday down a bit.

  • Take a bus instead of flying - this option is more time-consuming, and there aren't too many options that aren't complete package tours. It is of course not possible for everyone and the journey to the Alps can take a long time, all depending on where you live. The advantage of taking the bus is that you avoid the transfer cost, you will be driven all the way to the ski resort directly.
  • Choose a ski resort close to the airport - if you choose to go to a ski resort that is close to the airport you are flying to, the transfer will be much cheaper. The closer the airport is to the ski resort, the more different transfer options are usually available as well. In some cases, you can take the train directly from the same city you fly to as well, which is more comfortable and often cheaper, and also more environmentally friendly.
  • Live a little outside the ski resort or in a neighbouring village - by choosing accommodation that is a bit outside the centre of the ski resort, you can save a lot on accommodation. One thing that may be important to consider is if the accommodation offers some kind of shuttle service to take you to the ski system, or if there is some type of lift nearby that gives you quick access to the ski system. If that is possible to find you will avoid taking a taxi or your own car (with expensive parking as a result) to and from the slopes every day.
  • Choose an accommodation where breakfast is included - a good hotel breakfast can be worth its weight in gold for the thrifty as you can eat yourself full before heading out on the slopes. With a full stomach, you don't need a big lunch, maybe even skip it, which saves you a lot of money.
  • Book accommodation with your own kitchen - an alternative to a large hotel breakfast is to book accommodation where you can cook your own food and have access to a fridge. Buying breakfast yourself at a grocery store is a low cost compared to eating out, plus you always have the option to cook your own lunch (if you're ready to take a break from the slopes) and dinner.
  • Book the accommodation early - this is a general tip for all types of travel but perhaps fits in even better when you book your skiing holiday. If you book your hotel or other accommodation during the summer long before the season starts, the range of options is much greater. The closer you get to the ski season, the fewer the options and the best accommodation is guaranteed to be already booked.
  • Bring your own ski equipment - if you have your own ski equipment and can bring it on the ski trip, you don't have to rent it on site. If you drive to the ski resort, this is not a problem, but if you fly, you should bear in mind that it usually costs extra to check in the equipment, and sometimes the transfer also costs extra if you have a lot of bulky luggage. During the ski season, some airlines sometimes offer to check in ski equipment for free, so it may be worth checking if those options are available before booking your flight.

Things that can make the costs skyrocket

To keep costs down, it is not only what you book that affects, but you also have to think about what you spend money on when you are there. Here are some things to avoid so that the costs of the ski holiday don't skyrocket.

  • Booking too late - number one is to book early, something we already mentioned regarding accommodation, but this applies to everything you want to book. The longer you wait and the closer you get to the departure date, the more expensive it will be. This primarily applies to flights and accommodation, but also transfers and ski hire can be good to nail down as early as possible as those things can also be fully booked, and the alternatives then become more expensive, for example if you have to take a taxi instead of a shuttle bus or train.
  • Take it easy with après-ski - hanging out at the après-ski for a few hours every day can be a big expense, and an alternative is to go home and have a couple of beers before going out and have fun. For many, however, après-ski is one of the more enjoyable activities during the ski holiday, and even a big reason for making the trip in the first place, so cutting back on this is not an option for many. This should obviously not be the case either, the idea is that the ski holiday should be as fun and memorable an experience as possible.
  • Cut back on drinking on the slopes - taking a break from skiing and sitting and enjoying a beer on a terrace in the sun is one of the most pleasant moments of the ski trip. This is often a high cost as the prices at the restaurants on the slopes are very expensive. Also, skiing suffers from too much alcohol during the day and your own (and others') safety can suffer if you have consumed a little too much alcohol, so for these reasons it may be good to go easy with your beer drinking while skiing during the day.
  • Don't forget any equipment at home! - this applies not only to the ski equipment itself, but also to ski clothes and goggles. If you forgot something at home and have to buy it at the ski resort it might get expensive as the prices are often higher there compared to buying the stuff at home or online.

Are package deals to the Alps more expensive?

The common picture is often that package deals to the Alps are more expensive than booking everything separately, but is that true? Yes and no. Many package deals at normal price are usually slightly more expensive, but this is absolutely not always the case. There are package deals at prices that are hard to beat when you book everything yourself, and on top of that, ski tour operators still offer last minute trips, something that is increasingly rare when flights and hotels are booked separately.

Even if, for example, a package deal of for example 1,250 euro feels like a juicy price, the prices often stand up well in comparison. On top of that, in terms of booking, it is much more convenient to get flights, hotels and transfers in one and the same price.

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