Skiing is a favourite family holiday — but hitting the slopes in Australia can be a costly exercise. Accommodation, liftpasses, gear, and even food, can really hurt the hip pocket and make taking a big family near impossible. But don’t hang up your boots just yet — there are ways to ski on a budget.
Helloworld Travel Pakenham’s manager, Arianna Albertazzi, said although ski-in, ski-out stays were more convenient for young families, the cheapest options were further down the mountain — so savings required some sacrifice.
“To keep the costs down, a lot of families in Victoria book units in Mount Hotham rather than staying in hotels, and when going to Mount Buller they stay off the mountain, about 20 minutes away — where the accommodation is a fraction of the price,” Ms Albertazzi told Escape.
For clothing, she recommended finding second hand gear from local op shops, hitting the Aldi snow sale or borrowing from friends.
Thredbo’s Susie Diver said the biggest tip for budget-conscious ski goers was to do your research, book early — and where possible, book outside of school holidays for the best deals.
“To save time and money it’s a good idea to pre-book your lessons and rental, and buy your lift passes in advance,” she said.
“Look for season deals and packages like kids ski free in June and September — and by booking seven days in advance you can save up to 15 per cent.
“Also, buy multi day passes and significantly reduce the rate — and if you know you’ll need to grab a pass, rent snow gear and get a lesson, it’s best to bundle it upfront and save.”
Another budget tip is to bring meals from home to save on eating out. Before you leave, prepare and freeze some family favourites you can easily heat, and pack snacks in parka pockets to save while on the slopes.
“Or make sure you hire accommodation with a kitchen so you can cook at home instead of eating out,” said Angus Kidman, travel expert at finder.com.au
“And you don’t have to ski every day. If you’re looking to save, plan a day at home in front of the fire or go for a walk through the national park.”
And even though the season has just started — think about booking for next year, and get a group together to split accommodation costs and car pool.
“To lessen the cost, book midweek and avoid school holidays,” Mr Kidman said.