When we think to hard about it we are slightly bemused by our decision to spend a lot of time skiing. Skiing is not a budget activity and we are such budget conscious travellers that it seems to go against the grain. We try not to think about it too much as our brains may not be able to handle the inconsistency.
We love mountains and snow and being outdoors, it’s no surprise that we enjoy skiing. Weighed against our love of saving money it seems that the skiing has won for the time being. Skiing has also benefitted from a nice chunky tax rebate that I had been expecting for a little while. What better way to fritter it away.
BUT we haven’t given up on our frugality. We have set ourselves a budget, will we manage to stick to it?
We are expecting to ski for approx. 40 days. The following are the additional costs for skiing over and above our usual monthly budget for travelling. When we reach the end of the season we will look back at what we’ve spent and share it with you.
These are the costs associated with preparing for a winter climate and skiing, luckily we have most of what we need already.
Thermal Screens These provide an additional layer of insulation for the front of the van. To save money we decided to make them ourselves. Don’t feel you should necessarily follow our example, although we have seen some great home made screens since we’ve been using winter motorhome parkings. Home made thermal screen cost: £99
Skis and skiing equipment We took the plunge and bought ourselves skis and poles this summer, we figure we’ll break even (when compared to hiring) after approx. 30 days. We already had boots and helmets. Ski and pole cost £448.
Insurance We took out backpacker insurance with a winter sports extension with Insure and Go. We will also take out insurance at the ski resorts, this is usually a daily fee of approx. €3 and covers the cost of recovery from the slopes if needed. Taking into account our usual spend on travel insurance, the increase for skiing in 2019 gives us an Insurance cost of £370
Lift Passes This is the big expense. Lift passes cost a lot of money, someone has to pay to maintain the kit that allows us to get uphill effortlessly. We estimate that we will spend approx. 40 euros per day on lift passes, so that’s €1600 each, or approx £2800 at today’s exchange rates. Of course we could do this more cheaply by buying season passes (these are usually in the region of 700 euros per person – less than half the cost) but that would tie us to a specific area which we don’t want this time round.
Places to Stay While we’re in the cold wintery climate that allows us to indulge our love of skiing we are likely to pay a lot more for accommodation that we have ever done in the past. There are a couple of reasons for this, firstly we know we cant survive long without electricity while running the heating. Our solar and batteries would be fine if we could be sure of sunny weather, but it’s not going to happen. Secondly, the people that run the ski resorts know that they have a captive audience, so a lot of ski resort motorhome parking comes with a cost. We expect that we will spend an average of £15 per day on overnight stays (up from our current average of £4.4 a night for non UK stops), a combination of paid motorhome parking, free parking (when the days are nice) and campsites. Over the 10 weeks we are expecting to ski this will mean an additional £742.
Total Additional Budget for Skiing
So there you have it, our additional budget for skiing is £4459 which just happens to be a few quid less than my tax rebate. We’ll report back later!
If you’re asking yourself about the lunches on the slopes or the après ski then the easy answer is that we can’t afford them. It’s packed lunches, flasks of hot drinks and supermarket bought alcohol for us. We’ll be pumping enough euros into the economies of the ski resorts without paying for stuff we don’t have to. Our normal monthly budget does include an allowance for meals and drinks which will be plenty to keep us from becoming completely introverted.