How to Cut The Costs of a Ski Holiday in Europe: Breakdown

It’s the time of year where you could be thinking about booking a ski holiday. Yes, a week’s ski holiday in Europe can be glorious – but the expenses can be savage: the flights alone can strip the average holidaymaker of a serious amount of cash.

Is it worth it? Of course! But even better if the costs are kept down. So, without further ado or introduction, here’s The Chalet Company’s guide to cutting the costs of a ski holiday – cut from almost a decade’s experience in the snowsports industry with The Chalet Company and our sister company, Snowskool.

We’ve broken down the costs into ‘Getting There’ and ‘In Resort’, and neither of these two categories needs further explanation. However we’ve made a few assumptions: 1) That eating out after skiing is already catered for (as it usually is) 2) That a week’s holiday is planned, and 3) that you’d be travelling with the family or a few friends.


Getting There: Transport

For certain weeks of the season, a flight from London to the Alps can cost you about the same price as a flight to Los Angeles. Multiply that by four, and you’re already wincing. Add on airport parking in the UK, airport transfers in resort, and you would be looking at £3,500 for the family or group.

If you can stomach a day in the car with calls of ‘are we nearly there yet?’, then your wallet will be rewarded.

The Standard Costs

  • Cost of half-term flight, parking and transfers: around £875 per person

The Alternative Costs

  • Cost of ferry, petrol and tolls (London to Méribel and back): £700 in total for a typical carload of four people, which works out at around £175 per person
  • You can also book a coach to Meribel from £99 per person upwards using Snow Express

Cost Saving

  • £700 per person

Want to Spend More?

  • Private jet from Moscow to Courchevel… £27,500! But, but, but… ***FREE*** baggage!!!

Getting There: Ski Purchase & Carriage

As nice as it is to own your own equipment, it’s not cheap and most airlines now charge Ski or Snowboard carriage – which amounts to not much less than the cost of hiring skis for a week.

The Standard Costs

  • Minimum cost of decent skis: £400 + Cost of ski carriage with Easyjet: £60
  • = Total cost of skis & carriage: £460

The Alternative Costs

  • Cost of hiring mid-range skis for six days: £70 (after 25% discount through The Chalet Company)

Cost Saving

  • £390 per person

Want to Spend More?

  • If you’re buying, why not try out the Ultime Black II skis by Lacroix – reassuringly extortionate at almost £7,000. But – and it’s a big but – if you buy one ski, you get the second ski free!

Getting There: Airport Transfers

Transfers to and from the airports serving Méribel (Chambery, Geneva & Grenoble) are difficult to organise and door-to-door transfers are expensive. If numbers permit (you can divide the group number by four) and someone is prepared to drive, you can consider hiring a car.

The Standard Costs

  • Cost of an airport transfer: £400 (£100 per person)

The Alternative Costs

  • Cost of hiring a mid-sized car + petrol + tolls: £260 (£65 per person)

Cost Saving

  • £35 per person

Want to Spend More?

  • Why not arrive in Meribel in a helicopter? Having looked into this we can put our cynicism aside for a moment and say that it’s actually cheaper than expected – between 1,100€ and 1,400€ from nearby airports with Whitetracks.co.uk. A mere snip! The heli-pad in Meribel is situated next to the car park of the Altiport Hotel.

In Resort: Lunch on The Slopes

Dropping less than EUR 20 per day on lunch can be viewed as a bargain in Méribel. But most chalet hosts will be more than happy to put together a packed lunch for you for between EUR 5 and EUR 8 per day. And who needs a cool bag in the Alps?

The Standard Costs

  • Cost of lunching in restaurants for one week: at least £100

The Alternative Costs

  • Cost of buying a packed lunch from your chalet host for one week: £30

Cost Saving

  • £70 per person

Want to Spend More?

  • The tasting menu at Hotel le Strato in Courchevel starts with ‘Gillardeu Oysters, set in a sea water jelly, infused with wakame algae’. It costs up to £250 – and, no, you can’t BYOB!

In Resort: Drinks in the Evening

While it is appealing to queue for up to 45 minutes at a bar in a French ski resort whilst le Monsieur serves, flirts with, and swaps phone numbers with every single female in the resort before grumpily pulling you a demi pression (half pint) and banishing you to a dark corner to drink it. You could be kicking-back in your chalet, enjoying the heat of an open-fire and helping yourself to the included beer and wine on offer!

The Standard Costs

  • Cost of drinking in Méribel for one week: At least £150

The Alternative Costs

  • Cost of drinking in a catered Chalet Company chalet in Méribel for one week: About £0

Cost Saving

  • At least £150

Want to Spend More?

  • A Jeroboam of Cristal on the slopes in Courchevel will give you some change from £5,000 (but not much). Note: Should you be craving that Jeroboam of Cristal, I am afraid that we don’t offer that on the house but our chalet hosts are happy to take preorders for drinks that we don’t provide in the package.

In Resort: Chalet Accommodation

Choosing the location and style of your chalet is a pretty big factor and doesn’t need to seriously impact on your enjoyment of your holiday.  Of course we’d all love to have ski-in / ski-out access but you pay more for it; you can still be on the slopes in 15 minutes after a short bus ride and you’ll be paying a much lower price for this small inconvenience.

The Standard Costs

  • Week in Chalet Evergreen where you can ski straight out onto the mountain: around £549

The Alternative Costs

  • Same week in Chalet l’Ancolie in Les Allues (10 minutes on the bus to the slopes): around £349

Cost Saving

  • £200

Want to Spend More?

  • For ‘Alpine Chic’ at its best, try Chalet Shemshak in Courchevel. It costs up to €178,300 for a week’s stay, but a personally chauffeured 4×4 is included so you make some cost savings on transfers and stuff.

Extra tip: Timing

Choose your week carefully – if you’ve got kids then Easter is the cheapest time to go (compared to Xmas, NY and half-term) and there is still some great skiing to be had in the 3 Valleys (plus it’s usually warmer which can be better for younger children).  No kids? Then look at the prices of the different weeks – there will always be snow in the 3 Valleys so you don’t need to worry about that.

The Standard Costs

  • New Year or Half Term in Chalet Evergreen: around £999 per person

The Alternative Costs

  • Easter in Chalet Evergreen: around £599 per person

Cost Saving

  • £400 per person

Want to Spend More?

  • Not applicable but, since we couldn’t fit it in elsewhere, why not arrive in style in a Bogner silver ski jacket… a snip at £530!

 

Click here to browse all our Meribel chalets and the cost savings you could make, based on location and timing.

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