With most adult 6 day passes now costing more than £200, here are some tips for reducing that cost.
Buy your passes now – many resorts offer discounts, sometimes up to 15%, if you buy your passes before the season starts (usually by the end of October). If you know when and where you are going, go onto the resort lift company’s website, and book your passes online.
Family deals – most resorts offer discounts for families all buying the same pass together. Sometimes they are not too worried about whether you are all the same family, we have personally bought family passes which included children who weren’t actually ours. Discounts might be 10% off, or everyone gets the child rate, for example.
‘Tribu’ deals – you can often get a bit of a discount if 2 or 3 of you buy the same adult pass at the same time.
Special day rates – if you are visiting a resort you already have a lift card for, there are sometimes cheap deals for particular days of the week, bought online in advance. Paradiski is one we know of, you can ski on a Saturday for 35 Euros if you book it online by midnight Friday.
Kids ski free – if you haven’t decided where to go yet, have a look at the age where you start paying for children, the age when children start to pay the adult rate, whether there is a youth rate in between the 2. If you’ve got grandparents in tow, check what age the senior rate starts from. These all vary from resort to resort.
Full area? – if you are visiting one of the big ski areas, you may not need the whole area pass. Paradiski springs to mind again, because in 6 days you really don’t need the whole of La Plagne and Les Arcs, especially as the single area pass gives you one day on the other side anyway.
Tour Operator discounts – before buying your passes yourself, check with your tour op or chalet/hotel whether they get any deals that the public can’t access. For example last year our chalet company could get us full area passes for the price of the local area. Tour operators sometimes pass on their group buying discounts, and have been known to match up children and adults buying passes on the transfer bus so as to maximize the number of ‘family’ price passes…
Extra half day free – If you buy a 6 day pass, some resorts give you the afternoon of the preceding day extra (or, oddly, sometimes the morning of the day at the end of the pass). These are not usually widely advertised though.
Thoroughly confused by all of these options? Head over to the Snowheads forum and ask the question under the appropriate resort’s thread, and we can almost guarantee someone will know the answer!