11 Top Tips To Save Money On A Self Catered Ski Holiday

Discover how to Save Money On A Self Catered Holiday

With the current situation of Brexit and the roller coaster ride of the Euro, every penny (or cent) counts! It’s not surprising that more people are choosing to drive to the Alps and use self-catered apartments.

With 16 years of ski industry experience, I have heard all the best tips to save money/get great value for money when going on a self-catered skiing holiday.

1. Book A Self-Catered Apartment

self-catered apartment

This will most likely be the best value for money accommodation choice. You might be able to pick up a discounted catered chalet deal but you can always depend on self-catered apartments to be the most cost-effective choice of accommodation.

Back in the 60’s/70’s ski apartments (mainly the French resorts) had a bad reputation for being small and cramped rooms. But this image has changed to the huge investments across the Alps into upgrading the buildings. Powder White has just increased 52 NEW Residences across 20 resorts, including 11 new locations.

See our great range of self-catered apartments below.

Ski Accommodation

2. Drive To The Alps

Tignes non ski activities | Ice driving

I mean, driving might seem like a hassle at first, but when you think about it;

  • You can take your skis without the Airline extra charges
  • You can bring local wine/food back from the Alps
  • Larger luggage allowance; depends on your car size
  • It works out massively cheaper during Half-Term weeks, especially if the whole family are going
  • You can share the driving through the night and enjoy the beautiful views in the morning

There are many things you can bring from home that you won’t be able to take on a plane that will make your ski holiday more enjoyable and cheaper in the resort.

Click here to read more great tips when driving to the Alps

3. Spice It Up

Schwartz spice mix

Herbs and spices are expensive and a pain in the backside to get at the best of times and you don’t want to be re-buying things that you already have at home. Take your essentials:

  • Salt & Pepper 
  • Cooking oil
  • Pre Mix Spices [bolognaise, chilli, sausage casserole etc]

4. Bring A Slow Cooker

slow cooker - apartments

If you haven’t got one, get one! You will save time cooking, eat healthier, low cost and it’s great for feeding an army of people! You will then discover a new way to cook great food at home, let alone in the Alps. This is the slow cooker I have at home and have taken many of times with me to Tignes and Val d’Isere.

Here are our top 3 slow cooker recipes for a self-catered ski holiday.

  1. Slow cooker Spanish chicken 

  2. Slow cooker bolognese  

  3. (v) Slow Cooker Burrito Bowls 

AND if you feel like treating yourself, try this incredible Slow Cooked Beef Brisket Chilli  

Take your own knife – Whether you’re driving or flying then my top tip is to take your own knife (Don’t carry the knife in your hand luggage if you’re flying). I mean, have you ever tried to cut an onion with a glorified butter knife? It’s not fun. (A tin opener is handy too!).

5. Be Currency Savvy

Whatever you do, don’t buy your currency at the airport! You’ll end up getting the very worst exchange rate. When you are at the resort, avoid using a credit card as you frequently get stung with a hefty charge. I use my Monzo card where I use both my current and prepaid card:

  • Monzo current account, you’ll be able to withdraw £200/month overseas fee-free. Further withdrawals will incur a 3% charge.
  • Monzo prepaid card, you’ll only be able to make one free overseas withdrawal a month, up to a max of £200. Any subsequent withdrawals, even if your first wasn’t £200, will be charged a 3% fee.

Best advice: check out travelmoney.moneysavingexpert.com – it can tell you where to get the best rate within a few miles of where you are and allows you to pre-book currency for same-day collection.

6. Ski Off-Peak

Skier: Fredrik Andersson
Location: Zermatt, Switzerland

If you can try an avoid the peak weeks (half-term) you will be able to save £100’s per person. The best time to go is in January where many operators reduce their chalet and apartment prices.

It’s the best to go skiing as the slopes are empty, lift lines don’t exist, there’s so much more powder to go around and accommodation will be cheaper. January is the perfect time to take to the slopes and here my reasons why from my last 5 years skiing in January

7. Pack Your Own Lunch


Lunches on the piste can be notoriously expensive so pack your own sandwich and eat it, enjoying the view. As you can see from the top photo, it’s well worth it.

  • Cream cheese, tomato, salad and pickled gherkin (v)
  • Ham, goat’s cheese, spinach leaves and honey.
  • Red pepper, goat’s cheese, pesto and rocket (v)
  • Parma ham, rocket, brie, red onion, cream cheese and black pepper
  • Chicken breast, pesto, tomato and mozzarella

8. Be Ready To Clean

Yes, you read that correctly. After a week in a self-catered apartment, you need to leave it very clean but don’t always provide the equipment or products to do so. Now I’m not suggesting you bring your hoover with you, but some multi-purpose cleaner and some scourers and J-Cloths will set you in good stead. Washing-up liquid is also mighty handy to have. Again, this will save you spending double the price in the local resort shops.

9. Rent Your skis In Advance

val thoren ski hire - skiset

Don’t leave it until you get to the resort. A) It’s going to cost you more B) It’s another task to tackle before getting on the slopes and C) It can easily be booked online and some companies will even deliver to your apartment! Skiers who book, and pay, online beforehand routinely get up to 20-50% then the price you would pay on the day. At Powder White, if you book your holiday with us, we will find you the best ski hire price and book it for you at NO extra cost.

10. Sunscreen and Lippy

It might sound like a strange one but in resorts, you can pay up to €9 or €10 for a 50ml tube! Buy it back home where it is a fraction of the price. You can also share bottles of toiletries such as sunscreens, toothpaste, shower wash etc.. to save money and space in your luggage.

11. Save Money When You Apres Ski

Tignes Apres Ski

Where ever you go, many local après-ski bars will make a big hole in any skier’s budget, so lighten the load by focusing on bars with happy hours. I mean, you can save money by not going to apres ski but what is the fun in that. Maybe you take a little hipflask to warm up your cocktails while dancing outside the bar.

Ready to save money and have fun on your ski holiday? Now check out our Top 5 Easy to Access Ski Resorts to add a little convenience to your savings.

I hope you found my money saving tips helpful and if you would like to book a value for money ski holiday, get in touch today +44 020 8877 8888