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MoneySaving Tips for Half Term Ski Trippers!

So half term is upon us and the mad rush through airport, tunnel or ferry port is underway. This weekend sees the peak outbound ski traffic as families head for the slopes, but also coincides with peak pricing, as holiday companies, accomodation suppliers and plane, ferry and car rental firms all see to maximise their profits from those poor souls who are tied to the school holidays.

Those of us who can't ski outside the holiday peaks are used to being taken advantage off, but Mark Bower, who runs the Ski Hire Europe comparison service offering ski hire prices from a range of the largest ski hire firms across the continent offers a few top tips on keeping costs down.

Mark says 'Ski Operators rely on the half term period for a big part of their profits. Whilst in quieter times great deals are often found they are few and far between in the middle of February. Therefore its often those who travel independently who can cut more at the peak.' Here are a few of Marks suggestions suggestions:

  • Be flexible around your travel arrangements - Land at a secondary airport rather than those you would naturally think of - say Bologna rather than Venice or Innsbruck for the Dolomites, or Basle for the Swiss Alps. An extra hours transfer each way can easily been a saving of £100 a ticket - which for a family of four really adds up. is a great way of playing with destinations and dates.
  • Book early - Airlines use fluid pricing meaning the more popular the flight the higher the price. So if you are travelling at half term get in before the number of seats available on the flight get low.
  • If you are looking for car hire always use a comparison service to check out your options before going directly to a company. Comparison services drive down prices due to the visible competition, but be aware that hidden extras such as fuel policies (a growing number of the cheapest deals use a full to empty policy where you get overcharged for the fuel - sometimes up to 20% higher) or winterisation fees (a mandatory fee in some countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia or Germany for winter tyres) which tends to be excluded on the cheapest deals. The moneymaxim car hire comparison service has started adding details of the companies to look out for to their comparison service, and also offer independent car hire excess insurance quotations, which can be up to 90% cheaper than similar policies offered by the rental firms directly.
  • Again on car hire - book early but use a company which offers free cancellation. That way you can cancel and rebook elsewhere if prices fall, but you have a fixed price deal already in the bag if they don't.
  • Look to book in countries where school holidays don't coincide with ours. This year for instance most Italian schoolchildren are on holiday the week before ours.
  • Try locally booked accommodation - see local resort websites or a google search. Locally priced accomodation tends to have a fixed price across February rather than doubling up when half term strikes!
  • Book your ski hire before you arrive in the resort - not only feature a range of suppliers, but also let you know about other voucher codes that are around. Even in peak season you should expect to save 10% - 30% on walk in prices in your resort.

Well there is a list and a half - but combine a few of them and you will be surprised how they add up! Mark does however walk the talk - he is off tomorrow to Civetta in the Dolomites - flying BA from Heathrow to Bologna including car hire and accommodation in a comfortable 2 bedroomed lakeside apartment in Alleghe is setting him back £436 pp for a family of four!

SkiHireEurope · 1831 days ago
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15.02.2013 (1831 days ago)
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MoneySaving Tips for Half Term Ski Trippers!