Still to this day people have the perception that skiing holidays are for the rich, the mountain locals or competition winners! It is simply not true these days. True there are a number of winter ski holiday options out there that will leave most people sitting at home next winter but look closely and most importantly in detail at what you can get for your money and there are plenty of possibilities for the "average" person to get out on the slopes and rip it up with the best of them.
The key to all of this is not picking up a ski brochure, looking at the picture on the front and saying "That's where I have to go." Chances are the brochure cover images are on the top of the highest pistes in the deepest snow on the sunniest day of the last decade in the best resort in the world! Flick to that resorts brochure page or website and the price will be up there with the most expensive in the world. Ask around and the most common answers to "Where should I go skiing?" will be France, Austria, America, Canada and Switzerland. Whilst for this particular article there are no concrete statistics on this answer if you ask 10 people then chances are these countries will come up.
If you then search for skiing holidays in each of these countries on a search engine and take the top result you can click through all the options of what you actually need for a week of skiing. Each tour operator you bring up will most likely offer holidays to each of these countries and a host of other top destinations for skiing such as Italy, Finland and Norway.
Here is a quick list of what you will most likely need for a week skiing so you know what the results below are based on:
A Return Flight
Return Airport Transfers
A Weeks Accommodation
A Weeks Lift Pass
A Weeks Ski Hire
Ski or Snowboard Lessons
A Ski Bus (In some resorts)
Here are the cheapest options the search results came up with for the following three countries for everything listed above for a week skiing in February 2014 with flights leaving London, UK.
France - £1073 per person (Self catered accommodation)
Austria - £1021 per person (Breakfast Included)
America - £1699 per person (Breakfast Included)
These prices are what put people off skiing. If you are looking to ski for the first time and you are not sure you will like it, if you want to take your whole family skiing or even if you are a regular skier it is difficult to come up with this kind of money year after year.
This is where lesser known resorts come into play such as those in Eastern Europe, which are easily accessible and offer fantastic services and facilities that are slowly becoming more and more popular in the skiing community. The same search for the ski holiday listed above at two lesser known Eastern European countries, Poland and Slovakia comes up with the following prices, both of which are better than half the price of the better known skiing countries above.
Poland - £523 per person (Breakfast Included)
Slovakia - £589 per person (Self Catered)
So with little more than a country name change in your search engine you will pull up smaller companies who run tour operations in these lesser known skiing destinations at very affordable prices. So the answer is, if you want to ski this winter and think it will be out of your price range then think again but most importantly think again about your destination.