Written by By Kylie Amaro, CNN
Is it worth the effort to travel to the Alps and ski in a beautiful setting? Well, at least one type of person — the geriatric snowboarder — probably likes it. Ski resorts in the French Alps and Switzerland attract an aging clientele, according to recent statistics . So whether you’re keen to spend the weekend with a family or just need to break free from the confines of your daily routine for a day, here are a few ways to make the most of your ski trip.
Save on your ski lift ticket
If you’re the type who skis to the ski lodge, make sure your lift is included in your ticket price . You might want to consider taking a ski lesson as well — it’s an affordable activity that can help you build your confidence. Many operators offer half-price tickets during certain times of the year. One can also opt for connecting or day passes for those who are little challenged. Some resorts also include a full rental voucher to share between two guests.
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Get a lift pass to your destination
While skiing in the Alps can be pricey , on-site lift passes can cut the cost in half. Departing from Italian resorts, for example, ski over to the French Alps via the French Alps pass , which provides a comprehensive lift experience. or a Swiss ski pass to the Italian Alps. The option of skirting the pass fees at the exit can also be beneficial.
If you’re traveling to a hostel, provide an email address so the owner can answer you.
Top up your snowsports with a lift pass
Save money by purchasing a lift pass that covers your entire stay, and then top up your ski pass with other activities. Think cycling, ice climbing, and other outdoor activities to build your fitness level and keep your money going.
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Get more value out of your time
Shopping for a bargain on slopes: Take advantage of the discounted goods. Photo by Imogen Bohdie, via Pixabay
While getting lunch and breakfast in cafes and restaurants isn’t always possible, before heading to the ski lodge, try to pick up discounted food and souvenirs. Check websites, such as Shop.par, which provide post-snow retail prices. The ‘value’ customers usually aren’t the ones flying to the mountain at 5 a.m. in ski season. Also, the earliest opening is generally half an hour before most ski lifts start running. To make sure you’re getting the best price, don’t forget to take advantage of the wide selection of discounts — the steep price of the resort and its lift passes may not be taking into account the discounts offered by the retail center.
Rent a motorbike
Motorbike rentals can be a great alternative to snowboarding and running (but should only be used for emergencies only.) During the low-season (December-January), your local airport can offer discount bike rentals to travelers. If you’re planning to hit the slopes, it’s likely that there are plenty of smaller towns and villages within the Swiss Alps. So, always call ahead to find out if the bikes are on the rental counter at the travel agency.
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Get help from your ski party
If you can’t afford a lift pass, look around the slopes for activities that can be enjoyed without paying a lot of money. While maintaining balance while changing a tire may not be of immediate use, on a day trip it can make for a worthwhile experience. Obviously, skiing is a fundamental activity so that the least money is used for other activities.
Early morning hike from Davos to Saas-Fee / Grindelwald. Photo via Joo Eisele, via Pixabay
Also make a point of exploring the trails near your lodgings. You may be surprised at how easy it is to ascend the mountain by yourself, but this is only the beginning. By the time you arrive at your resorts, you’ll have an idea of what you’ll need to stay safe and productive on your ski trip.
Make it a family trip
For young, curious children who are not scared to be off their parents’ leash, weekends can be a lot of fun — just the excuse you need to give them to head out in the snow! The villages surrounding the mountains are full of indoor activities, including “pyramid rooms” where children can make their own cat and mouse game. Most resorts also provide sledding hills — so get ready to ride down.
If you want to make a week of it, arrange a ski trip with your kids. Many of the resorts in the