Cost-effective skiing holidays for beginners

Thanks to the strong Aussie dollar, travel overseas to most countries is close to the cheapest it has been in a long time. When it comes to family holidays, it seems that overseas is just as competitive as local options. But are there options when it comes to Skiing, is overseas cheaper, or is it just a better experience than the local choices?

Ski holidays don’t come cheap, I think. Where would be good place (from Sydney) for novice skier before adventuring on ski holidays?

New Zealand is often the first place that comes to mind when thinking about Skiing destinations. With the NZ Dollar well below par in comparison to the Australian Dollar, there is the opportunity to save, although the gap has shrunk this year. For some Australians, the snow in New Zealand is also easier to get to, with extra flights on offer during the season direct to Queenstown.

New Zealand may not offer the typical Ski In, Ski Out, live on snow experience Australian resorts offer. But for many of our members, once you are talking about more than a few days in the snow, the choice is obvious.

I’ve performed this comparison many times, almost as often as I’ve skied those locations. Just based on accommodation + lift tickets + flights for one solo traveller my findings are: The breakeven point for Japan -v- Oz is 9 days (the trip length at which costs are the same). The breakeven point for NZ -v- Oz is 7 days …and that’s incurring zero flight costs in Oz, without even adding in fuel! … In addition, there are ways of making it even cheaper. Fly to NZ, rent a cheap car and get all your lift tickets completely for free? I’ve done it many times.

And it’s not just New Zealand that should be considered when it comes to heading overseas. Until recently, Asia was rarely thought of as a destination for those chasing the snow. These days however, thanks to the advent of low cost carriers, it is very much in the mix. It also has the advantage of having a season that is opposite to our local season in timing, thanks to its Northern Hemisphere location. This means those longer trips can be easily done during the traditional Christmas holiday period over December and January each year. For some, it also means you get the chance to try real snow, as opposed to the man made stuff often produced locally.

Depends on what the budget is really, but Aussie “snow” turned me off skiing and the snow for life, until a girlfriend convinced me to try Japan “one last time”. I think NZ is the best bang for buck, but have never been personally- this is only from my Niseko friends (5 trips now with 2 more booked this season).

Perhaps you have experienced snow as a beginner and left thinking a holiday in the snow is as much fun as a having a cold shower while ripping up 100 dollar bills. Maybe you’re more experienced, and are keen to share the delights to be had on and off piste during a holiday in the snow locally or overseas. Join the conversation HERE.

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