Winter sports for the first time #2 – how much does it cost?

For my first winter sports holiday I went to Winterberg in Germany with my sister and a friend. I had some lessons for snowboarding before in indoor places, but it’s still a whole different experience. It feels less ‘real’. After a couple of days playing in the snow I can tell you: a winter sports holiday is SO MUCH FUN! In this previous post I helped you pick a destination for your winter sports holiday. This time we’re gonna check how much a winter sports holiday actually costs.

Costs for a winter sports holiday: is it really thát expensive?

A lot of people don’t wanna go on a winter sports holiday because of all the expenses. But how much does a winter sports holiday actually cost? Is it really thát expensive? Some people spend more money during one week in the snow as I would do during a backpacking trip in Asia for a month. The high prices were the main reason I didn’t went on a winter sports trip before. And indeed: a winter sports holiday is not cheap, but luckily you can make it affordable if you spend your money in a smart way.

In this article I share the costs for 3 days skiing or snowboarding (a shortski) in Germany for you. The average prices are based on my own experiences and the prices I saw during my research. Keep in mind that Germany as a winter sports destination is a bit cheaper than other countries like Austria or Switzerland.

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1. Accommodation average price: €30-40 euros per person per night

We stayed with 3 people in a 6-person cottage outside Winterberg for about €55 euros per night (excluding bed linen, taxes, etc.). We could even use the swimming pool and the sauna in the hotel next to our cottage! If we were with more persons it would even be cheaper per night. On the other hand, you will pay more if you’re sleeping in an accommodation next to the slopes.

An important tip for your accommodation during a winter sports holiday: book in advance! Preferably as early as possible. It can sometimes save you so much money. And my experiences are that the nicest accommodations are not available anymore, sometimes months in advance. If you know your destination, check some nice accommodations on Booking as soon as possible. The nice thing about Booking is that you can cancel without costs for most places. So if you find a better accommodation in the meantime, you can always cancel the previous one. Airbnb is also a great way to find an accommodation for your winter sports holiday. With this link you get €25 euros discount on your first booking with Airbnb.

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2. Transport average price: €100-150 euros for a ride (the more people the cheaper it will be per person)

We drove about 700 kilometers with our own car in 3 days. This was about €30 euros per person for petrol costs. Note that the prices for fuel are a bit cheaper outside of the Netherlands (at least it was in Germany).

It’s also interesting to check out the prices for busses of bus companies like Flixbus. You’re less flexible, but you don’t have to worry about a thing once you’re in the bus. I can imagine that some people find it quite scary to drive in a ski area.

There are also some places where you can easily fly to and combine a citytrip with a winter sports holiday: Innsbruck in Austria, Sofia in Bulgaria and Salzburg in Austria for example. Check Skyscanner to set a price alarm for the days that you wanna go to get updates about the prices.

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3. Food and drinks average price: €15-25 euros per person per day

We had a kitchen in our cottage, so we had breakfast and dinner in our cottage. Do you want to save money on food? Make sure you have a kitchen! We took a little snack from the supermarket and we had lunch in the restaurants next to the slopes. The restaurants were less expensive than I expected. For a cup of hot chocolate we paid €2,50 and some soup was around €3,50. For dinner (for example a plate of pasta or fries with a schnitzel) you pay around €10-12 euros in Germany. Do you like après-ski? Then you can easily add another €20-30 euros per day at your budget for winter sports.

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4. Ski pass average price: €25-30 euros per person per day

The prices for a ski pass varies per ski area of course. Remember that children often get a discount. Moreover you usually have a lot of choices. If you buy a pass for a week it’s most of the times cheaper than buying 7 day passes. A ski pass for half a day is again cheaper than a day pass. And you can even buy single tickets at most places. If you don’t have the whole day (for example on the first or the last day) you can buy these single tickets. Often there are €2-4 euros per ride.

Beginners will have sour muscles without a doubt, so maybe you don’t feel like skiing or snowboarding every day. Also after a big après-ski party you maybe just want a quiet day instead of spending your time in the snow. So it’s important to decide for yourself how many times you want to use the ski pass before you buy one.

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5. Rental average prices: €20-25 euros per person per day

I would recommend to hire your stuff if you’re going to ski or snowboard for the first time. Renting a snowboard plus boots is around €15-20 euros per day in Winterberg, Germany. A ski-set is often a few euros cheaper. Do you also want a helmet, some goggles or rent some ski clothes? Then you obviously have to pay more money.

I’ve rented only a snowboard and boots. I bought my own (waterproof) clothes. For example, my sister and I bought a jacket for €25 euros. It doesn’t have to be that expensive, right? I didn’t had a helmet or ski goggles. I know many skiers are shouting at their screen right now. But it was pretty cloudy and I didn’t even need my sunglasses most of the time. I did however used some sunscreen with factor 50. But ski goggles are a good protection for your eyes, so if you’re going to a destination with more sun I would definitely buy or rent some winter sports goggles. I also didn’t had a helmet, but it would have been more safe. At some destinations it’s even obligated to use a helmet, especially for children.

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So what would be the average budget for a winter sports trip?

Is it cheaper to arrange everything yourself or book an organized trip? Sometimes I see some nice deals of tour operators, for example a trip to France for 8 days including ski pass, accommodation and transport for €450 euros. When you book a trip you often get a total price for accommodation and transportation by bus. Keep an eye on other including things like food, ski passes and rental gear.

However I believe that it will be cheaper if you arrange everything yourself, so you have different options. For 3 days in Germany we paid around €600 euros for 3 people = €200 euros per person.

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What do you think about this price? Is it quite cheap or still more expensive than you had imagined? If you have any tips regarding winter sports on a budget, please share them with me and other readers in the comments!

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