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Cheap skiing hotspots for winter 2011

A family skiingThe cost of skiing in Switzerland has soared as the pound has struggled against the Swiss franc. So where can you now get the most for your money this winter?

Switzerland may be among the most traditional destinations for winter sports lovers but the cost of a skiing getaway in the country has soared by a remarkable 26 per cent in the last year.

The major reason behind the dramatic increase is a hike in the prices charged by the country’s resorts, although the tumbling value of the pound against the Swiss franc hasn’t helped.

Sterling has fallen 9.1 per cent against the currency since October 2010, according to research from the Post Office.

However, there’s some slightly better news if you look elsewhere in Europe as the pound has remained relatively stable against the euro and the Bulgarian lev, meaning there are still some good, cheap spots to get away on the continent.

So where can you get the very best value? Let’s take a look around the world to find out.

How the ski holiday hotspots compare:

 *A table showing the price of skiing holidays

Tips to cut the cost of your holiday

As well as picking a destination where your money goes further, there are some other simple ways you can dramatically cut the cost of your trip abroad.

Choosing the time of year you take your holiday is particularly key to how much you’ll pay.

Simon Cross, managing director of holiday firm Crystal Ski, says: “With the ski market falling by 911,000 skiers last season, there are fewer ski holidays on offer for the coming winter.

"Demand for peak weeks is strong and half term is heavily booked, although we have added more flights and accommodation to help meet demand.”

Cross also advises that holidaymakers can keep costs down by booking early and pre-booking ski equipment or taking advantage of special incentives like the offer of free lift passes in some French resorts and Switzerland.

Choose your payment carefully

Don’t forget, many credit and debit card providers will charge you some nasty fees and sky-high interest rates for cash you withdraw or spend abroad.

A prepaid card could be the safest and most cost-effective option for foreign spending. See our recent guide to prepaid cards if you want to know more.

Also be wary of paying for anything in sterling – this allows many retailers overseas to set their own conversion rate, which will usually cost you more. For further details on this see our piece on the currency trick you should watch out for.

Winter travel insurance

A travel insurance policy isn't just there in case you injure yourself while on holiday. It can cover lack of skiing or snowboarding due to bad weather and piste closure for example.

Having the right level of cover is essential particularly if you need to be rescued, transported home, or have ongoing medical treatment.

You can search for winter sports travel insurance from big name brands through Confused.com.

*Table correct as at 2 November 2011




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Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones was a reporter for Confused.com between 2009 and 2010, writing personal finance news and blogs. He has since moved on to MSN Money but continues to write for Confused.com.

View more from Stephen



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