August 21, 2009, Newsletter Issue #261: Overseas With Your Skis: Budget Skiing Outside the US

Tip of the Week

To many people, the idea of skiing in another country sounds like an expensive proposition. However, this is not always the case. Depending upon the strength of the US dollar, as well as the particular country and ski area, a ski trip to Europe or Canada might cost considerably less than a ski trip to Vermont. In fact, in some cases, the airfare might be the most expensive part of the trip.

As far as airfares are concerned, everyone should learn to play the frequent flyer miles game. You donít even need to fly frequently. Choose an airline that you are most apt to use, and apply for a credit card that earns miles for that account. If you want to fly to a European ski destination, make sure that you choose an airline that either goes to that destination itself, or has a reciprocal agreement with other airlines that do. United, American and Delta all have excellent international airline networks.

Oh Canada!

The next step is to choose a destination. If you donít want to actually travel overseas, you should definitely consider the Canadian ski areas. In the east, a trip to Mont Tremblant in Quebec will make you feel as if youíve traveled to France, without paying the high prices. The caveat: It is very cold in the winter, so dress accordingly. In Western Canada, British Columbiaís Whistler/Blackcomb is a mega resort with a mini price range. This fantastic ski area has terrain that is suitable for skiers of all levels. Since itís basically a pedestrian village, you do not even need to rent a car. Instead, you can take the shuttle from the airport. Most rooms at Whistler come with kitchenettes. The village grocery is one of the most extensive ski area grocery stores in North America. This way, you get to save money on food!

Viva, Italia!

Bormio, Italy is one of the best kept secrets in the world of budget ski travel. Aside from budget, there are other distinct advantages of taking a ski trip to Bormio. First of all, Bormio is not a ski town. It is an authentic medieval village that just happens to have a ski mountain. Instead of going to the hot tub at the end of your ski day, you can visit the townís ancient hot mineral springs! Take a day off from skiing and explore the historical sites throughout the town. For the ultimate spurge, some companies sponsor a day trip to the elegant St. Moritz in Switzerland. The cost of the bus transportation and lift ticket might be lower than the cost of a lift ticket to St. Moritz.

In Europe, the ski areas are owned by the actual town, not by private companies. As such, at Bormio, you might find yourself skiing past someoneís farm! This is a truly unique ski vacation!

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