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Published August 7th 2013
Budget snow adventures? It can be done
Victorians love skiing and there are some great places around Victoria where we can enjoy this fabulous winter snow sport.
However, whilst it can be a very expensive hobby - it does not need to be quite so expensive. There are some ways you can go skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing or even just snow play and still do it on the cheap.
Some of the famous alpine resorts around Victoria include Mt Hotham, Falls Creek, Mt Bulla, Dinner Plains, Lake Mountain, Mt Baw Baw and Mount Stirling.
Here are some of my top tips to save money on your snow adventure.
Don't go it alone It's always more fun when shared with a friend, even better if you decide to travel together. You can save money on petrol, accommodation and food costs.
Forget the chains Perhaps one of your friends may have a four wheel drive, in this case you may not have to rent chains (Do check whether they are still required).
Clothes Swap You may also find that some of your friends have changed body shapes and you may be able to swap ski outfits instead of having to buy brand-new equipment and clothing.
House Share Sharing accommodation with 3,4 or even 8 friends may mean you can rent an entire house or a larger room at the lodge which brings the accommodation costs down for everybody.
Welcome YHA For cheap accommodation YHA now has two branches. One in Thredbo (NSW) and another in Mt Bulla.
The Mt Bulla accommodation is only 50m from the nearest chairlift so you can even ski right up to the front door of your accommodation. If you book a six bunk room it will only cost you $79 per person per night.
Go off peak in shoulder season Either in June or September, the snow can still be first rate and your prices will be considerably cheaper. If you do decide to go in peak season by going mid week you will often get better prices than weekends.
Stay a little further out Instead of staying right in the snow village, if you stay at Mt Beauty, near to Falls Creek or Dinner Plains for Mount Hotham, you will be able to travel just a short distance but save a considerable amount of money.
Buy your equipment off peak
Everyone wants all their brand-new snow gear the minute the snow season has started but if you are able to think ahead and go shopping in October when everyone is cashing out on their equipment - you will get some great bargains.
Rent some Gear
If you're not sure whether you will keep up this hobby or which style is exactly for you, then it might be better to rent for the first time, then you know which equipment works for you and what you'd like to spend money on next time.
Check out sites like eBay or gumtree
I recently purchased a $385 ski jacket which was top-of-the-line ski equipment on eBay for $6 with $10 shipping.
Save money on lift tickets
Unless you are prepared for a major hike, you will need to purchase lift tickets. There's not many ways to get around this one. However they do often offer earlybird specials, where you can get pre-season or shoulder season prices and perhaps something that may last all year round such as half day tickets, which finish at 1 PM or begin at noon and can save $20 or more off the daily price.
Cook for yourself
If it is possible to get accommodation that includes a kitchen; you can save a considerable amount of money by cooking your meals rather than eating out at the lunches and expensive restaurants.
Although the kitchen accommodation may cost slightly more, if you were staying more than a day or two, it can well and truly make up for itself in food costs.
Save for students
If you are a full time student you can buy tickets for $50 on Tuesdays, which is half the normal adult rate and up to 20% off lift and lesson tickets on the other days. They will permit children's prices to be allowed up to year 12. Hotham also have student lift ticket packages with a $12 saving.
Mt Baw Baw offer some of the cheapest lift tickets in Victoria for just $59 mid week.
Buy a package
Sometimes the cheapest way to get value on everything is to buy a package which encompasses everything - including your accommodation, lift tickets and lessons. If you're wanting to go the whole hog, a package may be the best way for you to go.
Do you have any other tips and hints for budget skiing or saving money
We would love to hear from you - please post your comments in the comments box at the top of this article.