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Aussies love to carve up the mountains. In 2018, the Australian Ski Areas Association recorded the highest number of ski days since 2005 with over 2.3 million hitting the slopes.
And while we love it, heading to the snow does have one major downside: the cost. Lift passes, accommodation, skis, snowboards, gloves, goggles, the après-ski … the list goes on and on.
Here are seven safe ways to make your next trip up the lift a little less pricey.
You can actually do this when buying anything. Planning ahead and buying your gear at the end of a season is a quick and easy way to save on all your winter sports’ needs.
While next season’s gear might have a new gimmick, there aren’t that many major developments year-to-year with ski gear.
Again, this is about buying and dressing smart. Rather than dropping a wad of cash on an expensive ski jacket, wear lots of thin and inexpensive layers with a cheap waterproof shell over the top.
If you are DIY inclined, the Internet has opened a whole world of possibilities. You can save yourself a tidy sum by heading to YouTube and learning how to wax and sharpen your own skis. Once you’ve got the technique down, head over to your preferred online retailer and buy the tools you’ll need. The tools will cost around the same as having your skis waxed and sharpened a few times professionally at a ski resort.
While this is free at most ski shops, changing your DIN setting to a lower setting is another DIY option you can use. While this one won’t save you any money, it has the potential to reduce your risk of injury since lowering your DIN setting will enable you to pop out of your skis easier.
All you’ll need is a screwdriver to change the settings, so there’s no need to run out and buy any new tools. However, you will need to jump online to find the lowest DIN setting for your weight and ability.
If you don’t mind not looking the part, you don’t need to rush out and buy a full-on ski helmet if you own a bike helmet. They do the same thing and a helmet is better than no helmet. Sure, the ski helmet is warmer but you can get similar results by wearing a fleece gaiter underneath your bike helmet.
There are a couple of ways to save money on poles since you don’t really need them all that much anyway. If you’re inclined to buy them, get them second-hand. If you’re looking to rent, do it in advance and comparison shop. There are even services that will ship the poles right to you.
If you’re skiing in Australia or overseas, making sure you’ve got the right ski cover is a great way to protect yourself financially. Your ski gear, lift pass and accommodation add up to a tidy sum and having travel insurance that comes with ski cover is the best way to protect against losses like piste closure and lost or damaged ski gear.
Travel insurance is especially important if you’re skiing overseas and get in an accident since the costs of winding up in a hospital in some of our favourite ski destinations such as the United States could leave you with medical bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Remember that travel insurance won’t cover your medical expenses in Australia. While it’s still advisable to get cover to protect yourself from the ski-related costs we’ve already mentioned, having private health insurance is also a good idea if you’re planning on skiing. It doesn’t need to be a top policy, but having some cover for the costs of medical evacuation or ambulance transport could end up saving you in the long run.