One: Plan ahead
It definitely pays to plan ahead – there are a number of resorts such as Les Gets & Morzine that offer an early bird discount on lift pass purchase – this can be as much as 15% discount. It’s also great to get these sorted well in advance of the holiday, especially in resorts such as Verbier and Zermatt where you need to give full details of age and date of birth – easy when it ‘s just your family but can be more difficult when it’s a group of friends or several families ……
Two: Buy in bulk
Lots of resorts offer a discounted price when you buy 3 or more lift passes. They do need to be same duration and same ski area but the savings all add up. In the 3 Valleys a single adult 6 day pass was 294 € last season but buying 3 or more adult passes reduced to the price to 279 € per person. The savings can pay for the coffees or a bottle of wine on the first day’s skiing!
Three: Size matters
Many ski resorts offer a valley pass as well as an area pass and it is worthwhile thinking about how much skiing you’re going to do before you buy. In resorts such as St Anton and Val d’Isere its straightforward as there is only a single area option but other can be more complex, in Méribel, Courchevel and St Martin you can choose a single valley pass or a 3 valley area pass. In these resorts, even for beginners it is worth getting the full area pass, as there is great beginner and intermediate skiing in all 3 resorts. But in Chamonix where there are 2 pass options, for beginners or more tentative skiers, the smaller area pass is absolutely fine for a week’s holiday.
Four: Family matters
Note that not all resorts have the same age limits for their passes so it’s worth checking all the options. In Zermatt and in St Anton children under 9 years can get a free pass whereas in most French resorts, its only available for those under 5 years. In most French resorts children over 13 count as adults and pay full price whereas Verbier, St Anton and Zermatt have a ‘youth’ pass which still gives some reduction on the full adult price pass.
Five: Take a Selfie
Long gone are the days of needing passport size photos for every lift pass but they are still necessary for passes of longer durations – usually longer than 8 days. And they are needed for anyone needing a discounted or free pass so for example children under 5 or for skiers over 64 years (when you’ll also need proof of age in the form of a passport scan). You don’t need official passport photos but they do need to be recent.
Six: Stay safe
You should check your travel insurance policy to check that it covers ‘winter sports’. In most resorts you can add ski insurance to your lift pass which covers piste rescue, medical & legal expenses and refund on unused ski instruction & lift passes. In France this is priced from 2.80 € per person per day. Also, always keep the receipt for your lift pass purchase, which will have the sales reference numbers so that if you or one of the group, are unlucky enough to lose your pass, you can get a free replacement.
Let your SkiBoutique PA help you get the best options for your ski pass purchase and we can guide you through the resort and country differences.