9 tips to help you live within a budget this winter
Embarking on your first winter gap year will be one of the most exciting times in your life, planning your flights, securing your visa and buying your ski swag are the exciting things to purchase! EA Ski & Snowboard Training has put together some top tips to help you survive your first winter season, living within your budget in your chosen resort town. The best way to make sure you have an epic winter gap year is to plan in advance, take a look below on how you can master your bank balance and make the most out of your first winter season experience!
1. Check exchange rates
This sounds a bit daunting, trying to figure out how you can get the best bang for your bunk when exchanging your foreign currency. The difference in getting 0.3 pounds to 0.5 to your Canadian dollar actually means you could be landing an extra $100 in your wallet. Start planning in advance and learn about what the 'ideal' exchange rate is to transfer your money into your chosen country. Sign up for alerts from an exchange tracker site, here is one of our favorite sites to help.
2. Save on baggage fees
Hauling gear on airlines is expensive, the last thing you want to encounter is an overweight fee at the airport when departing. Make sure you plan in advance the best deals to ensure you have a good allowance. Figure out if you are going to purchase your threads when you arrive at your resort or prior to your departure, this will help reduce the cost of weight. Get in touch with your STA travel office, all EA Ski and Snowboard Interns get free travel advice and access to the best deals.
3. Buy second-hand
Second-hand ski gear and ski sales are every winter enthusiasts favorite time of the year. Keep an eye on your resort towns local Facebook page and join a few ski club mailing lists and keep an eye out for the next sale! There's nothing more satisfying than picking up a $500 ski jacket in a treasure chest for under $50! This can also help with your luggage costs by purchasing all of your ski gear once you land in your resort.
4. Check daily deal sites
Take a look at the big deal sites, such as Group On, Amazon or Living social. These sites are great to help you budget for some extra activities enjoy at your chosen resort town!
5. Check your local bars and restaurants to find 2-For-1 entries!
Living in a resort town means you become a local for a season, and bars and restaurants love looking after there locals! Especially ones who are providing good worth of mouth advertising to ski tourists. Ask your fellow ski resort staff or other known locals and find out when your local restaurants like to offer 2-For-1 dining deals or a locals evening. You could eat like a king for half price!
6. Find the Demo Tent
Usually, during the school holidays or holidays periods, a few local ski shops and big ski brands will put on a Demo tent for a weekend up the hill. It's ideal to spend some time trying your ski equipment before you buy, Demo tents are great for this they allow you to head out for free to enjoy 1 - 2 hours out so can be sure you're choosing the right equipment for your style. Each tent will also offer a special code so you can purchase your new set of skis or hardware for a good deal.
7. Take advantage of Happy Hour!
Save up all of your tips and chump change and head to Happy Hour at your local bar or restaurant. It's an awesome way to spend your afternoon/ evening catching up with other interns or mixing in with other ski departments for an affordable price. Restaurants and bars love to attract skiers, get your mates together and convoy down to your local bar for some apres drinks.
8. Buy in Bulk
When you arrive at your chosen resort you will be welcomed by your EA program manager. They will help you set up your bank accounts, tax forms sim cards and show you the locals bars and shops. Once you have settled into your group accommodation, we recommend getting together and heading out to your local superstore or Walmart to help kit out your house and buy all of your food in bulk! They have awesome daily specials to help you minimize cost when popping into your local grocer.
9. Pack your lunch
Ski resorts cafes sell food a premium price and are usually pretty busy when you get a break between your lessons. It's a great idea to pack your lunch every day to help with the cost of food, also if it's an easy snack, you can eat on the chairlift so you can to snatch those untouched lines on your break!
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