Friday, March 27, 2009

A No Crowds Plan for Recession Skiing

We are off to Austria to ski. What, you’re not going to Italy?

Yes, for years we have been singing the praises of skiing in the fabulous and relatively underappreciated Dolomites and our past posts about our favourite Italian ski resort can be found here.

But the world has changed and with it our tactics. Here's how we put together a No Crowds recession ski trip.

The first decision we made was not to ski in February when rates are at their highest but to wait for Easter. Skiing later meant we had to go for altitude focussing on the Trois Vallee and Espace Killy in France and the Voralberg in Austria. Little did we know that this would be the best snow in Europe in a generation and even low lying resorts would still have plenty of spring snow.

We also did something we would never do in better times. We played chicken. Instead of booking, we waited and watched as prices fell. Finally, just before Christmas, we pounced on a very good offer from a four star hotel in Zurs, Austria that compared well to what we had been paying for a three star in Italy in prior years. After booking on the low cost carrier, Easyjet, into Salzburg because it was a fraction of the cost of getting into Innsbruck or Zurich and after getting a great deal on our rental car from Auto Europe, we’re good to go. And even though we're going to one of the poshest and most expensive ski resorts in Europe, it won't bust the budget.
Look for us tomorrow morning at 5:30 am clunking through Gatwick Airport in our ski boots which is what we will need to do to stay under the weight limit.

Ski Heil!

A Goldi hunter stands on skis on ice, holding long spear in the Arctic circa 1895. (William Henry Jackson / Library of Congress)

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