Family ski holiday on a budget: the ultimate guide


Ski season is just around the corner and perhaps this is the year to take the family on a ski trip? There are French campsites open all year round – and many more across Europe that are just waiting to host your next winter sports adventure.

There’s no doubt a holiday on the slopes is an experience to match no other: outdoor activity that all the family can enjoy together, fresh mountain air, incredible views and tasty mountain food at the end of the day.

A snow holiday in the open air offers a connection to nature – and to each other, like nothing else. An opportunity to bond over an evening campfire and reflect on the best slides, swerves, skids and carves from a day on the slopes.

But there’s also no doubt that it can be a very expensive holiday. Maybe you’re also looking for an alternative to the usual package family ski deals at busy resorts…. you’d prefer to plan your own off-the-beaten track adventure!

We have a few ideas for a cheaper and more adventurous family ski holiday, from camping in the French Alps to campsites in the Dolomites, each offering year round camping. We’ll show you some unique accommodation too, with relaxing activities, perfect for families (and recharging those burning legs after an intense snow session!)

dad and son on ski holiday

Affordable family ski holidays in the Alps and beyond

How to plan a cheap ski holiday

There are plenty of ways to be thrifty with your ski holiday, saving your valuable euros for ski passes and invaluable memories. In this guide, we’ll share some top tips to planning your family ski holiday, without breaking the bank. So, let’s get started with some initial considerations…

Go to smaller, lesser-known ski stations 

Not only could ski passes, lessons and on-site dining be kinder to your budget, but you’ll also be supporting a small, local ski resort, helping them continue growing and upgrading their facilities. You’ll also enjoy the reduced crowd traffic on the ski runs, especially during school holidays (and less time in lift queues!).

Don’t be fooled by their size in comparison to the larger ski resorts, you’ll still get miles of skiable terrain with majestic mountain views and plenty of après-ski delights to help you wind down (or keep the party going).

Opt for cheaper accommodation

Staying at a chalet or pitching up at a campsite within a short drive of a ski resort in your caravan or campervan, could save you a lot of money. You can expect to pay a proportion of the rate that you would pay for accommodation in or beside ski stations – if indeed you can get accommodation in a station in peak ski season.

snowy chalet

You’ll benefit from using your car as a vessel to store your skiing equipment, whilst enjoying all the comfort, facilities and superb surroundings a campsite can bring you. You can even find glamping accommodation in Europe such as self-contained chalets, bungalows and shepherd’s huts, as well as other types of homesteads with multiple rooms (especially affordable if booking as larger group).

We’ve listed our pick of campsites open for camping in winter and all year round, which are near to a ski area.

Discover our favourite campsites for a ski holiday

Cook your own evening meals

We know that a ski holiday is more than just what goes down on the slopes, it can be as much about those après-ski activities and dining experiences, both at the ski resort and in the local area. Now, we wouldn’t wish to dampen that excitement, but just note that a typical, one-course meal for four could cost you between €75 and €150 (depending on how extravagant your tastes are).

You might want to consider cooking your own evening meals, and definitely filling up on a good breakfast before you hit the slopes so you won’t need a huge lunch, to make your ski holiday more affordable. This is where self-catering accommodation and in particular the well-equipped type available at campsites come into their own.

A campsite is the ideal place to cook up a storm. Often there is a shop on site, or within a short walk or drive. Some campsites offer freshly baked breads and other local ingredients. At others, you can rent a barbecue to reward yourself with an excellent steak or some sizzling sausages with warming mash, accompanied by a good glass of wine, at a fraction of restaurant prices.

Get some ski holiday meal inspiration here.

Buy or borrow second-hand gear in advance

This is essential for avoiding the nasty surprise of overpriced skiing gear offered at ski resorts. Planning in advance could save you hundreds on your skiing gear, especially if you’re shopping for the whole family.

Use your time in the lead up to your skiing holiday to purchase skiing and camping gear prior to your trip – buying second-hand can land you a bargain, is more eco-friendly and you can often find items from pre-loved selling sites that are nearly new or unused.

skis and snowboards

Remember, essential outdoor clothing such as thermal base, mid and top layers, as well as socks and sunglasses are useful for both winter camping and skiing, so make sure you’re not doubling up on purchases! Some things it is good to double-up on are gloves, however – especially kids’ gloves, which have a habit of getting wet and lost, requiring purchase of expensive replacements, if you haven’t planned in advance.

We’ll talk more about this later on.

Not sure what camping gear to bring? Check out our ultimate guide to winter camping here.

Find cheap ski resorts

Ski passes and classes and eating on the slopes are all often cheaper in lesser-known ski stations

In France and other European countries, there are lots of little-known ski resorts in lower mountain areas which may not have snow in the Easter holidays, but are a safe bet for skiing in February half term or even at Christmas.

You can also enjoy the slopes without the crowds of very popular resorts in school holiday periods – you’ll be skiing with the locals in the know, rather than the tourists. Some of our open-air accommodation options are located near off-grid ski resorts – read on!

But don’t discard the larger ski resorts entirely, as there may be special offers or family deals to grab. It’s good practice to look at prices for these resorts to compare to others.

Cheaper ski accommodation: campsites open year round in the mountains

While ski-in ski-out accommodation is the dream, even if you stay right in the centre of a resort, only a small percentage of accommodation has this. In most cases you will have a good walk or a shuttle bus transfer to the lifts and ski schools. This can be awkward with an armful of equipment and especially with small children.

So why not consider staying a short drive from the resort and arriving at the lift station in the comfort of the car or camper van? It will cut your accommodation costs considerably and may even make for a more convenient experience. It will also open up options if you’re planning a ski holiday last minute and struggling to find accommodation.

You’ll find stunning, traditional campsites with modern facilities, some with a camping spa, on-site restaurant and entertainments, a kids club and access to a range of local outdoor activities.

Above all, camping with your family will gift you with invaluable bonding time and create memories that’ll last forever.

Thinking of taking your motorhome on its first (or next) rodeo with the whole family? Read our guide to campervan holidaying with the kids.

Why go skiing in France?

If you’re not already won over by France’s charm and world-class reputation for being a top ski destinations of choice, then let us enlighten you. La France proudly offers some of the largest and most accessible ski areas in the world and boasts some of the highest, most breath-taking altitudes within the French Alps, Pyrenees and other spectacular mountain ranges.

Skiing and other snow sports / snow leisure is celebrated, at all levels, at resorts of varying size, style and popularity in France and they have some of the best ski facilities in the world; with ease-of-access and family-friendliness being a priority for many ski resort hosts.

Whether you’re a Nordic skier, cross-country snowboarder, snowshoer, sledder, observer (or all of these and more), you’ll be spoilt for choice on your ski holiday – and the memory of the outstanding scenery, friendly locals and exhilarating off-piste activities will live rent-free in your hearts and minds forever!

group carrying skis in beautiful snowy location

Campsites in France within 30 mins of a ski resort

We’ve trawled the mountains of France to identify campsites open in winter, with chalets or other accommodation options for two or more people; each within a short drive of a ski station. Just click on the links to learn more and secure your spot.

Camping JP Vacances

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A stunning, affordable, 4-star campsite tucked away in the delightful, hillside village of Le Tholy. You’ll be staying close to the Gérardmer region and its seemingly endless valleys of lakes, fauna and flora, you’ll have access to far-reaching views of the Vosges mountains, with plenty of ski and other outdoor activities within easy reach.

Campsite in Le Tholy - Chalets in the snow.
  • Accommodation type: camping pitches & self-contained chalets
  • Resort size: 77 pitches, 12 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €12 p/n
  • Pets allowed: camping pitches only
  • Heated swimming pool: yes
  • Closest slopes: Skiing Gérardmer – La Mauselaine
  • Distance from slopes: 12km (16 mins)

About this ski resort

This popular ski resort, found in the snowy village of Gérardmer, is ideal for alpine skiers and snowboarders seeking spectacular trails with panoramic views of lush pine forestry and mountainscapes. There are 40km of slopes and 21 runs for all levels – and a slalom stadium for competitive practice too. The resort’s recently upgraded facilities make access between runs so much easier and fun for the whole family to enjoy!

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 770m – 1140m
  • Children’s nursery: Yes
  • Ski School: yes
  • Lifts: 19

Camping D’arrouach Lourdes

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5 mins from the historical, pilgrimage town of Lourdes, this campsite in the Pyrenees (South West France), is a family-run, 13 hectare old farm that sits on a height, so you’ll get the best views of the surrounding forest canopy and mountain peaks. You’ll find peace and tranquillity on site, mixed with fun for all the family, with a waterpark, restaurant, nearby outdoor excursions and a ski resort within 30 mins drive.

Campsite in Lourdes. Swimming pool overlooking the Pyrenees
  • Accommodation type: camping pitches, self-contained lodges, geodesic dome
  • Resort size: 32 pitches, 13 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €35 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes (some rental accommodation restricted)
  • Heated Swimming pool: peak season only
  • Closest slopes: Hautacam
  • Distance from slopes : 32km (43 mins)

Things to know about this ski resort

20km of sunshine skiing in the spectacular Hautes-Pyrenees is on offer at this diverse ski resort.  The terrain spreads across two areas – Cardouet and Naouit and is surrounded by multiple peaks at varying altitudes, making it ideal for beginners looking to gain confidence on the slopes, but there’s plenty of intermediate to expert runs for the more seasoned snow lover too.

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 1494m – 1733m
  • Children’s nursery: No
  • Ski School: yes
  • Lifts: 7

Camping du Col

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1km from the centre of the spectacular ski area of Toussuire and nestled at the base of the snow-capped Arvan-Villard mountain range sits this well-positioned, community-friendly campsite with traditional, fully-equipped wooden chalets and ample spaces to pitch up by tent, caravan or campervan. A perfect option for a ski-in-ski-out, holiday.

Campsite in Toussuire -  view from chalet of Arvan-Villard mountains
  • Accommodation type: camping pitches & wooden chalets
  • Resort size: 40 pitches, 8 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €35 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes
  • Heated Swimming pool: peak season only
  • Closest slopes: La Toussuire
  • Distance from slopes : 1.4km (5 mins)

More about La Toussuire

One of the largest ski areas in France, you’ll get more than just panoramic views of the Alps (like that’s not already enough!) at La Toussuire, with 310km of ski trails and 136 ski slopes, as well as 22 fun areas dedicated to snow play, boardercross, luge-sledding and more. You’ll benefit from on-piste trails like no other, with sections for progressing beginners and over 75% slopes dedicated to intermediates +

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 1100 – 2620km
  • Children’s nursery: No
  • Ski school: Yes
  • Lifts: 68

Camping Le Haut Verdon

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A riverside sanctuary, close to the mountainous and architecturally famous village of Colmars-les-Alpes, this family-run campsite gives you access to the River Verdon and all the natural beauty that surrounds it. There’s plenty of land, snow and water adventures nearby, like the Cascade de la Lance waterfall, Hameau de Chasse hiking trails and of course, a ski resort or two!

campsite in Colmars-les-Alpes - Lake with surrounding fir trees and mountain view.
  • Accommodation type: camping pitches, chalets & bungalows
  • Resort size: 96 pitches, 13 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €40 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes
  • Heated Swimming pool: yes
  • Closest slopes: Colmars Ratery Ski-resort
  • Distance from slopes : 9km / 16 mins

Skiing in Colmars Ratery 

Colmars Ratery Ski-resort is a small, but wonderfully diverse cross-country ski area with marked trails which swerve between larch trees, then tower above villages. Situated in the historical Alpes de Haute area, it’s officially classed as a ‘green resort’ and ‘snow village’. The resort is great for families, offering ski practice areas, snowshoeing, sledding and various activities like igloo building, and Nordic night walks. There are 20km of slopes (4 for beginners) and the surrounding wild lands provide lots of après-ski opportunities like whitewater sports, mountain biking and horse riding.  

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 1685m – 1800m
  • Children’s nursery: No
  • Ski school: No
  • Lifts: 0

Camping La Bourie

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Located in the heart of the Pyrenees, this campsite is rich in nature’s most unspoilt countryside. It is in a majestic location at the foot of the great mountain passes of the Pyrenees (Aspin, Tourmalet, Peyresourde) and besides the River Neste. It has excellent facilities and is also a brilliant stopover if travelling between France and Spain, or if you’re looking for some nearby slopes to make your winter playground.

campsite in pyrenees. Static bungalows overlooking the moutnains
  • Accommodation type: Camping pitches, static bungalows & chalets
  • Resort size: 120 pitches, 22 holiday rentals
  • Price range: From €29 p/n
  • Pets allowed: Yes
  • Heated swimming pool: Yes
  • Closest slopes: Ski Nistos
  • Distance from slopes: 8km (10 mins)

About Ski Nistos

Ski Nistos is a fabulous cross-country ski resort and offers spectacular views of the of the Pyranees landscape, with trails overlooking areas of outstanding beauty like Montegut, the wall Barroude, the peak of Aret (and all the wildlife, fauna and flora that lays the land there). There’s 43km of skiable terrain, most suitable for intermediates, but has a few glorious runs dedicated to beginners.

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 1600m – 1800m
  • Children’s nursery: Yes
  • Ski school: Yes
  • Lifts: 0

Camping Les 7 Laux

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This stunning, countryside campsite enjoys panoramic woodland, vineyard and mountainside views of the Northern Alps, owing to it’s 940m altitude placement. Popular for it’s year-round opening times, but still calm and understated, it’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Here you’ll discover plenty of gorgeous landscapes in surrounding areas like Isère (between Grenoble & Chambery) and some fantastic ski areas offering activities for families of all ages.   

  • Accommodation type: camping pitches, chalets, static caravans & apartments
  • Resort size:  50 pitches, 11 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €25 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes
  • Heated swimming pool: yes
  • Closest slopes: Les Sept Laux
  • Distance to campsite : 6km (10 mins)

More about Les Sept Laux

Les Sept Laux combines world class cross-country and off-piste winter sports, in fact, it’s one of the best rated in France! And is the third largest ski area in the Dauphiné Alps region of Isère. You’ll have the opportunity to ski, board, shoe or sled across three districts which span across 120km (Prapoutel, Pipay and Le Pleynet), all of which are connected by an advanced lift network. The resort boasts ‘playful moments and exceptional landscapes’. and, whilst it’s mainly tailored towards intermediate and expert skiers, there are two dedicated areas for beginners.

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 1350 – 2400m
  • Children’s nursery: yes
  • Ski school: yes
  • Lifts: 24

Camping Le Bois Cornage

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A campsite situated within equal distance from the foot of a mountain, a river, a nature park and a pond. Sound idyllic doesn’t it? Located in the historic region of Vizille, you’ll be close to important landmarks from the French Revolution whilst also basking in nature’s clean air and goodness! Ideal for families, the campsite also has a playground, sports ground and heaps of outdoor activities to choose from.

Campsite in Vizille - Countryside views from a French campsite
  • Accommodation type: camping pitches, glamping pods & chalets
  • Resort size:  86 pitches, 29 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €30 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes
  • Heated Swimming pool: yes, peak season only
  • Closest slopes: Les Sept Laux (see previous listing for more details)
  • Distance to campsite : 35km (40 mins)

Camping-Caravaneige l’Iscle de Prelles

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Peacefully located between Ecrins National Park & The Queyras Régional Park, this off-season focused campsite offers you sanctuary and community as well as access to many adrenaline-fuelled outdoor activities like canyoning, hiking, rafting, mountain biking and of course, winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. The area is famed for its 300 days of sunshine, but its snowlands remain crisp and covered for most of the year too! There’s even a natural ice rink in nearby Puy St Vincent!

Campsite near Ecrins National Park - Campervan holiday in France
  • Accommodation type: camping pitches, mobile homes, chalets and huts
  • Resort size: 50 pitches, 60 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €42 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes
  • Heated swimming pool: yes
  • Closest slopes: Puy Saint Vincent
  • Distance from slopes: 13km (15 mins)

About this ski resort

Puy St Vincent is more than just a ski resort, in fact the area is dominated by snow and ice activity for the whole family to enjoy. There are 75km of marked slopes, both on and off-piste, which are categorised into 3 preferred disciplines (zen, technical & fun). There’s dedicated runs for varying skill levels and 2 mountain restaurants serving up French delicacies and local wine. 

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 1400 – 2750m
  • Children’s nursery: yes
  • Ski school: yes
  • Lifts: 12

Camping Chalets Résidentiels Saint James Les Pins

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A well-equipped campsite in the middle of a stunning pinewood. This captivating resort borders the Parc National Les Écrins which boasts jaw-dropping views of the glaciers and summits of the Northern and Southern Alps (depending on where you stand). The nearby town of Guillestre is rich in history and gothic architecture and there are a handful of ski areas within a short drive.

campsite near Les Écrins National Parc - Swimming in a lake with views of the Alps
  • Accommodation type: camping pitches, mobile homes, chalets & cottages
  • Resort size:  114 pitches, 23 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €50 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes
  • Heated swimming pool: No
  • Closest slopes: Domaine de la Forêt Blanche
  • Distance from slopes: 4km (5 mins)

About this ski resort 

Situated in the heart of the Guillestrois (Southern Alps), Domaine de le Forêt Blanche ski resort has 185km of skiable terrain, including cross-country trails, mountainous marked runs, a slalom and sledding track. There’s no shortage of snow here either and, with an advanced lift network, you’ll be sliding, slipping, skidding and carving your way through this epic course.

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 1850m – 2750m
  • Children’s nursery: yes
  • Ski school: yes
  • Lifts: 35

Camping Bois de Gravière

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Located on the outskirts of the small medieval town of Besse et Saint-Anastaise, this rural retreat is the picture-perfect location to lay your head before venturing out onto the slopes or surrounding hiking trails. With wellness at the core of this campsite’s ethos, you’ll have access to their hot stone sauna, jacuzzi and health centre, as well as first class facilities to help you rest easy before a day of activity.

Campsite in Besse at Saint-Anastaise. Views of countryside and mountains
  • Accommodation type: camping pitches, chalets and mobile homes
  • Resort size:  30 pitches, 15 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €100 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes
  • Heated swimming pool: yes
  • Closest slopes: Foyer de Ski de Fond Besse Pertuyzat
  • Distance from slopes: 4km (5 mins)

About Ski de Fond Besse Pertuyzat

The Ski de Fond resort is made up of two alluring villages (Besse and Super-Besse) and, with 41km of skiable terrain, has spectacular panoramas of the Sancy region. This progressive and family-friendly ski resort appeals to both alpine ski fans as well as the ‘nu-skool’ winter sports enthusiasts. It offers floodlit night skiing too!

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 130m – 1850m
  • Children’s nursery: No
  • Ski school: yes
  • Lifts: 21

Camping Le Reclus

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A tranquil, nature-enthused campsite overlooking the National Park of Vanoise, a place where the majestic Alps can be seen in the distance and local villages are filled with century-old tradition and kind hospitality. The campsite offers traditional and more unique accommodation like Mongolian yurts and gypsy caravans – and there are more than 3 popular ski resorts within a short drive.

Campsite in Vanoise. Campsite in a valley near to the Alps
  • Accommodation type: camping pitches, yurts, mobile homes, gypsy cars
  • Resort size:  75 pitches, 16 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €43 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes (restrictions on some rentals)
  • Heated swimming pool: No
  • Closest slopes: Paradiski
  • Distance from slopes: 18km (20 mins)  

More about Paradiski

The exceptional ski resort Paradiski is located in the Tarentaise Valley and is formed of 3 parks (Les Arcs, Peisey Vallandry, La Plagne) all linked by the Vanoise Ecpress lift. Resort hosts market its 425km of skiable terrain as ‘a playground with no boundaries’. Here you’re almost guaranteed snow, since most of the slopes are at an altitude of more than 2000m. You can enjoy night and sunrise skiing on and off piste – and alternative extreme sports like ice climbing, bobsledding, paraskiing and the largest fun track in Europe, which includes novelty spirals and snow tunnels.

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 1250m to 3250m
  • Children’s nursery: yes
  • Ski school: yes
  • Lifts: 141

Domaine Aigoual Cévennes

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A campsite in the picturesque town of Meyrueis in Southern France, you’ll get a taste of 16th century architecture and landmarks such as the town’s famed clocktower and its network of rivers which connect civilisation to the open countryside. With 3 hectares of lush woodland, more than 50 self-contained apartments on site and plenty of entertainment for the whole family, this rural getaway provides the perfect base for your ski holiday.

Campsite in Meyrueis, South France
  • Accommodation type: houses and apartments
  • Resort size: 59 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €68 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes
  • Heated swimming pool: yes
  • Closest slopes: Station Alti Aigoual
  • Distance from slopes: 27km (35mins)

More about this ski resort

Station Alti Aigoual is a fun-filled ski resort located on the slopes of Mont Aigoual, the highest peak in the Gard. The Aigoual massif is in the heart of the Cévennes, making this a dazzling location for skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding and other multi-activity trails.  You’ll relish the 60km of alpine and cross-country skiing, suitable for all levels.  

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 1250 – 1567m
  • Children’s nursery:
  • Ski school: Yes
  • Lifts: 11

Campsites in Europe near to a ski resort

Throughout this article, we’ve preached the benefits of staying at a campsite within a short drive of a ski resort and, whilst France provides some of the most legendary landscapes for skiing and winter sports in the world, the rest of Europe holds the key to even more epic, snowy adventures.

We’ve listed a few camping grounds elsewhere in Europe within an hour of a ski station.

Camping Kleinenzhof, GERMANY

Book your ski holiday here

Nestled in the world famous Black Forest, this large but tranquil camping ground is a haven for the whole family, so much so that its hosts call the nature-basked land here ‘a little island of well-being’. You can bring your tent or motorhome here, or stay in a mobile home, or one of the many apartments in a traditional German homestead, only a short drive from the local ski station.

campsite in the Black Forest, Germany. Lake with fir tree forest.
  •  Accommodation type: camping pitches, mobile homes and apartments
  • Resort size:  100 pitches, 19 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €50 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes
  • Heated swimming pool: yes
  • Closest slopes: Sommerberg – Bad Wilbad
  • Distance from slopes: 10km (16 mins)

More about Sommerbeg

Sommerberg, Bad Wilbad is a ski area located in the Enztal Valley of the Black Forest (Schwazwald). You’ll have the rare opportunity to mountain-ski above the valleys, castles, fir trees and lakes of this world-famous region. Favoured by locals, this small but versatile resort offers 8km of skiable trails for all skill levels.  

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 681m and 775m
  • Children’s nursery: Yes
  • Ski school: No
  • Lifts: 2

Camping Vidor Family & Wellness Resort, ITALY

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Combining culture, tradition and modern amenities, this campsite in the Dolomites is surrounded by mountains, forests, hills, ancient trails and has a world-famous ski area nearby. It’s the ultimate destination for peace and relaxation. Guests love the family activities and entertainment on site, especially the wellbeing spa (with sauna, jacuzzi, thermal baths, gym).

campsite in the Dolomites. Caravans with mountains in the background
  • Accommodation type: camping pitches, apartments, chalets
  • Resort size:  180 pitches, 22 holiday lets
  • Price range: From €79 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes
  • Heated swimming pool: yes
  • Closest slopes: Val di Fassa
  • Distance from slopes: 2.9km (6 mins)

About Val di Fassa

If you haven’t already heard of Val di Fassa, where have you been? This state of the art ski resort is part of the Dolomiti Superski (a collective of 15 ski areas) making it one of the biggest in the world. You’ll have the chance to soar through of the peaks of the Eastern Dolomites (a UNESCO world heritage site) across 120km of slopes with unbelievable panoramic views. Ideal for on and off-piste winter sports enthusiasts and those who enjoy an après ski wind-down.

  • Difficulty level: All levels.
  • Elevation: 934km – 3342km
  • Children’s nursery: yes
  • Ski school: yes
  • Lifts: 78

Kallsedets Fjällcenter, SWEDEN

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An impressive lakeside resort in the quaint village of Järpen which is situated in the mountainous county of Jämtlands. The campsite offers the sweetest Swedish cottages, as well as countryside camping pitches with beautiful views filled with wildlife (you might even spot reindeer, moose or beavers). There’s lots of nearby activities like mountain hiking at the Suljätten or Gråsjön or you could visit the country’s largest waterfall, Tännforsens Vattenfall.

And where there’s mountains, there’s ski areas (one is within a 45 minute drive).

campsite in Järpen, Sweeden. Lakes in the valleys of Sweden
  • Accommodation type: camping pitches, cottages & apartments
  • Resort size: 25 pitches, 9 holiday lets
  • Price range: From skr800 p/n
  • Pets allowed: yes
  • Heated swimming pool: no
  • Closest slopes: Gruvbacken
  • Distance to slopes: 36km (44 mins)

Skiing in Gruvbacken

Gruvbacken is a small ski resort in Huså, a beautiful snowy village found in the culturally proud region of Jämtland. The trails here are perfect for beginners of the sport, with almost half of the area dedicated to learners. There are 6 marked tracks, as well as a large off-piste area across 2.2km of pristine powder. Oh, and we’re told the restaurant is fantastic too!

  • Difficulty level: All levels
  • Elevation: 460m – 680m
  • Children’s nursery: No
  • Ski school: yes
  • Lifts: 1

Cheaper meals during your budget friendly ski holiday

There’s something about dining in the open air that makes you feel more connected to your surroundings than anything else. There’s a deeper sense of gratitude knowing you were able to rustle up a wholesome family meal, away from your usual routine and favoured cookware.

And, talking of connecting to your surroundings, a day on the slopes gives you this feeling too!

But, with miles and miles of ski terrain and otherworldly views to explore, it’s no surprise that winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing can burn hundreds of calories at a time, so you must prioritise fuelling your body with nutritious food to replenish the energy it needs.

Whether you’re planning to stay in a tent, campervan, caravan, glamping pod or homestead, you could save money by cooking your breakfast, lunch or evening meal at your holiday home, before (or after) a long energy-zapping day on the slopes. And it will save you money on eating out!

==>READ MORE: The ultimate camping food list<==

Ski meal ideas

Cooking from your camping grounds does require more preparation, especially if you’re not staying in a self-contained mobile home with a functional kitchen, but you’ll find most campsites will provide access to the basics like wash facilities, power sources, community or private barbecue hire – and they may have a fresh bakery or convenience store on site too! From overnight oats and pancakes, to no-oven pizzas and tacos, you can create delicious pre or post ski meals that can be prepared in your camper van, caravan, static home – or in a DIY tent ‘kitchenette’.

girl in winter clothes eating pizza in the car

Check out our guide to quick and easy camping meal ideas, with little shopping or prep needed. We’ve got quick and easy recipes that can be prepared and enjoyed together as a family, like one-pot meals, barbecue brekkies. As well as tips on cooking equipment and sourcing your ingredients.

Ski snacks

Energy-boosting snacks are the perfect way to keep your adrenaline pumping and muscles working whilst on your daily ski expedition. You can buy pre-made energy snacks from most supermarkets or health stores, but you could save money by making your own snacks in advance.

Protein, fibre and carbs are a priority, as well as core energy-fuelling vitamins like B3. You can find these boosting food groups in nuts, seeds, bananas, yoghurts, eggs and beans – as well as lean dried meats like jerky.

Try making a batch of energy ball snack for the whole family to enjoy – they take less than 5 minutes to prepare. All you need is:

Peanut, chocolate and cranberry energy balls

  •  cup of rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp of dried cranberry’s
  • 1 tbsp of dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds

Method: Blend together by hand in a mixing bowl and roll into equal sized balls (depending on how big you’d like them). Leave them overnight in the fridge and they’re good to go!

Cheaper ski gear and supplies

Unlike most outdoor leisure activities, skiing, snowboarding or winter sports in general need more equipment which can be expensive to purchase from new and, if not sustainably sourced, can be damaging to the environment. Buying second hand tackles both of these important points.

Borrow or buy second had ski gear  

Have you got a friend or family member who would loan you their ski goggles and helmet? It’s worth an ask. Or you should look in second hand shops and sites like Ebay, Preloved, Gumtree, Vinted or Facebook Marketplace. Some liken the process of finding a bargain on these sites to a treasure hunt and often items are barely used, if at all!

skis in the snow

Check out Decathlon’s ‘Second Life’ initiative aimed at saving you money and in turn, our precious planet.

Buying second hand is especially useful when travelling with a young family as smaller items like kids gloves, hats and scarves could get wet or lost, and you could end up paying 3 times the price for a pair at the resort!

Shop out of season

Find a great deal on ski gear by shopping out of peak skiing season (usually between March and August) as brands are usually trying to shift old stock to make way for new styles and colours. If you can plan this far in advance, it’ll be worth it!

Ski holiday supplies

We’ve talked a lot about preparing for your ski adventure, from choosing affordable accommodation to bringing the right camping and skiing gear – and finding cheaper ways to eat from the comfort of your campsite.

Here’s a checklist of ski holiday core items that you might useful – and remember, buying (or loaning) in advance will save you money!

Ski clothing

Correct ski clothing is essential for keeping hyperthermia or hypothermia well away and to protect you in the event of a fall or emergency. Think breathable and durable, base and mid layers. A good quality, waterproof top layer / ski jacket, ski pants, socks and ski gloves are also very important.

Ski gear

Take your time to consider a well-fitting and undamaged ski helmet, ski boots, ski poles, skis and goggles or anything else relevant to the winter sport you’ve decided on.

Whether you’re loaning, buying second hand or brand new, do your research of the area you’re travelling to, the type of winter sports you’ll be enjoying and the terrains you’ll encounter. These will dictate the type and style of ski gear required, best suited to your ability.

Ski safety

Aside from the essentials like a helmet, you may want to bring other protective gear such as knee braces, compression layers or body armour. We also recommend you take avalanche safety gear such as a transceiver, head lamp. portable shovel and beacon, if you’re planning on skiing off piste.

Weather protective skin care products

Winter sun reflected off the snow can cause bad sunburn, so always wear sunscreen! The harsh wind from high altitudes or fast downward descents can also cause your lips to dry out and crack much quicker, so invest in a moisturising lip balm too.

Camping gear and clothing

From clothing to cooking, sleeping and washing, check out our ultimate camping checklist here.

We hope you enjoyed this guide and we’ve got you in the money-saving mood? You can read more tips on saving money on your camping trip here. Until then, we’ll leave you to your booking and packing – and see you on the slopes!


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