Advertorial: Bag a bargain holiday this season

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If you’ve just got back from your annual summer break and are already feeling the post-holiday blues, the best remedy is to book your next vacation.

If next summer seems too long to wait, ski breaks are a fantastic way of having something to look forward to during the grey slog of autumn, or once Christmas and New Year are over.

Skiing is the ideal chance to spend quality time with your family, enjoying fantastic outdoor fun, an activity you all share and love, and breathtaking scenery.

And the good news is that ski holidays don’t have to cost a fortune. With a little forward planning you can bag yourself a bargain, and even have some cash left over to put towards your next summer holiday!

As with so many things, it’s all in the timing. Many of the best Crystal Ski deals are to be found near the start or the end of the season. Equally, if you can avoid half term, Easter, Christmas and New Year holidays, you’ll increase your chances of making big savings. The first week of January, after everyone’s gone back to school and work, for example, is a good time.

It pays to book early. Not only are you likelier to find the best deals, but you‘ll also boost your chances of securing the country, dates and resort that are your first choice.

That could be particularly important if your heart is set on, say, having a family-friendly base, or a buzzing nightlife, or going somewhere that’s perfect for ski beginners.

The alternative, if you can take time off work at short notice and are happy to be flexible about dates and places, is to take off at the last minute.

If several of you are travelling together, you could land yourselves a group discount on a chalet holiday. And if you don’t mind pitching in with cooking, shopping and washing up, think about self-catering.

The country you choose will have an effect on price. Andorra, Slovenia and Bulgaria offer some of the cheapest places to ski next winter. Even in Switzerland, which may not spring immediately to mind as a bargain ski destination, your budget can go further that you might’ve first considered in some of the smaller resorts.

Try basing yourself on the edge of the resort rather than in the centre of town to bring the price of your holiday down further.

Finally, if you’re watching the pennies, consider skiing half days or getting a five day rather than a full week’s lift pass. That way, you’ll also be able to take advantage of some of the other activities and attractions on offer without feeling you have to spend all your time on the slopes to get your money’s worth.

It’s certainly not too early to start thinking ahead to the 2012-13 season - start doing your research now. Your fun in the snow is just a few clicks away!