To enjoy skiing, you have to use the ski lifts. That costs money, but here’s a way to maximise your skiing time but still economise on lift charges.

Congratulations, you’ve booked your winter holiday deal and can’t wait to put on your skis and start having some fun. But wait a just a minute – have you got your Ski Pass?

If you’re a veteran skier, you already know that everything costs extra. The chair lifts, cable cars... You even have to pay to use some of the slopes and runs! This can add up to a sizable slice of your hard earned holiday budget.

But there is a solution, and at Val Thorens ski resort there is a whole range of different solutions to suit every pocket and every skier.

The Oyster Card – But for the Snow

It works just like a bus card: you decide which zones you’ll be skiing in, what lifts you’ll be using and for how many days - that’s all there is to it.

But, because there are so many options available, it’s a good idea to understand what is best for you before you bag your winter holiday deal (and maybe buy your pass online to save time).

Choose from Three Basic Options

From Val Thorens you have access to a wide range of slopes, demanding different skill levels. In fact, you can get access to the entire Three Valley’s area with over 600kms of outstanding ski runs. A full pass (3 Valleys Pass), covering the entire area may be a bit more expensive – but it’s excellent value for money for the skier who wants to explore and experience what this area has to offer.

The pass gives you unlimited access to 180 lifts, 600kms of slopes and 8 resorts: Meribel/Mottaret, Courchevel, La Tania, Val Thorens, Les Menuires/St Martin, Orelle and Brides Les Bains.

You can also buy the Belleville Valley Pass which is cheaper but still gives you access to 300kms of skiing fun and excitement.

Last, but not least, is the Val Thorens / Orelle Pass with 150kms of excellent slopes waiting for you.

Family Passes

If you’ve booked a winter holiday deal for the whole family, you might want to look into a Family Lift Pass. If you have 2 to 4 children, you could save up to 20% on ski lift costs. Family passes are available for Val Thorens or the entire Three Valleys area. It’s also worth knowing that if you plan on getting the kids ski lessons, some ski schools offer lessons with reduced price lift passes thrown in.

Group Passes

If you’re organising a winter holiday deal for a group of 20 or more you could be eligible for a good group discount - so it’s worthwhile checking!

Beginners Passes

Val Thorens also caters to the novice skier who really doesn’t need access to all the slopes. Once you’ve graduated from the free drag lift and “magic carpets”, you can get morning, afternoon and day passes for three separate slopes at 50% less than the normal cost. These beginner areas are the Plein Sud , the Pecelet and Caron cable car.

There are many more options available to choose from. Check them out on the Val Thorens site before making your final decision.

Did we mention that the under 5’s and over 75’s have free access to one drag lift and four magic carpet rides for beginners?

Tips For Shopping Online

1. When you enjoy the ease of frequent online shopping, it's extremely important to keep changing the passwords you use for each account. Every few weeks or so, make up a new password to your bank as well as the shopping sites directly. Use abstract words, combined with numbers and other odd characters for the strongest passwords.

2. Make it a habit to register for price alerts. This goes for purchases that you've recently made. Price alerts will let you know when a product has dropped to a price you like. And if you've recently purchased at full price, you can ask for a price adjustment to meet the brand new deal.

3. Before buying coming from a new online retailer, do your homework on them. Check online reviews from other customers to see the way it handles things like customer service, shipping, and its overall buying experience. You can also look at the BBB to see if it has any disputes and whether those disputes were resolved professionally. Try contacting the company via email and phone number, if it's posted to ask questions on its business before you buy anything.

4. If you're considering buying a product online, check out the reviews. The reviews using their company people that have used the product can give you a good idea about the product. You might be able to find out the quality of the product, when it worked as described, and if you should create the purchase.

5. Be wary of overdoing it. It is much easier to overspend when you are shopping online. You begin to rationalize that you can spend more for those shoes because you saved money on gas and the food you would have gotten in the event you went to the mall, for instance. Give yourself a limit and stay with it.

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