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 shopping for a specific item, check several different internet retailers. Many times with a bit of searching, you can save as much as 25 percent. Look at many different websites to ensure that you are getting the best deal. When figuring each website's price, make sure you include shipping costs to your calculations.

2. If you're purchasing clothes or shoes online, be careful with all the sizing. Some items typically run smaller or larger than normal. Some shopping sites will advertise if an item runs true to size. If the site doesn't list anything about sizing, glance at the reviews. In most cases, if an item is running larger or smaller, the reviewers will let you know.

3. When shopping online, choose the best shipping policy. Often companies offer expedited shipping. However, often times getting the product one day earlier can cost you as much as twice the normal shipping price. Therefore, if you can wait on the product to arrive using normal shipping instead of expedited shipping, choose standard shipping to save money.

4. If you are looking at purchasing coming from a seller for the first time, take a moment to carefully examine their past customer reviews. As a general rule this provides you with an approximate idea of what type of goods and services you need to expect yourself. Anyone who has been rated lowly time and time again should be given a wide swerve.

5. Be mindful which sites you patronize. It is difficult to know which are on the up or higher and which can be not, but there are a few clues. If the address does not sound right or the design seems off, go to a different site. Furthermore, if a bunch of pop-up windows begin appearing, close them out and move on.

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