Being a ski instructor is one of the most exciting and gratifying careers out there. You get to travel all over the world, following the snow, meeting other avid winter sports enthusiasts, while passing on the craft of skiing or snowboarding. And that’s without even talking about the après-ski!
While this lifestyle, for many, is a real dream come true, it comes at a certain cost. Being away from home for the majority of the year means you start missing your family and friends at some point. Plus, finding accommodation and paying for your mountain lifestyle adds a heavy cost to the experience.
But the fun and lifelong memories, alongside the gratifying salary definitely make up for the additional expenses. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to spend during a winter season as a ski instructor and a few hacks to help you save some cash.
Finding seasonal accommodation
One of the things you have to start thinking about way in advance is sorting your seasonal accommodation. Some jobs will include accommodation in the package, the price for which is deducted from your salary. If your job doesn’t offer accommodation, then you need to look for it yourself.
There are many websites that offer shared or private accommodation for the season, with varying prices. For example, specialised ski accommodation website Live the Season offer seasonal accommodation in France, Austria, and Switzerland starting at £3,250 for the duration of the whole ski campaign.
Most ski resorts will have Facebook groups for seasonaires where hosts post affordable accommodation options, so make sure you join them. The earlier you do so, the higher your chances of finding accommodation.
Even traditional booking platforms, such as Booking.com and Airbnb, offer seasonal ski accommodation. AirBnB is famous for its monthly stays, where hosts usually offer a discounted price for longer stays.
As a rule of thumb, the closer your accommodation is to the ski lift and central area of the ski resort, the more expensive it will be. The destination of your ski instructor job also plays a role in the price of the accommodation, with cheaper resorts having apartments or chalet options at reduced prices.
Luckily for you, if you’re currently completing your ski instructor course, accommodation will be arranged for you, and the cost included in the course package.
Buying discounted seasonal lift passes
As with your accommodation, your ski instructor course or job offer might have the ski pass included in the package. But if it doesn’t, you will need to purchase your own.
Most ski resorts have attractive deals on season passes for early birds. At Morzine Les Gets for example, the standard cost for a ski season pass for those ages 16-25 is £442 and for 25-64-year-old skiers £519. If you buy your season pass before the end of September, you get a 20% discount.
Hacking the daily expenses and apres-ski lifestyle
Ski resorts are known for their high prices when it comes to food and entertainment. But, as a ski instructor, you’re likely to get a discount, so it’s best to check with your course or job provider.
Prices at the central area of the resort are usually the highest. For example, a classic burger at Morzine’s bar and restaurant The Tremplin costs about £15, while a bottle of Guinness at the apres-ski bar would cost you about £7.
If you want to save money on drinking and eating out, opting for a place located in the village area of the ski resort won’t be as heavy on your budget. And when it comes to groceries, the trick is to buy from supermarkets located in a nearby village.
Just like you can earn a lot of money being a ski instructor at a certain resort, you can save at others. The trick is to master the skill of being an exceptional ski instructor and getting the best jobs – and the art of finding the best deals and managing your budget.