So, hopefully, I piqued your interest in a ski season in Austria with my last blog. With its beautiful glaciers, excellent snow conditions and the Snow Card Tirol, I really think Austria is one of the best places to do a ski season in Europe. But, how much does it cost?
Main Costs of a Ski Season in Austria
The Tirol Season Card
The Snow Card Tirol covers 91 resorts across the Tirol region and is valid from October 1st to May 15th. This year the pass is worth €817, which is €20 more than the 2018/19 season but also includes 2 extra weeks of skiing, as last year the pass opened on October 15th.
Considering that most day tickets for skiing in the Tirol cost upwards of €50, this is incredible value. Ski for more than 2 weeks across the 7-month Tirolean ski season and you have had your money’s worth.
Ski Season Insurance
After getting your ski pass, the next most important purchase for the ski season is insurance. After much deliberation and research, we went with True Traveller Insurance for the second year in a row. These guys have fantastic travel insurance plans that cover you for far longer than most and their winter sports insurance is really comprehensive.
We bought the True Value policy for area 2 which is Europe. For 205 days (November 9th to May 31st) along with the Winter Sports Package and an extra fee for purchasing the policy while outside the UK, this came to £249.46 (approx €300) each.
When purchasing insurance for a ski season, you need to make sure that the winter sports package is valid for the duration of our trip and not limited to a certain number of days. Also crucial to us was that this insurance includes cover for going off-piste and into the backcountry without a guide.
Ski Gear for a Ski Season
Maybe you have your own ski gear already, but planning to do a whole season of skiing means you’ll probably want to upgrade or add something.
We are huge advocates for buying second-hand ski gear from rental shops and have found an outlet shop in Tirol that periodically has fantastic deals, especially at the beginning and end of the season. We’ve purchased barely-ridden test skis from for less than €200 and discounted new Kohla skins for only €100. Head to the Sport Riml in Oetz and hopefully, you can find what you need.
If you are planning to take advantage of Tirol’s backcountry skiing, you’ll also want to invest in avalanche rescue gear. We bought the Mammut Barryvox transceiver with the Pieps probe and shovel from a shop in Kitzbuhel for €369. Right now Bergzeit is selling the Mammut package for €309.
We also signed up for the free SAAC Basic Avalanche Rescue Training Camp this year. There are only a handful of English language camps each year and they fill up fast, so book your place early to get on.
Austria Ski Season Accommodation
As we mentioned in the previous blog about why we are doing our second ski season in Austria, we are staying here in our campervan. Last year, we only paid for camping for about 8 days in 5 months which shows just how easy it is to stay free here.
Campsites are generally pretty expensive in Tirol as they often come with spa facilities, costing between €30-50 per night for 2 people, a camper and a dog. There are a few cheaper options but they are few and far between which is why we tend to avoid campsites!
Cost of Living in Austria for the Ski Season
It’s hard to give a figure for costs of living in Austria, as it obviously depends entirely on how you spend your money but I’ll give some examples.
A big food shop, with fresh produce, store cupboard essentials and a crate of beer, usually costs us about €70.
Filling up on diesel costs about €80. As Tirol is a relatively small area and we stay in most valleys for more than a week, we don’t have to fill up very often!
The other major expense is camping gas which we need for cooking and heating. A bottle is around €25 and we use one every couple of weeks in Winter.
Finally, a meal on the mountain in Tirol’s ski resorts costs anywhere between €7 and €12.
So, now I’ve broken down the main costs, let me try and give you a ballpark figure for the costs of a ski season in Austria.
If you are coming to Tirol for the ski season in a campervan and not working in a chalet or a resort, you will want to budget around €1,500 for the ski pass, insurance and ski gear. Then budget between €250-400 per person per month on food, diesel and gas depending on how much you eat out, how often you stay in campsites and how many weissbiers you enjoy.
Just like in France, if you are coming to Austria to work in a chalet or resort for the ski season, you’ll likely get your accommodation and ski pass paid for as well as a small monthly salary.