Firstly, you should know that in order to benefit from lower transport costs (if you choose to travel by plane) and accommodation costs, you should plan your holiday months ahead: for example, we (2 persons) booked our flights and accommodation 6 months before our trip to Austria scheduled for the period 20 to 25 January 2017 (6 days).
1.Useful tips and effective costs regarding the transport
Regardless of the country where you live, you should know that there are several ways of transport to Austria’s ski resorts: by plane, by car (personal or rented one) and by train.
Considering that our departure point was Bucharest, Romania, we had 2 options of transport to Austria: by our personal car or by plane followed by a rented car.
In deciding our way of transport we took into consideration two very important factors: costs incurred and time spent until the destination.
In term of costs, a simple calculation has shown us that transportation by personal car is half cheaper than the one by plain and rented car. However, in terms of time spent, choosing the transportation by plane and then by rented car saves at least 11 hours / way compared with the transport by personal car (considering no stops on the way).
Sooo, we have decided that the time and energy saved are the most important factors (considering that this was our first ski holiday in Austria) and we’ve chosen to travel by plane and rented car.
Tip: if you travel in a small group (2-3 persons), we recommend you to travel by plane, especially for long distances – save a lot of time and don’t arrive at your destination already tired; if you travel in a large group, it is cheaper to take your personal cars.
It is important to mention that the closest airports to the Tyrolean resorts are in Munich and Innsbruck. We have chosen the flight to Munich because we’ve found a great offer with Tarom (Romanian airline) for a direct flight, with hold baggage and ski equipment storage included in the price. The price of a round-trip ticket was EUR 116 / person (great deal).
Tip: after doing our little research, we’ve noticed that in general, flights are cheaper in the second half of January than in the other winter periods.
Then in order to choose the proper rental company, we’ve made a lot of investigations on the internet (read a lot of reviews & asked around some friends) and finally we’ve granted credit to Budget rent a car.
Tip: of course, there are quite a lot of car rental agencies, but you need to pay attention to their offers (read the detailed list of the options included, check for the additional local fees and taxes, and if theft and collision damage protection are included in the price), should compare their prices (if one offer has a very low price, then something is not right) and should read reviews from people renting from those agencies. Based on our research, we could recommend you some high rated agencies in Germany: Europcar, Sixt rent a car, Avis rent a car, Budget rent a car.
We have choosen a car from economy class (Ford Fiesta 3dr/5psgr or similar) and we’ve paid for 6 days of rental EUR 290 (aprox EUR 50 / day). The price covered the options: 1500 free kilometers, local taxes, theft protection, collision damage waiver, supplemental liability, super coverage for theft and collision damage (this is an extra option that we’ve decided to pay in order to reduce the excess (deposit blocked at the moment of taking the car) to 0 and costs about EUR 154).
Tip: if you choose not to pay for the super coverage for theft and collision damage, the rental car agency will block you a deposit of EUR 600 – 800 during the rental period. If during this period you have a car accident, get your car scratched or the car is stolen, the rental agency will have the right to retain an amount up to the full value of the deposit. So we recommend you to take the super coverage for theft and collision damage in order to eliminate all these risks.
Whether you pay or not for the super coverage, the rental agency will block you a deposit for full fuel tank – when you rent the car, it has full tank and if you return it will full tank and have the fiscal receipts from the petrol stations, the deposit will be unlocked.
Take in consideration as well that the airport rental agencies charge an extra local airport tax applied to each element of cost (Budget Munich airport charged a tax of 23%).
2.Useful tips and effective costs regarding the accommodation
Finding the ideal accommodation in terms of costs and best location near the areas of major interest (in our case the ski areas) is not just an easy task. 🙂
Our main selection criteria in choosing the accommodation were: pension house situated near the ski areas and public transport stations, double room with balcony and breakfast included, with a price < EUR 50 / night. Our choice was Landhaus Tipotsch (found on Booking but cheaper on the pension website …hihi) with a total cost of EUR 390 / double room / 5 nights in Schwendau village. This was a decision made also based on the fact that we wanted to go skiing in Zillertal Arena, which is one of the most well-known ski areas with access to various resorts totaling over 250 km of slopes (ah…my kneeees 😆 ): Hintertux Glacier (see our post Ski adventure in Hintertux Glacier), Zillertal Arena, Mayrhofen – Penken, Horberg (see our post Ski adventure in Penken mountains – Mayrhofen resort).
Tip: If you prefer to get your accommodation in a more quiet area you should pick one of the pensions or hotels from the small villages (where you can hear your thoughts). In the cities (Mayrhofen, Zell am Ziller etc.) or near the ski areas, you will surely find a more “alive” atmosphere and get into the apres-ski mood with loud music, lots of booze, and … all-night-noise 🙂
3.Useful tips and costs for ski areas in Zillertal
On the skipass topic we have decided pretty fast as we known what we were up to: skiing for full 4 days, from rise to sunset 😀 The right option for us was 4days Superskipass which cost EUR 174 / person (+ EUR 2 / person for the card guarantee) and included: transport by bus / train to all ski resorts in the Zillertal area, unlimited access to all lifts and some nice memories (slalom recording by BMW xDrive ski movie tracks, speed check on the kids slopes (“Out of my away! Muhaha”), timer photo (look for the yellow elephant & download the photos here) and personal chart of elevation gained during your skiing days (adding up every year you can get in the worldwide online competition).
Tip: if you are looking for a memorable experience and adrenaline rush you can try the tandem paragliding and see the “winterwonderland” from above, cost starting from EUR 70. If you are more “stick-to-the-ground” you can still try the variety of action slopes in Zillertal or simply take off your gear for a few minutes and admire the views from the top.
But what can you do with skipasses if you don’t have skies, right? So in case you do not have personal ski equipment, you can rent it from ski rental centers (there are quite a lot of them in resorts). We have chosen Sport Schiestl Hauptgeschäft and we’ve paid EUR 56 / person for 4 renting days.
In terms of food prices, the average budget for a lunch / dinner varies from EUR 10 to EUR 16 / person, if you do not spoil yourself with delicacies. 😛
Let’s have a suggestive recap of our holiday major costs in order to ease your budget allocation for your ski trip in Austria:
Next we will come back with details of the last 2 days in Zillertal and our visit to Innsbruck.
In the meantime, share with us your ski experiences from all over the world. 😀