Non-owners of French ski homes feel pain of weaker pound more than owners

Posted on 12 February 2016

Brits departing on half-term family ski holiday – or property viewing trips – in the next week or so should be aware of the effect the pound’s recent weakening against the euro – and budget accordingly.

A swing in the exchange rate since the start of the year means that the costs that come with skiing, already recognised as an expensive holiday, have risen for British skiers, who typically need to exchange pounds into euros. These costs can include including ski hire, ski classes, eating and drinking out and lift passes.

Of course, for owners of property, the effect of a weaker pound is less painful. Most owners of a ski home in the French Alps no longer need to hire gear, instead buying and storing it at their property. Similarly, as an owner in a resort you could be entitled to cheaper seasonal lift passes. Many owners will also have stores of food and drink at their ski home, helping to minimise the expense of eating out or shopping locally.

And homeowners in France will have a bank account there meaning they also have the advantage of being able to purchase euros using a specialist currency broker, who will offer far better exchange rates that those available from a bank, let alone a retail foreign exchange bureau, such as those at airport terminals.

Meanwhile, in the Post Office’s annual Ski Resort Report, published before the exchange rate began to swing against UK travellers, Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “While skiing remains cheapest in Bulgaria and Slovenia, our research reveals that long-established favourites in France, Austria and Italy are great value too. Livigno is a great bet for both solo skiers and families as are Morzine and Ellmau. However, bargain-hunters should exercise caution when considering Swiss resorts as sterling has not strengthened enough to counteract the effect of rising local prices.”