Skiing and snowboarding are rapidly growing in popularity among Singaporean families. However, not everyone can fly out to Europe or Colorado to enjoy the slopes of Alps or the Rockies. Instead, there are still some great quality resorts that are easily accessible for Singaporeans, like Japan and Korea. For people who may be interested in making a memorable winter vacation surrounded by snow, we've prepared a guide on how much a ski trip to one of these resorts could cost, and possible ways of cutting down on your cost.
Cost of ski trips to Japan and Korea: S$1,500 to S$2,000 per person
There are many ski resorts in Korea and Japan that combine easy access from airports, modern infrastructure and good quality slopes, making them ideal for skiers and snowboarders from Singapore. For example, Japan's Hokkaido region boasts some of the most renown ski resorts in the world like Niseko Hanazono Resort. Korea has also been receiving a lot of attention lately, with the 2018 Winter Olympics being hosted there. However, a ski trip to either of these destinations can still be quite pricey: according to our analysis, a winter vacation to either Korea or Japan can cost at least between S$1,500 and S$2,000 per person, with Japan being slightly more expensive.
How to save on flights & hotel
If you can't shell out S$1,400 to S$2,000 per person for a weekend of skiing, there are still ways of reducing this cost significantly. Below are some of the most helpful tips that you could reduce the cost of your lodging and air flights by hundreds of dollars.
- Book with a miles credit card: Many of the top miles credit cards in Singapore like Citi PMV Card or DBS Altitude Card provide additional discounts like 10-15% off on hotel bookings and 6 miles per S$1 spent on flights, which is equivalent to 6% rebate in value. 15% off on hotels and 6% off on flights could add up to around S$150 to S$200 of savings on your vacation.
- Buy 1-stop flights instead of non-stop flights: Because Korea and Japan are both relatively close to Singapore, there are many 1-stop flights that have layovers that are only about 1 to 3 hours long. If you are willing and able to forgo the non-stop option, you could easily save at least S$50 to S$100 per person.
- Book a large room with a group: Resorts in Korea and Japan have many accommodation options around them that cater to large groups. Instead of booking a hotel room for 2, you could save money by booking a large room that can be shared with your whole family or other friends.
How to save on lift tickets
Nearly all resorts in Korea charge about S$100 for a 1-day lift ticket, while nearly all resorts in Hokkaido charge about S$70 for a 1-day lift ticket. While 1 day tickets afford you the flexibility of skiing whenever you want, it's also highly unlikely that you will be skiing for more than 8 hours a day. Instead, you can save around 20% by going for shorter access like half-day passes, and leaving some time in your day to rest and enjoy other activities like going to a hot spring. Also, some resorts offer 2-day or 3-day passes that are cheaper than buying in increments of 1-day passes. Avid skiers and snowboarders who visit these resorts frequently can also save even more in the long-run by purchasing season passes and their own equipments to avoid rental expenses.
While winter sports can be an amazingly fun activity, they can also be quite dangerous. According to various media sources, the overall injury risk combining all snow sports is about 0.3%. While this may not sound high, skiing and snowboarding is also known to lead to serious head injuries, broken bones or torn ligaments while skiing, most of which will require immediate medical attention. To avoid being stuck in a foreign country's hospital without proper medical insurance, you should make sure to get proper amount of warm up exercises, to not overextend yourself physically, and get insurance protection before your departure so you can be covered in case of an emergency.