Four savings when skiing in your 50s (and I am really unhappy about the third one)

saving when skiing

It is the time of the year again when hordes of British families with school children take to the snowy mountain slopes.

After missing last year – it was more important to focus on paying off the debt completely rather than spending on a visit to the mountains – we are in Bansko (Bulgaria) again.

This year though our visit is slightly different – it wasn’t only a holiday, it was also planned as an investment scoping visit.

We arrived yesterday and the investment part of the mission has already been decided: we are not doing it.

At first, buying an apartment here as an investment property sounds attractive – it is a good resort and the property prices have, I reckon, reached rock bottom. Another attraction is that mountains offer all year tourism; in other words, a property here is not seasonal.

Why did we decide against?

In a nutshell: too many empty apartments, too many semi-finished buildings, too long queues for the lifts and the drains stink. It is a great place but it is over-exploited at the moment.

Well, we’ll keep looking for opportunities.

Now let me tell you about the skiing part.

This is not too hot (pun intended) either. I am writing this with my foot on the table and frozen peas on it. Managed to hurt it somehow – today there wasn’t any skiing for me.

This, of course, gave me some time to walk around (carefully) and think about the changes that have come about since I hit fifty. All this changes potentially save me a fortune and annoy the living h*ll out of me.

Here are the four things on which you can save in a skiing resort when you are over fifty:

Saving 1: Clothes

I passed some great shops selling casual clothes. All were clearly designed for stick insects in their twenties. I did like a casual two piece and then I realised I need XXXXXXXXL. No way! I’ve already bought the biggest skinny jeans in a shop in Cape Town once.

This is how I saved myself about £40 ($70); and who knows how much I’ll save before the week is over.

Saving 2: Entertainment

While roaming the streets of Bansko I realised that most entertainment is either inappropriate or I am not drawn to it; or both.

This place is full of casinos, gambling clubs and more adult entertainment establishments. For me, gambling is out of the question (compulsion, you see) and the naughty clubs hold no attraction at all.

Night clubs are a different matter; unfortunately, these open after my bed time.

In terms of entertainment this leaves simple pleasures like a light dinner and a beer with John.

And this is relative inexpensive and very enjoyable.

Saving 3: No one is trying to entice you

You know how in resorts there are people paid to stand at the entrance of restaurants and nightclubs and entice you inside?

Last night I had to walk through the main street to find an ATM machine. I was on my own – John stayed at the hotel.

There was this guy, standing in front of a night club, telling every passer-by:

“Come in! Party all night!”

Everyone but me!

He just looked through me and smiled at the people coming behind me. That was that.

I suppose this can be considered liberating; I still would have liked it if he made even a half-hearted attempt to entice me in.

Saving 4: No ice-skating

One thing I spend quite a bit when on holiday is trying new things. Here, the thing I’d like to try is ice-skating; and there is no way I am doing that.

When you are fifty, you really should look after your body parts and after your dignity. Falling on cold, hard ice and crawling on your hands and knees to get out of the ring is not the way to achieve either.

Tonight, we watched the ice-skaters for a bit and I realised that I’ll be saving about £70 (over $100) by not trying it and insisting on learning.


These are the savings I’ve been thinking about to make myself feel better that I missed all the fun today. As to the rest…well, nothing comes cheap here.

23 thoughts on “Four savings when skiing in your 50s (and I am really unhappy about the third one)”

  1. Haha – great post. The financial benefits of preferring a quiet glass of wine in the apartment to partying the night away. Its also a lot easier to get up at 8.30 for the first lifts the morning after!!!

    I hope your foot gets better quickly and you enjoy the rest of your week.

    1. @Moneystepper: Yeah, exactly. We’ve been having some fun though like watching our son ice-skate :). It turned out my foot needed different shoes: spending five hours a day on the slopes and love it. Only problem is that it seems this year Nature sucked all snow out of Europe and sent it to the US.

  2. As I get older (approaching 68 years old), I gave up skiing. I still am very active (cycling & working out), but not skiing. I do miss it though. I remember taking a long weekend and feeling as though it was a vacation. When we did go skiing, we did not spend much there other than the lift tickets.

    1. @Krant: You should do it again; there are many people in their 70s here doing really well. As to spending, we’ve decided to have a no spending days which is fun. It meant we didn’t pay £5 ($8) for a portion of chips – I just refuse to be an exploited tourist. We made sandwiches and these were great.

  3. Lol. I am almost 50, but with two youngish kids I still get enticed into places! The points about why not to buy seem sensible, but if the skiing is good and the lifts reliable, surely the prices will only go up.

    1. @Mrs BH: You may be right. Still, it seems to me that we are making the right decision. We’ll be looking at an apartment tomorrow but this is just to check whether we’ve got this one right.

  4. Every time I go snowboarding I get “smoked” by the 80 year old skiers who zip by me. This happens regularly so I find it very exciting! I will switch to skiing when I hit my mid 50’s. I have very seriously thought about purchasing property in Breckenridge because it’s my second favorite mountain town. I could go there all year long. I really love Crested Butte-but, it’s too far away. I’m leaning towards buying a small parcel of land and putting a tiny cabin on it. I’ve spoken to realtors in Breckenridge already…

    1. @Michelle: Yeah, being ‘smoked’ by older people is not fun. This happens to me even when I do races. Go for the cabin! If we wanted to buy something for us to use we would be finalising the purchase by now; at the moment we are looking for investments and this is a shabby one.

  5. You’ve given me enough clues that I can easily recommend your new investment: Open a dance club that ends at 9:30 so all of us old people can go to bed early and still know we didn’t “miss anything.”


  6. Out of interest, who did you fly with? I am looking for flights for this summer and they all seem incredibly expensive (Wizz being the worst).

    1. @Nicky: This time we took a package – we are very restricted by our son’s term times. Usually, we fly to Sofia on EasyJet but the tickets have to be bought early and in the summer they are more expensive. You can also check Czech Airlines – sometimes they have lower prices.

  7. Ha, Joe and Maria, here in Glasgow there is actually a night club for this demographic, the wonderfully named ‘Hip Replacement’. Fab music, people, and best of all it opens at 8 and shuts at midnight! Hope the foot is healing, Maria.

    1. @Skint: Skinty, my friend; there goes Joes brilliant idea to open a chain of night clubs for oldies that close by 9.30 :). Foot is better and this skiing lark is great fun – done carefully.

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