Last year saw a 20% increase in demand for winter sports holidays – a rise which shows no sign of abating in 2014. But currency rates are likely to play a bigger role than ever before in where families are choosing to hit the slopes...

The pound had an unsteady time against the Euro in 2013 and so we predict families will respond to this uncertainty by seeking bargain ski breaks outside the Eurozone, with resorts in Bulgaria, Romania and Poland likely to offer some of the best deals.

The Bulgarian towns of Bansko and Borovets are well known for being cheaper choices for winter sports, and with the International Ski Federation holding a number of major sporting events in Bansko this season, we anticipate it’ll be a popular choice for family ski holidays.

Despite uncertainty in 2013 overall, the pound recently achieved its highest rate against the Euro in a year and looks likely to rise further, at least in the short to medium term. So whether you’re planning to stick to the traditional resorts in France and Austria, or looking to go further east for your ski holiday, it’s worth taking advantage of this rise in rates to buy your holiday cash ahead of your trip. My Travel Cash offers prepaid MasterCard currency cards in Euros and a Multi-Currency option, so even if you’ve not decided where to go yet you can benefit from improved rates to make your money go further.

It’s also worth considering the US for your winter sports break. With the pound recently fetching as much as $1.65 against the US dollar, it’s possible to get much more bang for your buck if you head across the pond. Jackson Hole in Wyoming, Aspen (Colorado) and Lake Tahoe (California) are amongst the most popular choices.

Despite a turbulent performance by the pound against the euro in recent months, there is some good news for families seeking a ski break close to home. Market reports suggest hotel rates across much of the EU will decrease this year due to economic concerns at certain destinations. This offers travellers the chance to bag a bargain if they avoid the most popular – and pricey – resorts.

Whatever your destination, it’s worth remembering a prepaid currency card makes managing your money much easier whenever and wherever you choose to ski. Carrying one card, loaded with a fixed amount of money, is far more convenient than cash when you’re on the move, whether it’s on the slopes or sampling the local après ski. Taking advantage of the rise in rates now means it’ll be you and not your finances that are heading downhill.

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