Day 6 of our Family Vacation -- Skiing in Bansko, Bulgaria

Posing with the wonderful instructors, Janet and Peter

This family trip we just took for the last 9 days has been splendid, but I must say the absolute highlight for me, and most of us too, has been the skiing.  I found it, but even with the cheaper prices, the ski day was the most expensive part of our trip, by far. I wrote already about how I found a place with a ski school for cheaper than anywhere else, but even so, it was pricey.

However, as I wrote, I am choosing to share about it anyhow, for the reasons I wrote in this previous post. And I'm not going to fudge any numbers about how much it cost.

I am not including the cost of the warm clothes that I bought for our ski trip, because those came out of our clothing budget and will be in our regular winter wardrobe.

So in addition to the regular travelers insurance I got, I paid extra for our ski day, because the regular insurance doesn't cover winter sports. That cost an addition $35.

Our ski lessons and rental were at a discount since we were the first clients of the season. We paid 200 lev ($113.70) for private lessons for 2 hours for my four kids. We paid 40 lev ($22.74) total for the kids skis, and 15 ($8.53) for mine. We paid 10 lev ($5.69) each for snow pants.

Total to SankiySki was 305 lev, or $173.40.

Then there was the cost of the lift pass. This involved the 20 minute gondola lift ride to the ski area at the top of the mountain, as well as ski lifts within the ski area. This cost 150 lev ($85.28). (There was an extra 25 lev deposit which we got back when we returned our lift passes.)

Gorgeous view from the lift!

Total therefore for the day was 455 lev and $35 dollars or $293 dollars.

This was more expensive because of paying for lessons. Without the lessons it would have cost $179 dollars.

To be honest, I considered skipping the lessons and just teaching my kids how to ski myself. But it ended up being really worthwhile to give the kids lessons.

The kids were divided into two groups, the boys with this instructor named Peter...

 ...and the girls with an instructor named Janet. 

And they were dolls. 

My kids adored them, and they learned the basics of skiing with them, so that by the end of their two hours, they were able to ski down the very beginners' "slope" without falling, and do some basic maneuvering.

Rose with Janet...

Getting some instruction...

Rose skiing.


While the kids did this, I went down the very beginner's slope two or three times to practice my moves, and then I went up to the actual beginner's slope. 

When I got off the magic carpet (yes, it is actually called that) ski lift at the top of that hill on my first time, I really panicked.

The view from the top of the more difficult beginner's hill
I knew I was supposed to go slowly from side to side, but it wasn't so wide, and I didn't think I would have enough space to turn. Let's just say that I fell about four or five times at least on my way down that hill.

Then I did it again, and fell only once partway down, and then got back up and went back down the hill and did amazingly, and then right as I reached the bottom I went splat! They had a professional photographer there, and he caught it all on film! I got a round of applause from everyone there which was hilarious.

So of course I paid the extra 20 lev for that photograph which is getting framed. One second before going splat.

After that, I decided to step off the magic carpet lift partially up the hill. Lower down it was less steep, and it was less intimidating, and I did this a few times, starting the hill from the middle, and then I didn't fall down at all while going down after the first time. It was a great feeling to be able to do that!

Then I tried again going up to the top, and fell down multiple times. And again.

By this point, my kids 2 hour ski lesson was over. They absolutely adored their instructors and didn't want the lesson to end.

I skied with my kids down the beginners slope a bunch more times, and then Lee told me he was starting to get bored on the very beginner's slope, so I made sure he knew how to zig zag, and then took him and the other kids over to the harder beginner's slope, took him just a little bit of the way up, and taught him to zig zag down. Then I did the same for Ike. And for Rose. Anneliese wasn't willing to try it, because Lee knocked into her on the way down, and she was just miserable and wanted to go back to the other slope.

Rose going up the magic carpet

Anneliese on the magic carpet

Lee having fun

Ike enjoying himself

Rose, with the more difficult beginner's slope behind her

And being her usual silly self, even on skis.
The rest of the time until the slopes closed, we stayed on the very beginner's slope.

To be honest, I would have loved to have spent more time skiing on my own, instead of with the kids, because then I wasn't really able to practice. That's why I am especially glad that I paid for the lessons for the kids, because had I not, I wouldn't have had any chance to ski on my own.

And I want to come back again. Because my kids now have the basics in skiing, they won't need lessons next time other than a little refresher from me, and hopefully they'll be able to move to more advanced slopes.

My kids absolutely loved skiing. So did I. This is something I want to make a part of our life. It's just unbridled joy for me. I want to price compare how much skiing costs near where I live, compared to traveling to Bulgaria again for skiing. I did hear that Bulgaria is one of the cheaper places to ski in the world, and that's why so many people from all over Europe came there to ski.

The lift down was fun, and thrilling too, not to mention beautiful. 

We could see a blanket of fog over the city of Bansko not to mention the gorgeous mountains in the distance.

More of the mountains...

The kids were really sad for the day to end, because they didn't want to have to say goodbye to Janet...

Or Peter....

Fortunately we got their information to stay in touch... 

And honestly, hopefully we'll be back!

I have to say, lots and lots of kudos to Janet for her patience in teaching Anneliese and Rose. They are easily frustrated and easily distracted, not to mention Rose being extremely hyper, but Janet took it all in stride and taught my girls how to ski. I don't think I would have been able to do that, even if I knew how to instruct how to ski.

Are you a skier? How old were you when you learned how to ski? How much does skiing cost where you live? How do the prices that I paid compare to skiing costs where you live?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. So glad you and the kids had fun and hope you'll be able to go again and again. Such a fun family outing with good memories!

  2. That's awesome! And I'm so glad everyone had such a great time and the kids started learning. We ski. My kids started at age 3 each and now race alpine for their 4th year. Skiing is expensive unless you find good deals or buy season passes.

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