In case you hadn't noticed, there's been a global financial crisis recently. Most of our respective governments have had to give a vigorous reach-around to the banks, and as a result we all feel like we've been shafted.
Ironically, whilst we go limping back to our hovels like John Wayne, resorts like St Anton, Davos Klosters and Courcheval are guffawing themselves off the chairlifts at us muggles shopping in Aldi, because there's too much month left at the end of the money.
Well, what we don't have in hedge funds, we have in dedication to snowboarding, and snowboard we will. If you've got some trips lined up this season or are currently in the planning stage, here are our tips to get the most out of austerity measure shredding.
Plan Your Airport Wisely
For those of you taking to the sky to get to your chosen destination, choose your airport wisely. Alpine airports, are notoriously expensive and leave you with a limited timeframe in which to catch any of the cheap flights that do go in and out of the airport. If Dante was still kicking about today, we're pretty sure there'd be a tenth circle of hell for 05:00 flights.
Flying to Innsbruck? Make sure you check the prices on what the cost to fly into Munich is first. Apart from saving yourself from an rectum clenching landing of terror, you might save yourself some cash as well.
Play Snowboard Jenga
Once you've sourced any flights you might be taking, you've got to add your baggage into the equation. If your flying with a certain low-cost airline that rhymes with 'sleazy bet', you'll no doubt be acquainted with their baggage fees.
Our top tip for penny pinching baggage savings is to stack your snowboards up ya snowboard bag, without the bindings attached.
Based on an average weight of 3.5 kg snowboard (Burton Process Flying V 2015 is 3kg, and an extra half kg to be on the safe side), and a 3kg board bag - depending on the depth, you can fit up to 4 boards in there, with room left over to place the sets of bindings along the top of the board. Boom shakalaka.
Use Public Transport
Driving on the motorway in the middle of a blizzard ranks up on our list of 'things that suck really really hard'. On the other hand, riding a train through the valleys when it's dumping neige ranks pretty high up on the list of 'things to tell girls to make yourself sounds sophisticated'.
Not only will you be the most sophisticated Casanova on the mountain, but it'll be a hell of a lot cheaper than renting a Kia Pecanto, and trying to ram 5 fully grown adults with bags into it.
SBB in Switzerland offer the 'supersaver' ticket as well as a whole host of other CHF saving travelcards on their website. ÖBB in Austria have their 'sparchiene' offers, as well as a nifty discount card for under 26's.
When you get to your destination, most resorts offer free buses if you have bought a liftpass as well. Avoid the Kia and save the polar bears at the same time.
Stay in the Valley
So, you've found your destination of choice, you've got flights that would make Angela Merkel proud and you've singlehandedly saved the eurozone on your transport. Then you get hit with prices from accommodation that would make you think it's actually a phone number rather than a price per night.
Next tip - stay in the valley.
Apart from giving you more flexibility than a Russian gymnast, it's a fraction of the price for literally everything. Food, drinks, accommodation and most shops are all cheaper in the valleys.
Yeah, we'll level with you - Saint-Jean-de-Belleville, at the bottom of the Val Thorens valley, isn't going to be awarded a UNESCO Heritage status anytime soon, but you're well placed to chase the best conditions in a variety of different resorts.
Headed to the Tirol region? Try Innsbruck. Headed to the Salzburg region? Try Sankt Johan im Pongau. Headed to Eastern Switzerland? Try Chur.
Whilst it requires a little more logistical planning, if you're serious about getting a decent amount of riding in - it can pay its dividends.
Get Accommodation Clever
The YMCA isn't just a 1978 belter of a disco classic, but a useful tool when it comes to planning cheap accommodation across Europe. Hostels as a whole are a nifty way to reduce costs when it comes to planning a shredventure.
Whilst the idea of booking yourself into a 16 person dorm full of flatulent foreigners might not sound like the nicest idea, if you round up a group of mates to the size of the dorm, you can normally charm yourself into having the whole dorm to yourselves. At least then it's only your mates flatulence you have to chew on each morning.
If you're headed to Austria, Pensions are normally a good bet, whilst in France, you can go the whole hog and get a package deal through state run UCPA.
Economies of Scale
As ex-girlfriends of ours would probably attest to, size does matter. Whilst they found themselves disappointed, you might not be if you can round up a large posse of pals to holiday with.
If you decide to forgo the public transport option, you can snap yourself up a pimping mini-bus to get to your destination thereby splitting petrol costs, road tolls and driving time.
Even cooking in large groups is cheaper. Have you ever made a chicken and chorizo paella before? Cheaper than Greek property, filling, and easier to cook than a microwavable burger.
Liftpass Yourself Smart
There seems to be a wider range of lift passes on offer then there are actual resorts to be perfectly honest.
Alongside locals discounts, childrens discounts, family discounts, old people discounts, park-only discounts and a whole range of other discounts - you need a PhD to decipher some of the options. It wouldn't surprise us too much if there was a discount if Saturn was in the 3rd moon of Jupiter or something like that.
If you're down in the valleys, or just want to have a bit more of an adventure - there are options like the Salzburg Super Ski Card, which covers 26 resorts across the Salzburg region. This is available for only a few euros more than it would cost for a 6 day pass in any of the resorts in covers. Just to reiterate:
Super Ski Pass - 22 Resorts for 6 days = €249
Saalbach Ski Pass - 1 Resort for 6 days = €233
You do the math. No, wait - we've actually done it for you.
There's also options like this which offers ski passes for lesser known resorts for cheaper than a Large Mac.
Unlock Your Phone
Until roaming charges in the Europe are abolished in December 2015, there's few things worse than coming home to a phone bill the size of America's national debt. Whilst the obvious thing would be to just stay off fucking Instagram for a week, if you're a web 2.0 person, that can prove harder than trying to kick a smack habit.
Whilst some phone operators offer roaming services at no extra cost, we've found one of the best ways to get around roaming charges is to have your phone unlocked before you travel. Most phone operators allow you to do so fairly easily, which no doubt has Steve Jobs howling in his grave.
Then all you need to do at the airport is buy a SIM card from the local shop and you can tweet, call, gram and book until arthritis sets in.
Note: This doesn't work in Switzerland though. You need a registered address to sign up for a pay and go SIM.
Shred Every Damn Day
Whether it's raining, shining, sleeting or greybird, you get outta that bed and get those laps in. Shy of the four horsemen of the apocalypse pitching up in resort to wreak havoc, there are only a handful of reasons not to ride.
Our personal rule of thumb is that if the lifts are open, it means you can ride. If some poor liftie has woken up at the crack of dawn to earn a pittance transporting people up the mountain, you can sure as fuck do them the decency of pitching up as well.
Whiteouts test your ability as a snowboarder, you've gotta stay loose and ready. Slush is just fun, period. Rain means you can actually justify spending money on a decent jacket and means you sound less of a prick when you're in the bar boasting about your jacket.
Get to the Gym
The chances are if you've scored yourself a recession busting holiday, it's not going to come with a spa centre. If it does, it's more likely to resemble a scene from Apocalypse Now, than a jacuzzi.
To get the most from your trip, make sure you spend some time getting in shape before you hit the slope or your legs will end up looking like one of these by the end of the first day.
Ideally, you want to focus on your leg strength, core strength and flexibility. Our friends over at Whitelines Magazine have a pretty good guide to get you started here.
Department of the Bloody Obvious - Pack a Lunch
In a sponsored idea from the Department of the Bloody Obvious, comes the classic of packing your own lunch.
Have you ever eaten €7 chips before? If you have, you'll know what they taste of. For those of you that haven't, they can be summed up in two words: 'disappointment' and 'regret'.
You can make a kick ass lunch packed with food that is not only good for you, but is also cheap if you get your act together.
Remember; you can never have enough cereal bars or bananas.