Skiing makes for a wonderful vacation, but usually one that only the wealthy can afford. From the moment you hit the slopes, you begin to pay for everything–the gear, the ski lift, the meals, lodging, and so on.
Skiing can be a costly hobby to enjoy over vacation, but you can cut the costs if you’re smart about it. Here are some ways that you can hit the slopes for your vacation, but without breaking the bank:
Get a CamelBak
Have you ever considered paying $4 for a bottle of water? When you’re dying of thirst at the end of a long ski run, you’ll pay anything! Instead of spending a fortune on drinking water, pay a few bucks for a cheap hydration backpack like a Camelbak. You can bring all the water you want with you, and just fill it up in the hotel before you hit the slopes for the day.
Find Lift Ticket Coupons or Discounts
The ski lift can cost you as much as $100 or more per day, depending on how many times you head up and down the hill. Instead of spending a small fortune, hit Google up to find coupons and discounts on ski lift tickets. Sites like Skicoupons and Liftopia are great places to check out.
Brown Bag It
The cost of a meal at a ski resort can be pretty high, and it gets even more expensive once you are on the slopes. Pack yourself a lunch, and store it with the rest of your gear as you enjoy yourself. You can always take a break midday to enjoy your lunch, and you’ll find much cheaper dinners back in town.
NEVER Rent/Buy Gear There
If you find yourself without an important item of ski equipment, you may have to pay the outrageous prices charged by the ski resort to get your hands on the stuff they sell in the shop. Always make sure that you have whatever you need, and NEVER rent or buy gear at the resort.
Hit the Shoulder Seasons
This means the seasons as far away from peak season as possible. Most people will be hitting the slopes from Christmas through February, so it’s time to look into tickets for November or March. The cost of the resort will be much cheaper, plus the slopes will be fairly deserted as well!
Never hit the slopes on the weekend if you’re trying to save. You may have to shift around your work schedule, but it’s always best to take your skiing vacations from Monday through Thursday. The cost of the resort and the ski slopes is much lower, not to mention the flights.
Watch for Vacation/Event Weeks
If you’re going to hit the slopes, make sure that you’re doing so on a week or weekend when nothing else is happening in town. You may want to check out the town events to make sure there are no holidays or big events that could draw people to the town when you want to visit, or else you may end up paying more for hotels and flights.
If you can fly to your ski destination using Southwest, you’ll often be able to check your ski baggage for free–one of the perks offered by the airline. If you fly any of the other airlines, you may end up paying a small fortune for all of your ski gear.
Find Kids-Free Deals
There are many ski resorts/slopes that offer special deals for kids, and you’ll find that these are usually the best option if you want to take your kids skiing. In fact, you may end up paying less if you bring your kids along.