[Cover Image: Christine Warner]
When it comes to budget ski vacations, it’s difficult to find cheap options on your own. Via our longstanding relationships throughout ski country, Ski.com is well versed in crafting quality, affordable ski vacations that will satisfy anyone’s appetite for ski and snowboard adventure travel.
To us, going skiing is part of who we are. Sliding on snow—or just being in the mountains for that matter—rejuvenates our souls. The feeling we have when we’re standing at the top of the mountain surrounded by snow-capped peaks in all directions is priceless. But that doesn’t mean we want to pay more than we have to for our ski vacations. By following these tips you book the perfect, cheap ski vacation to your favorite ski destinations.
1. Be flexible
If your dates and desired destinations are flexible then you will have the best shot at snagging a good ski vacation deal. Certain times of the ski season, like Christmas through New Years day, President’s Day weekend and spring break will always be busy. If you can travel during less popular periods, you’re bound to find a deal that will work for you. Also, be flexible when choosing departure airports. Where you fly to and from can greatly affect how much your ticket is and it might even open up more convenient flight options.
2. Choose resorts that are close to major hubs
Airfare can be a big chunk of a ski vacation. By going to resorts close to places like Denver and Salt Lake, travelers can avoid paying a premium for tickets on planes with fewer seats flying into smaller airports. Flying into Denver and Salt Lake also helps save money when it comes to ground transportation, too. Salt Lake City International Airport is less than 40 minutes from most of the ski resorts, including Park City, Snowbird, and Deer Valley. Denver International Airport is about two hours from a great selection of Colorado ski resorts, including Winter Park, Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Vail, and more.
3. Take advantage of early-booking deals
Booking early is good if want a great ski vacation deal while also pinning down hard-to-get lodging during peak travel periods. Getting your desired accommodation is critical for ultimate enjoyment on your ski vacation. At Ski.com, we have some incredible early-booking deals as well as some incredible flight promotions that could save you up to $400 per person on airfare. Don’t wait to book; most of these incredible deals will expire in the next month or two.
4. Package lift tickets with lodging
If you’re looking for a lift ticket deal, the worst thing you can do is wait to purchase single-day tickets at the ticket window once you arrived at the resort. By bundling your lift ticket with a lodging package, you will receive the best lift ticket pricing available. At Ski.com, our negotiated lift ticket rates offer you savings of
up to 40 percent off what you would pay at most ski areas. You can save even more money on top of our discounted rates by purchasing a lift ticket and lodging package. In many cases, these package deals include a free night of lodging and a free day of skiing with the purchase of at least four nights. Other package deals offer 50 percent off lift tickets. Call a Mountain Travel Expert to learn more about your options.
5. Select a condominium with a kitchen
One of the biggest ways you can cut spending on your ski vacation is by not dining out every meal. Choose a condo with a kitchen or kitchenette, buy groceries, and cook some meals back at the unit. If you can land a ski-in, ski-out or slope-side condo you can even ski back to your unit for lunch instead of spending your hard-earned cash on an expensive cheeseburger and fries at an on-mountain restaurant. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save. Keystone’s River Run Condominiums is a popular property that features full kitchens, plenty of space, and convenient access to the base village and slopes. Steamboat and Snowmass, both in Colorado, also offer a wide selection of well-priced ski in, ski out accommodations.
6. Choose a resort that offers free activities
Keystone’ is one of North America’s best experiences for families looking to save some money. Breckenridge also has some noteworthy family-friendly, free activities, including Engine No. 9 at High Line Railroad Park, a narrow-gauge locomotive that served the historical mining town for more than 50 years. Experience Lake Tahoe’s ultimate apres-ski experience with Heavenly’s Unbuckled, daily from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Entry is free and drinks are half off. The party features the lovely Heavenly Angels and foot-tappin’ DJ dance beats.
*kids programs are subject to current COVID-19 restrictions
7. Take advantage of ski travel experts
There is a lot of information on the internet, and trying to find the best, affordable ski resorts for your travel companions can be daunting to say the least. Planning a budget-friendly ski vacation should be fun, not stressful. The easiest way for you to find the best deal quickly and easily is to call one of Ski.com’s 65+ Mountain Travel Experts. They can help you cut out hours and hours of online research. The industry’s best prices are at their fingertips thanks to our vast selection of 1,000 online deals (and tens of thousands more in our system) at thousands of accommodations and 120-plus ski resorts worldwide. They can quickly and easily sort through all the options to find the ones that are best for you based on your requirements, interests, and budget.
We tapped Mountain Travel Expert Cindy Bruce to share some tips on how to save money on your next ski vacation.
Mountain Travel Expert Since 2001
“Travel in the shoulder seasons, early December and April, to save the most money. January is typically more affordable than busier months, like February and March. I highly recommend choosing a condo with a kitchen and cooking some meals in the unit.” – Cindy Bruce