Mon, September 26th, 2011 - By

Tips for Saving on Ski Season

Thinking of hitting the slopes this season? Great idea – skiing is a great way to zone out, forget about work, and enjoy some fresh air, not to mention the requisite ski-lodge cocktail.

But skiing is not cheap. By any stretch. You can manage it though on a tight budget – here are some tips I’ve used successfully to have some fun and still afford that cocktail – you can tell where my priorities are!

  • Travel Off Peak Season. There’s a risk to hitting a ski destination at the very beginning or very end of season; there could be no snow! But there’s of course a financial reward for booking off peak, in terms of flights and accommodation both. Be sure to research alternatives, like hiking or other attractions, so you aren’t totally stuck if the lifts aren’t operating at their best.
  • Book Early, or, Hope for Last Minute Offers. Ski season is just like any other busy, high traffic destination – if you book very early you can get a deal, or you can hold out hope for a last minute thing. Book early is the easier option, but you have to be on the ball.
  • The Grocery Store is your Friend. On the slopes you need snacks like chocolate bars, so you have to go to the store anyway. And hopefully your breakfast is included – it’s usually the exorbitant lunches and the overpriced dinners that can runaway with your budget. Treat yourself once or twice but try bringing your own sandwiches and you’ll nearly pay for those lift tickets.
  • Consider a day or two of lower-priced activities. Speaking of lift tickets, those things can be pricey. A cheap alternative is often snowshoeing/cross-country, where you’ll just need the gear (and snowshoes are easier to bring from home). You can hike if there are suitable trails, or maybe the town you’re visiting has some local museums or attractions. Also, a day of relaxing in the hotel is all-but-free and might be what the doctor ordered!
  • Research equipment rental prices online. The Internet is your friend – and you’ll be surprised what you can find online. Google to find out who the major ski shops are in town – and visit their Twitter or Facebook pages to see if they offer discounts and deals to fans/followers. See if Yelp or Tripadvisor have recommendations on alternative shops who have better prices. And of course, visit the shop websites – I’ve seen some now and then who offer you a discount if you reserve online in advance. This requires being organised, of course, but it may pay off.

What are your tips for saving during ski season?

Photos by glaciernps, KurtVon

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Monday, September 26th, 2011 at 11:00
Category : Holiday Tips
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