How to ski (longer) for less

How to ski (longer) for less

Skiing is an expensive hobby. Not only do you need what is always needed for any kind of vacation, somewhere to stay and a way to get to your destination, but you also need tons of equipment and lift tickets the cost adds up very quickly. Especially if you travel as a family with kids. Thankfully, there are ways around some of the worst costs:


  1. Travel outside of peak season, i.e. do not go around Christmas and New Year’s or spring break when everyone else is on vacation too. Flights are more expensive and especially lodging prices skyrocket, the best time to go is when there are no planned school holidays.
  2. If going on a short trip, try to go mid week. Thursday evening to Sunday are the most popular days. Going on Monday means less expensive lodging as well as less people on the slopes.
  3. Get your gear at the end of the season when the shops are eager to get rid of overstock. Many ski stores (on- and offline) double as summer sport stores and need space for the summer equipment inventory. Of course they will also get newer models next year and are happy to sell out last year's gear, often at deep discounts.
  4. Buy used stuff! The rental stores sell out their demo gear at the end of the season. Families with growing kids also sell their used gear when they are done with it. You can very well pick up bargains this way!
  5. Don’t purchase lift tickets onsite - pre purchase online and in advance! For example Vail’s on the spot tickets are 167/adult but online when purchased at least seven days in advance they are 132.
  6. Better yet, buy multi day tickets. Seven days at Vail are USD 756, or 108 per day compared to 167 onsite.
  7. For an even better price - buy season passes - especially if you plan to ski in the same place more than one week. Many resorts daily lift pass costs are astronomical but even though season passes may sound expensive at anywhere from USD 1.000 to 2.000, compared to USD 100-150/day for many resorts, you get unlimited skiing all season for the price of 10-20 days bought independently.
  8. For the best deals of all - splurge on one of the combination lift passes: the Ikon Pass lets you ski 28 destinations across the US and Canada (14 with unlimited access and 22 with 7 days/resort) for only USD 1049. The Epic pass gives you unlimited access to 19 resorts and limited access to another 46 across North America and even some resorts in Japan, Europe and Chile.
  9. Go to smaller/less trendy/less well known/local ski resorts. Everyone knows Vail, Aspen, Whistler, the French and European Alps etc. But what about Copper Mountain, Colorado? Or Solitude, Utah? Or the Dolomites in Italy or the Pyrenees in France? All these places have just as good skiing, but less people and better prices on everything from lodging to rentals to lift passes. Try something new and save at the same time!
  10. Your first  time skiing and just wanting to try it out? No need for black runs or lots of different runs? Try a smaller place, such as the North Carolina ski resorts: within one hour there are several different resorts, all small but all friendly and well run. Our favorites are Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain. The ski passes starts at USD 41/day. And even better if you want lessons they too are a lot less than at the fancier resorts, but often a lot more friendly and personable. The small East Coast resorts are perfect for starting out and testing the slopes.


Skiiing Winter Park      


Let's the Clever Travel Companion Long Johns keep you warm and your valuables safe on the slopes!

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