6 Steps to a Cheap Ski Vacation

Cheap Ski VacationSki vacations guarantee a fun and memorable time for all, but all that fun and all those memories cost a pretty penny. How can you make your upcoming ski trip fit into your tight budget? With these 6 steps to a cheap ski vacation, learn how to budget and enjoy the slopes for as little money as possible.

1. Plan ahead.

Spontaneous skiers pony up a lot of moolah to hit the slopes last-minute. But if you’re the type that takes a ski trip every year or every couple of years, it’s easy to plan in advance. And when you do, you’ll benefit from great deals on airfare and lodging! If you give yourself enough time to plan, you can catch those special on-the-slope deals, like discounted group lessons or free lift tickets for kids 12 and under.

2. Ski during the off-season. 

If you’re going to Winter Park on Spring Break, forget about saving money. Instead, pay top dollar for airline tickets, ski vacation rentals, and lift tickets. Late fall and early spring are the best times to go skiing, as they're not part of the high-peak season, but still offer up awesome powder. Your cheap ski vacation must be timed just right. January is a good time to book, as well, because the holiday rush has just ended. If you don’t have control over when you travel, make sure to get your plans in motion well ahead of time.

Cheap Ski Vacation Ski Gear

3. Borrow your ski gear. 

It’s common for first-time skiers to feel a bit shocked at the outrageous cost of ski equipment and attire. Since you’ll only don ski boots, a heavy-duty ski jacket, and all the other clothing items that go along with the necessary get-up, for a short while, don’t break open your piggy bank over it. Family members and friends probably have almost everything you need and will happily lend things to you. So, ask around! If you can’t find any gear to borrow, buy used gear.

4. Steer clear of the megaresorts.  

While Park City, Aspen, Lake Tahoe, Vail, Telluride, and Taos are all high-quality resorts, for the budget-conscious skier, they may not be worth it. If you’re looking to save money (and also wait in shorter lift lines), check out resorts that are off the beaten path. Maybe it’s an up-and-coming resort or one that’s not so immediately noticeable. Some of the world’s most obscure mountains boast the best terrain. Utah is a paradise for frugal skiers, with the affordable Brighton, Snowbasin, and Solitude resorts all near our Salt Lake City rentals! Other resorts that promise to give you no-strings-attached value include Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Mad River in Vermont, Banff in Canada, and Mount Baker in Washington.

5. Stay close to home.

Take a look in your own backyard before you set your sights on a faraway resort. If there’s a great resort nearby that you can drive to rather than fly to, why bother taking an expensive plane ride to one that’s a couple of states away? 

6. Stay in a private ski in out condo.

In order to save the most money possible on your ski trip, rent a ski in out condo or cabin rather than a hotel! If you don’t plan to spend a lot of time inside it, don’t spend a lot of money for extras like a hot tub or professional décor. Take advantage of the kitchenette by dining in the majority of the time; you’ll be amazed at how much money you’ll save by simply avoiding restaurants. Fortunately, ski vacation rentals are located all over North America, Canada, and Europe. So, begin your search today. Whether you’re looking for Tremblant condo rentals, Mount Baker vacation houses, or Snowbasin ski cabins, you’re sure to conserve lots of your hard-earned money.

For more ski-related articles, head over to our Ski Vacation Ideas. Or for some budget travel tips, check out more inexpensive vacation ideas.

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