Equipment, gear, lodging, lift tickets. The costs can add up.
But do not despair! There are still simple ways to ski on a budget. Ladies and gentlemen, don your Guy Fawkes mask: it’s time to democratize skiing with these 6 ways for saving big bucks this season.
- Rent Your Gear in Advance
Some rental shops encourage customers to commit to renting their gear in advance by offering 15-25% discounts if you reserve your gear online before getting there. Not only will you get cheaper skis and boards, but you and your group can avoid the hassle of filling out paper work in the shop as you sweat through your turtle neck.
- Bring Your Own Lunch
This is a time-honored tactic of the thrifty skier.
Next time you hit the slopes, consider stopping by a grocery store beforehand and whipping up a sammy or two. You’ll find that a square sandwich will fit perfectly in most of your pockets.
Pro Tip: When ordering your sandwich, avoid adding the mustard and mayo as it could get seriously messy in your jacket or pack! When it’s time for lunch, simply grab some free condiment packets from the mountain grill and enjoy.
- Plan to Ski and Ride Mid-Week
Lodging can be one of the most expensive aspects of your ski vacation. The easiest way to save is to avoid making reservations on weekends.
Hotels are more affordable mid-week, so if you have the opportunity to ski on a Wednesday, take it. Not only will you be saving money, but the slopes will be less crowded as well.
- Try a New Mountain
Some mountains are destinations for high rollers and celebrities. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, we suggest trying a smaller, local mountain that you’ve never been to before.
- Consider Renting Your Apparel (Or Buying it Used)
This is particularly important if you have growing kiddos who shed their snowsuits every season. Buying new ski clothes is often times not cost effective if you or your family are occasional skiers.
You can rent your ski apparel from sites like GetOutfitted. They’ll even ship it to your resort or from a local shop that offers apparel on site.
Another option, although it may require a little more effort, is to find great deals on used ski apparel through eBay, Craigslist and at local gear consignment shops (one of our favorites in Colorado is Mountain Equipment Recyclers).
Be sure to pick up a bottle of Nikwax or other outdoor apparel cleaner/waterproofer to make sure the used apparel you pick up is fresh and ready!
- Buy Your Lift Tickets in Advance
Don’t let lift ticket prices scare you! When you purchase your lift tickets in advance on Liftopia.com, you can save up to 80%. Worried your trip details may change? Value Plus and Flexible tickets now give you the flexibility to change your ticket date once or multiple times up to a few days before your arrival.
The cost of skiing likely isn’t going to come down any time soon, but hopefully with these tips and a little research beforehand, you can be out on the slopes without breaking the bank.