Save on skiing with these frugal ski tips. You might think it’s impossible to hit the slopes of your favourite ski resort on the cheap, but it’s totally doable. In fact, with a bit of planning and budgeting it’s possible to ski your favourite resort and save money. We all know that no trip to a ski resort is cheap, but with these tips, you can save on skiing, allowing you to focus on fun and fitness instead of worrying about your bank account.
Save on Skiing – The Little Things Add Up
Ski trips are one of my favourite winter activities as a family. There’s nothing like getting out and hitting the slopes. Whether you’re navigating black diamond courses, gently maneuvering down the bunny slope, or weaving down the greens, skiing is excellent exercise and a wonderful family travel opportunity too. For me, it’s even MORE enjoyable when you navigate those courses knowing that you’ve done everything you can to have a great trip without wasting one cent.
Buy Second Hand Equipment
Wait! Don’t run away! Buying second hand doesn’t mean buying shoddy equipment. Save money right off the bat by buying any gear you need at a second hand sporting goods store. These places make their money off of their reputation, so the last thing they want is a reputation for selling shoddy equipment. Check kijiji out too. FYI last season I sold the girl’s small boots and skis there easily and made enough to buy the next size up for my youngest girl whose feet had grown a lot.
Buy Season Passes
If you ski often, buying season passes can be a great way to save. A Season’s pass, as the name states, offers you full-time access to the slopes all season long, and comes at a nice discount. They’re the perfect option for people who love to ski as often as they can and for families too. We save a few hundred every year doing this as a family and were buy early to save even more. Already have ours for this season, now bring on the snow.
Resell Your Gear
If you want or need to upgrade your ski equipment, sell your gently used gear. As long as your gear is in good working order, you can sell it to a second hand sporting gear store to get a little money for your skiing gear instead of just giving it away. OR better yet find a ski swap and sell your old gear there or Kijiji it. Last season both my girls grew dramatically and needed new gear. Thankfully I sold two sets of boots and a pair of kid’s skis and that paid for child number two’s ski boots, bindings and skis. WIN!! When you’re trying to save on skiing, every little bit helps!
Use Deal Sites
Deal sites like Skitopia and Liftopia allow you to save on skiing at your favorite resorts. Sites like these offer significant discounts on lift tickets, allowing you to both plan your trip more effectively and save money at the same time by buying ahead of time.
Take Advantage of Shoulder Season
You can save on skiing by taking advantage of shoulder season. For those of you who don’t know, shoulder season is that sweet spot between peak season and off season. When you book shoulder season trips in high altitude destinations like Whistler, Vail, Steamboat, Vermont, Tremblant and the like, you’ll get great prices while still being able to enjoy the slopes. Often, the high altitude means colder weather, and that means the slopes are still ripe for skiing. Super early December, if you are lucky, works and so does March sometimes.
Drive When Possible
We drive to Vermont pretty much every single year. I often do a media trip and then write about it here. Flights can be expensive and they add up. Twice we flew to our destination. I won a package of flights once and that worked out brilliantly when we visited Smugglers’ Notch. But that said, even with wear and tear on our van, the gas and mileage will run me typically a maximum of $300. Gas is easily $200 roundtrip for all of us. Of course we loaded up the van and we made sure the snow tires were on last year. So there’s that cost too kind of, but we needed installed snow tires anyways. Flights would have been $800 to $1,000 MINIMUM for all four of us on sale.
So drive there and save. Oh and check out which resorts offer Canadian at Par if you are Canadian.
Brown Bag it!
Ski trip for a day or a week? Doesn’t matter. Either way those cafeterias in the lodge are Expensive with a capital E. Listen, I don’t always plan perfectly but I very much enjoy having a bagged lunch to carry in and eat at the ski lodge. Stay in a condo style accommodation near the ski resort with kitchen and cook occasionally and pack some sandwiches. When a simple coffee is $4.50 in the morning and a Gatorade is $4, that adds up too fast. (At the corner store near Bromley last year in Peru, Vermont we got 6 or 8 Gatorades on sale for $5.) Stop at a store on the way into town and stock up. Save your dollars that way.
Save on Skiing with These Seven Tips
Skiing is excellent family vacation time. My family and I love to go skiing as often as possible, but we are also on a budget and because of that, I’ve made it my job to ensure that we fuel our skiing habit affordably. The tips I just listed above can help you save on skiing, so you and your family can enjoy the slopes, and you can enjoy the freedom of knowing that you haven’t broken the bank to get there.