You’ve always had dreams of taking your whole family on a winter ski or snowboard vacation. Or maybe your fantasy is rounding up that group of friends who just love hanging out together on the mountain. Perhaps you’ve managed it before, but don’t think it’s in the cards for this season. Relax and get on it; with the right planning and resources, it’s doable on a budget.
Know Before You Go
Sure it’s fun to be last minute about heading to the mountains. But running out of cash along the way? Maybe not so fun. You can save out of the gate by cheating the bottom line. Here’s how:
- Familiarize yourself with the equipment rental shops that carry and maintain the season’s latest models of skis and snowboards by industry-leading brands. These shops are likely to have coupons, or offer discounts on equipment rentals. Even if you’re skidding toward the weekend and need to grab some gear, there’s a good chance you can get a break on the price by reserving equipment 24 hours in advance through the shop’s website.
- Scope the spot you plan to ski or ride. Don’t just look for the place with the best powder, seek out the best deals at the resort. Can you land a break on lodging when you pick up your lift tickets? Does a deal on a lift ticket pack cover your whole family? Or do the restrictions read: “Only Valid For Use By Passholder” – meaning the same person has to use every ticket? Read the fine print before purchasing.
Assess Your Assets
Figure out who’s got game. By that we mean skill sets. Are you a pack of pros? Or maybe a mixed bag? Either way, you can find the right equipment, and the mountain to use them on, for everyone on your trip guest list.
- Survey your group to see who needs equipment, and what level they’re looking for. You’ll want to book through a shop you can trust for fit and performance, while also getting a great price.
Vacation enthusiasm is the best, but can totally break a budget. Get real with all in your party. Ask what folks truly want out of their winter getaway, then plan accordingly.
- Does everyone really want to ski each day of this trip? If members of your party are thinking they’d like a spa or shopping day along the way, book only the number of lift tickets to be used.
Make It Easy
When you’re traveling – either by yourself or with a group – you want to keep the hassles to a minimum. One way to do this is to lug less.
- Unless you’re training for Olympic trials, consider whether you can manage skiing or riding on gear other than your own. Think of the potential for loss or damage by an airline. Imagine lugging boot bags through airports and resorts. These moments are not likely to be a part of your vacation fun. Book all the equipment you’ll need ahead of time and pick it up – or have it delivered directly to your hotel room, condo or private home upon arrival. Give yourself a break, but save while you do so.
It goes without saying that traveling off-days equals savings. Does it all have to happen on Presidents’ Day Weekend? Or can you ditch work on a Wednesday to make tracks in snow? If you’ve got flexibility in your schedule, you can save big.
- Compare shop the airline prices for the best days on flight savings.
- See what deals you’ll find for lodging when you arrive earlier in the week.
- Seek out last-minute bargains on package deals at your desired destination.
Piggy-back the Perks
Often a resort will offer perks when you plan to stay a certain number of days. Like a reduced rate or freebie on an activity where no lift ticket is required.
- See what extras you can get from the resort, and how members of your group might be able to take advantage. For example, the person who wants fewer days of skiing may be thrilled to try out tubing.
- Is mom longing for a spa-getaway? This trip may satisfy her dream, saving you money spent on a second trip. See if the resort ties massages or spa treatments into the room rate.
Book With Confidence
Finally, be sure you’re headed to the destination that’s right for you. No amount of money saved can refund the cost of a failed vacation. See what customers are saying about the resort, shop, or lodging you are renting through. Then choose wisely.
- Look out for resort deals that sound too good to be true. Read the fine print, as well as what recent visitors are saying about their experience.
- Rent equipment from professionals who truly get fit. You want your on-snow style and skillset, as well as your size, taken into consideration. When your boots, skis or snowboard, and even poles and helmet are fitted in the rental shop, the experience should be attentive and hands-on.
When you stop and consider these points as you plan, your ski getaway will not only go more smoothly, but also become more affordable. It’s easy to score on savings. Both SkiCoupons.com and Christy Sports are here to help.