A major expense on any ski or snowboard vacation is the price of lift tickets. It’s an expense that can’t be avoided. After all, you can’t ski up the mountain. But with some careful planning, and a little imagination, you can greatly reduce the sting.
Here is a list of money saving tips that you may not have thought of. Hopefully, something on our list will help you reduce expenses the next time you hit the slopes.
1) Book Early
The easiest way to save big on your family ski adventure is to book early. Look for deals and discounts then book them as soon as possible – lift tickets, airfares, lodging, lessons. The sooner you book, the better deal you’ll get!
2) Deals & Discounts
- Check internet discount ski lift ticket sites. Several internet sites that specialize in lift ticket sales will let you know when various resorts are running specials.
- Buy online from the resort. Individual ski resort website often offers special discount online deals.
- Buy your tickets from local retailers. Both local retail shops and major outlets often partner with ski resorts to sell discounted tickets. You can often get a special discount lift ticket price at the local grocery store, gas station or sporting goods store.
3) Student, Military or Senior ID
Many resorts offer discounts to children, students, military and/or seniors. (Children’s ticket prices typically end at age 12). Some areas even offer super-senior tickets as well. Be sure that you or anyone in your group that qualifies brings the proper ID to take advantage of these deals.
4) Special Kids Programs
January is “Learn to Ski or Snowboard Month”. It’s nationwide program that offers great beginner packages that allow you to learn skiing and snowboarding from a pro. Special discount packages are offered that include lift tickets, rentals, and lessons at a bargain cost. Find more info at: http://learntoskiandsnowboard.org/special-programs/jan-info
Several states (including Colorado, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and a few others) have statewide programs that enable kids at a certain age to ski free or extremely cheap. That age is typically 3rd thru 6th graders. Many resorts have followed with variations on this theme of allowing kids to ski free or at a deep discount. Check with the resort you’re planning to visit.
5) Visit Smaller Resorts
The big resorts know how to pamper their guests. But level of service can come with a high price. There are many great smaller low-profile options in North America. These areas generally have a more down-home vibe, cheaper prices and smaller crowds. Visiting smaller ski areas can be a great trip. Plus, you’ll meet a lot of locals.
6) Multi-Area Passes
Corporations that own several ski resorts often permit unlimited use at some or all of their properties. These programs include Epic Pass, IKON, Mountain Collective, POWDR, Colorado Ski Country – just to name a few.
For example, several of Colorado’s smaller ski areas have banned together to offer a discount card for use at 11 smaller Colorado ski areas called the Colorado Gems Card. The card provides you the choice of either two 2-for-1 lift tickets or deep discounts two off lift tickets at participating resorts.
At nearly every ski area you’ll find friendly people on the sidelines offering treats or advice. They always seem to be smiling. Perhaps it’s because they get to ski for free. If you’re vacationing longer than two weeks (or a making several shorter trips over the entire season), you may be able score a free pass for volunteering.
8) Become a Best Friend
Many ski areas encourage employees and season pass-holders to bring friends by offering a discounted ticket prices.
9) Ski In Spring
If you can plan your ski adventure until the late in the season you can score some sweet end-of-season deals. You’ll pay much less for the same experience.
10) Ski Local
Don’t overlook local mountains. You can experience a great ski trip and save a lot on flights and travel time. Wherever you live, there are sure to be If you hidden gems in your home state.
11) Season Passes
If you’re planning a long trip (or even a few short ones) investigate purchasing a season pass prices – especially if kids are part of the equation. It may take along stay or at least a few short ones to make it pay. Do the math. You might see some major savings.
12) Find A Package Deal
Whether you’re planning a luxury trip or you’re on a tight a budget, you can find a package deal. These deals tailor to a wide variety of needs. There are even deals that will cater to hobbies, lifestyles, and interests. Tours can be inclusive (including everything from air fare, to lodging, to lift tickets, to rental cars, to massages) or as bare-bones as you want.
Conclusion for Saving on Lift Tickets
Regardless of your budget, you can have a great ski adventure and still save money. No matter what, there’s a deal out there for you. Find it and have a great time.