Cheap Skiing Deals
Posted by March 27, 2014in Travelon
Many people dread the onset of winter. Shorter days, frigid temperatures and frosty windshields can cause people to long for spring. Then there are those who relish winter and all that comes with it. For those people, winter means snow, and snow means hitting the slopes. Winter Sports enthusiast Robbie Williams recently shared with us some of his best tips to finding cheap skiing deals.
Pick your Spot
Obviously picking a destination is a key part of finding cheap skiing deals. Search for top ski destinations and you’ll find beautiful photos of slopes in places like Aspen and Vail. There’s no doubt those destinations offer some of the best skiing in the U.S, but that comes at a premium. If budget is a concern, look into places like Wolf Creek or Loveland in Colorado or Mount Bachelor in Oregon.
“I’ve (been) all over Colorado, including Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, and Loveland,” said Williams. “My favorite place, by far, has been Breckenridge but this was by no means the cheapest. Breckenridge is probably one of the more expensive places I’ve been to, but it’s worth it! The cheapest place I’ve been has either been Loveland or Mount Bachelor.”
Another factor to consider is the timing of the trip. Peak season comes with peak prices. If your schedule is flexible, book toward the beginning or the end of the ski season. The weather can be a bit more unpredictable, but the savings can really add up. Peak season can vary depending on the area you’re traveling to, so do your research.
If you’re flying, book early and shop around. Keep in mind that most ski destinations are not near major airports. “If you’ve never been to Colorado before, it’s important to note that the mountains are actually about 2 hours away from the airport,” says Williams. “Renting a car or using a shuttle service is (almost) always necessary.”
If your skiing party is small, an economy size car should be big enough for you. If you’re in Colorado and traveling in a larger group, Williams suggests a shuttle service called Colorado Mountain Express. This shuttle is usually more expensive than renting a car, but less expensive overall than an SUV. The shuttle offers free Wi-Fi as well as discounts for kids and groups of three or more.
Where to sleep
Hotels, like real estate, follow the rule, location location, location. If you want to roll out of bed and onto the slopes, it’s going to cost you more. The key to finding cheap skiing deals is flexibility. If you’re willing to spend some time in the car before pulling down your goggles, you can save big. “Don’t be afraid to book a hotel that’s 20 minutes away if it’s going to save you $200,” says Williams. Shop around to find the best deal and expand your search to see how much money you can save.
Williams also recommends a website called AirBnb allows travelers to book rooms, apartments, condos or even houses at excellent rates in nearly 200 countries. According to their website, “Airbnb connects people who have space to spare with those looking for a place to stay.” Private individuals offer rooms or condos, etc. and travelers get a place to stay, often at a reduced rate. Williams used this service to book accommodations for his next trip and saved a bundle.
“I found a condo that’s only 100 meters from one of the Breckenridge Ski lifts. Usually rooms go for anywhere from $300-500 a night during this time of year, but this couple hooked it up for only $110 a night!”
Renting a house or condo will also allow you to prepare your own meals which can add up to big savings. You can eat well for an entire weekend for the cost of one meal at a restaurant if you make it yourself.
“The biggest extra cost that novice skiers (often) forget about is lift tickets,” says Williams. “These are usually one of the largest expenses of the trip.”
Depending on where you stay, you may be paying more money for your lift ticket than your hotel room. Williams recommends Liftopia, which offers skiers a one stop shop for discount lift tickets throughout the world.