Save Money When Skiing
Written by G. Tadj Hemingway
Skiing and snowboarding is a whole lot
fun and will give you a desire to come back and do
it again and again. After a while you may notice a
dent in your wallet. Follow our tips below to help
you reduce your costs and continue to have more time
on the hill.
are many ways to save on a lift ticket. One of the
most common ways is, if you plan on skiing at the
same area frequently, to get a season’ pass.
A season pass to a ski resort is a definite savings
over purchasing several day passes. Many ski resorts
have preseason sales on their season passes giving
you an extra savings.
Coupons are another way to save on lift tickets. Many
destination ski resorts will have coupons. These are
often found on the back of personal hygiene items
like disposable razors at the pharmacy. The big resorts
may also have lift ticket coupons at near by grocery
stores, usually at a customer service desk.
Discount passes can also be found online through classified
ads and auction web sites. Sometimes someone else’s
vacation plans fall through and those pre bought passes
will get sold for a discount.
You may already know someone who works for a ski resort.
Many ski areas will have allotted discount or free
passes for their employees to give out. Network. If
you really enjoy skiing you may know someone in the
You can call ahead and speak with the head of Ski
Patrol or Ski School. Tell them you’re interested
in joining. They’ll often give free passes to
those who are interested in becoming a member of their
ranks, with the expectation that you’ll spend
a few hours skiing with them getting a feel for the
trade, then you’ll likely have the rest of the
day to yourself on the hill.
Skiing and snowboarding burns calories; you’ll
get hungry, and eating is another expense. There are
several ways to save on your food budget. Plan
your meals. If you have a small budget, pack a lunch.
It’s very common to see skiers and boarders
carrying backpacks with all their gear including a
tasty lunch. Many packs will have a hydration bladder,
it’s important to stay hydrated when skiing
in higher altitudes to avoid altitude sickness.
A few years ago when I was a teenager I had a great
week in Aspen CO. with only a loaf of bread, a can
of span & mustard from the local grocery store.
If you plan your ski trip well you’ll be eating
better than I did.
If your budget allows for something from the cafeteria
or restaurant know that different locations on the
hill will have different prices and none of them will
have prices as low as fast food restaurants. Many
resorts will have multiple eateries each with their
own menu and prices. There’s usually one at
the base with normal cuisine and average resort prices.
There is also usually a place up the hill with a shorter
menu and higher prices. The food served up the hill
has to be brought up on the chairlift just like you,
so you have to pay for that convenience. Lastly most
resorts will have a fancy restaurant for fine dining,
of course with fancy dining prices.
When going away to ski you’re going to need
a place to stay. There are many discount ski and lodging
packages available that include your room breakfast
and a lift ticket. We’ve been asked by those
who don’t plan on staying at the resort if it
is safe to stay in a car? The answer is maybe. It’s
cold outside during the winter and you need heat.
If you have a RV with heat, you’re set. Otherwise
you can’t run the heat in the average car all
night the emissions can kill you. You’ll need
to be creative. If you can park in a heated parking
structure with a nice sleeping bag you’ll be
OK. I’ve been told you can park over a steaming
manhole in an alley between buildings out of the wind
with a warm sleeping bag. It sounds uncomfortable
so I don’t recommend it. We mentioned earlier
you might have a friend who works at the resort. If
they work there, then they must live near by. A couch
is more comfortable than a car. NOTE: If your friend
gives you a lift ticket and a place to stay, be sure
to do something nice for them: take them out for dinner,
send them a thank
you card. It’s up to you,
be sure to do something or they’re not likely
have you over again.