4 Ways To Save Money On Your Next Ski Trip

By: Aaron Jochum

It's becoming ever more expensive to plan an enjoyable, inexpensive ski trip. Ski ticket prices are going through the roof. For a one day pass, you'll pay $69 at Banff, $78 at Mammoth, $82 at Aspen, and over $80 at Keystone. Hotels and condo rentals aren't getting any cheaper either.

But there are still time honored ways of saving money on ski trips if you plan ahead.

1. Make Your Ski Plans Early

The best ski bargains for the winter come in the spring. And it's mostly true that the good deals go first. Running a ski resort is a risky business because you are depending on a certain number of snow days in order for the season to be profitable. Trusting in the weather is a big risk. To offset that risk a bit, in the spring, many ski resorts will offer deep discounted tickets for the upcoming fall season. That way they guarantee themselves a cushion and are able to survive if a season is particularly bad from a snow standpoint.

In addition, many ski resorts will not only offer ticket discounts. They will also offer air fare and room discounts.

Buying early is a bit of a risk, of course. Your plans may change, emergencies may pop up and so on. But these days with all the different avenues to resell tickets and vacation packages, the risk is probably minimal.

2. Make Your Ski Plans late

Ski resorts and hotels hate last minute cancellations, but they are a business fact of life. If you are in a position to leave your vacation plans flexible, you can take advantage of their misfortune. In fact, an entire business model has sprung up around the idea of packaging last minute deals for customers. You can find many sites on the Internet selling last minute deals. Even a multi-million dollar company like Travelocity has a special section on their site where they offer "Last Minute Packages".

3. Find Yourself Some Ski Coupons

This is so easy and almost painless. Many online companies have very nicely put together great package deals that they are willing to offer you if you simply print and use their coupon. You can find discount coupons for lift tickets, lodging and accommodations, season passes, ski classes, travel, restaurants and almost any vacation activity you can think of.

4. Take Your Ski Vacation Off Season

If you want the best deals, go when the crowds are at low ebb. For ski resorts, the beginning of the ski season and the tail end of the ski season are their low points. These are the times when you can find the best deals. Also from a purely sports standpoint, these are the times when you'll get the most ski runs in for your money. Do you hate long ski lines? Well you won't be waiting 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or more in line waiting to go up the ski lift. You'll make your downhill run and ski directly back to the lift with no waiting.

These, of course, are not the only ways to save money on your ski vacation. They are simply some of the easiest ones to take advantage of without much effort and inconvenience on your part.

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Aaron Jochum is a freelance writer who writes articles relating to skiing travel, esp. taking an inexpensive ski vacation in Colorado, skiing tips, and skiing resources. Visit his site at www.skiwhat.com .

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