Spring skiing doesn’t have to break the bank. If you plan ahead, your next spring family vacation at a ski resort can be affordable. Read on for our tips for finding affordable spring skiing.
Tips for Finding Affordable Spring Skiing
Some like it hot; others prefer bundling up for their spring break. For the latter, a spring break skiing vacation often tops the list as a favorite. But family ski resorts can be a downhill plunge when it comes to your pocketbook.
If you’ve got moguls and bumps on your mind, you can still hit the slopes without taking a hit in your wallet with these tips for finding an affordable spring skiing vacation. And to help you get there, here are our tips for packing for a ski trip.
1. Choose Affordable Ski Resorts
Save some money without sacrificing your spring skiing experience by skipping the mega-resort ski towns. Home of the Winter X Games, Aspen (Colorado) has a world-class skiing reputation, but it comes with a price tag. That cost for the 2019-2020 season is $179 for single-day adult lift tickets, while Vail, Colorado, is $209. Lake Tahoe’s lift ticket is $179. On the east coast, Stowe Mountain Resort lift tickets are more affordable start at $94 regular season, adult single day. Multiply by a family of 4, then mix in accommodations, meals, and the daily price tag of spring skiing just collected a few extra zeroes.
If Aspen, Vail, Lake Tahoe, Whistler Blackcomb, or any of the best ski resorts are on your skiing bucket list, then you can also save money by purchasing multi-day lift tickets and/ or purchasing in advance, usually at least 7 days.
If you’re looking for spring skiing on the cheap – and shorter lift lines – consider resorts off-the-beaten-path, or consider booking late spring or toward the end of closing dates. We’ve had some of our best skiing experiences after snowstorms bring in white powder for pristine spring conditions. You won’t sacrifice the experience and you won’t break your budget.
When planning your ski trip, keep in mind that ski season varies depending on the different areas of the country, and late season spring skiing conditions depend on snowfall, snowpack and snow conditions.
Colorado Spring Skiing Vacation
The Colorado Rockies can still be your spring skiing destination, as ski resorts off-the-beaten-path offer all levels of skiing without the stiff price. Just 30 miles from Aspen, get your spring ski on at Sunlight Mountain Resort at more than half the price (daily ticket price is just $45). Bonus: you’ll get hundreds of acres of varied terrain, including one of the steepest runs in the state and the longest beginner slope in Colorado ski country.
Walk-up single-day adult tickets at the following North American resorts are all under $90: Colorado’s Granby Ranch – $89; nearby Winter Park where single-day adult lift tickets are $134; and located near Toronto, Canada’s Big White – window price is $109. Several Utah Ski resorts offer single-day adult tickets at $80 or less.
New Mexico Spring Ski Vacation
Located in New Mexico’s southern Rockies at more than 8,600 feet elevation and a couple of hours from the Albuquerque airport, Angel Fire Resort boasts lift tickets of $77. Taos Ski Valley offers single day lift tickets at $110. And always for the best deal, pre-purchase lift tickets at least 7 days ahead of time online.
Come on, half the fun of skiing is doing it at least two days in a row! For example, at Aspen/Snowmass in Colorado, you can save $10 per day for 2 and 3-day lift tickets; four or more days save $20 per day.
Liftopia is also an overall good online source for discounts, giving as much as 50 percent off. Also, check out the ski resort’s website. Often times, there are ongoing deals for multi-day and mid-week tickets.
2. Bundle Your Savings
Ski vacation packages are another savings waiting for the spring breaker. Most resorts call these Ski & Stay Packages, and include your accommodations and lift tickets. Bundling your vacation experience can result in up to 50% savings.
When you know you’re planning multi-day spring skiing at a particular resort, consider purchasing in advance season passes, as these also offer great opportunities to take advantage of spring snow and powder days for skiers.
Begin your one-stop spring break vacation shopping at Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA), an association representing 22 Colorado ski & snowboard resorts. The list here is updated frequently and includes discounts on beginners, lift tickets and accommodations.
You can also discover these Ski & Stay springtime deals on all the best ski resorts’ websites. Colorado’s Sunlight Mountain Resort partners with nearby Glenwood Springs to create “Ski Swim Stay” packages taking advantage of the world’s largest hot springs pool.
3. Budget-Friendly Accommodations
Skip the pricey slopeside accommodations and discover a definite decrease in your cost, especially when staying more than one night. Vacation home rentals offer affordable spring skiing vacation options for families or groups. Condo rentals are also another way to save money on your spring skiing family vacation. You’ll also save money when cooking meals in your full kitchen, and there are deals for accommodations near the village of the resorts and facing slopes near the ski area.
Vacation Rental Companies (VRBO, AirBnB, HomeAway and more) offer a long list of vacation rentals in ski resort towns. A Google search for ski deals in Lake Tahoe resulted in this: 50 Heavenly Ski Resort Vacation Rentals from $54/night. Recently, we also saved with our super-sized multigenerational family of 22 by renting the Overlook, a sprawling home in Grand Lake, Colorado.
If you’re traveling with a large family or several families, the cost savings will be immediate.
4. Drive, Don’t Fly
Affordable spring skiing goes down the tube when you fly the skies with your family of four. If you’re lucky enough to live close enough to a ski destination, take a look at your own backyard, and drive, don’t fly. The bonus is road trips are another fun family bonding opportunity.
Read More: Road Trip Apps & Tips for Tweens and Teens
5. Sit Back & Relax — Let a Travel Agent Do the Work
Already exhausted by the endless searching for deals? Contact a travel agent, who will have the inside track to many deals – and it won’t cost you any more than if you booked it yourself. You’ll save all the time as you won’t be spending hours searching the Internet. A travel agent also has access to thousands of accommodations at all different price points available at the click of her keyboard.
Money might be tight, but with these money-saving tips to find your affordable spring break skiing vacation, you can still afford to take the family to the slopes.