How to Save $600 on Your Ski Vacation
Major resorts have reported bookings are down for the 2008 – 2009 ski season. With snow already falling in Colorado and other parts of the country, snowbirds are itching to hit the slopes. Skiing is not known as an inexpensive pastime, but this year it’s a buyer’s market and chances are you’re going to pay a lot less for the snowy getaway. Here are a few tips for saving $600 on your next ski vacation.
- Book a package. A Travelocity study shows that booking air + hotel saves an average of $315 when compared to booking the components of your trip separately.
- Take advantage of every promotion. With the difficult economy, destinations and online travel agencies are teaming up to attract customers. For example, Travelocity will offer a $100 off flight + four-night hotel in Colorado starting December 1.
- Get reimbursed for bags. Airlines will charge you to check your skis, but the new trend from ski resorts is to reimburse their visitors for those charges as an incentive to get on a plane and come for vacation. For example — $50 off per person at Vail, $25 off from Steamboat; $30 from Crested Butte.
- Ski for free. Mountains resorts all over the country have various promotions that include free ski passes. For example, in Park City, you can convert your boarding pass to a free-same day lift ticket — about $80 in savings per person. In Crested Butte, a free lift ticket for every night stay for one person – about $60 per day in savings.
- Skip the rental car. Ground transportation to the mountain can often be had at a fraction of the cost. For example, two people on the shuttle from Denver Airport to Beaver Creek, Colorado: $350 RT. SUV five-day rental, about $400 plus gas. Savings: more than $100.
And a few deals to save you even more:
Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member NSXEatr
- Beaver Creek, Colorado: The Beaver Creek Lodge, a 4-star property on the base of the mountain and perfect for families because of its all-suite design, is offering 30 percent off room rates.
- Crested Butte, Colorado: Crested Butte offers a free day of skiing for every day booked at a Crested Butte Mountain resorts.
- Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia: 4th night free at the Crystal Lodge and suites. Plus, Canada is again a good deal for Americans with the dollar gaining strength.
- Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe, California: Free lift ticket and free rentals – during January and February and valid over weekends. Stay three nights & ski or ride two days, and third day of lift, and ski or board rentals is free.
- Vail Resorts – Vail, Beaver Creek, Heavenly, Keystone and Breckenridge – offer a $579 EPIC Pass good for unlimited skiing at all five resorts with no blackout dates. When you consider the cost of a one-day ski pass can be close to $100, this is an amazing deal.
My name: Genevieve Shaw Brown. I also answer to Genny and Gen.
How I earn my keep: I work at Travelocity.
Greatest travel lesson learned: I travel for my job, but I've learned work is work, vacation is vacation, and it's best not to try and do both on one trip.
Fondest travel memory: There are so many... but a recent experience was being totally jet-lagged and waking up pre-dawn in Koh Samui, Thailand, and watching the sun rise with my husband on the beach. We talked about what all our friends and family were doing at that very same moment as the sun set back home in New York.
First thing I do in a new place: Peruse the local restaurants and map out my dining strategy for the duration of my trip. Dining strategy = eating at as many restaurants as humanly possible.
First thing I do when I get home: Put a push pin on the destination I just returned from on the map of the world that hangs on the wall above my couch.
Travel ambition: To cover that map completely in push pins.
My most beloved place in the whole world: Cockle Cove Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts.