By contributing writer Laura
Skiing is a fun winter activity, but the costs can add up when you consider ski lift fees, equipment rental, plus travel and lodging expenses. If you’ve been itching to hit the slopes but have been balking at the prices, check out these ways to save on ski trips.
1. Ski Free
At participating ski resorts in California, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan, you can earn a free ski lift ticket with purchase of 10 gallons of gas at Shell stations during early January through mid April. Visit SkiFreeDeals.com to see a list of participating resorts and find out more about the Ski Free offer.
This site offers lift ticket deals at hundreds of ski resorts across North America, Europe, South America, and Australia. Liftopia.com offers a variety of deals, with options for the biggest savings when you choose a specific date in advance that is non-refundable and non-changeable. They also offer discounts for lift tickets that offer more flexibility, allowing a one-time date change or unlimited date changes during the season.
3. Get Ski Tickets
You can grab US & Canadian lift ticket deals by visiting GetSkiTickets.com. They offer steep discounts up to 60% off lift tickets, plus you can find discounts on season passes, lessons, and even ski rentals.
4. Sliding on the Cheap
Another great resource for finding cheap ski and snowboard deals is SlidingontheCheap.com. This site covers Colorado, Utah, Lake Tahoe, Southern California, Pacific Northwest, and New England resorts.
Avoid investing in your own ski equipment or paying pricey rental fees at the resort. Plan ahead and rent skis directly from owners who list their skis, snowboards, and bicycles for rent on Spinlister.com. You can search for items to rent in your area, and after requesting an item from a listing, you can coordinate rental pick-up.
6. Free Kid Passes
Some resorts offer free lift tickets for children with purchase of an adult several-day pass. If you are planning a family trip, be sure to research the ski resorts in your area and call to ask if they offer any discounts for children. I’ve heard some participating resorts are located in Colorado, North Carolina, and Montana.
Also look for state-offered ski deals to students in certain grades. For example, 4th and 5th graders can apply for free ski passes in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, 3rd and 4th graders in New York, 5th graders in Vermont, and 5th and 6th graders in Utah.
These passport/pass offers vary by state. Some are good for free lift tickets from 3-days to the entire winter season, and they range in price from $0 to $45 covering processing fees. Some states require that students be residents of the state to participate in the free ski program while others do not require that, so read the fine print.
What other ways do you like to save money on ski trips? Leave a comment and share your tips!