Equipment, gear, lodging, lift tickets. The costs can add up.
But do not despair! There are still simple ways to ski on a budget. Ladies and gentlemen, don your Guy Fawkes mask: It's time to democratize skiing with these six ways for saving big bucks this season.
1. Rent Your Gear in Advance
Some rental shops encourage customers to commit to renting their gear in advance by offering 15- to 25-percent discounts if you reserve your gear online before getting there. Not only will you get cheaper skis and boards, but you and your group can avoid the hassle of filling out paperwork in the shop as you sweat through your turtleneck.
In fact, in many ski areas, you can skip the lines completely and have an affordable ski package delivered directly to you from great companies like Black Tie Ski Rentals.
2. Bring Your Own Lunch
This is a time-honored tactic of the thrifty skier.
Next time you hit the slopes, consider stopping by a grocery store beforehand and whipping up a sammy or two. You'll find that a square sandwich will fit perfectly in most of your pockets.
Pro Tip: When ordering your sandwich, avoid adding the mustard and mayo as it could get seriously messy in your jacket or pack! When it's time for lunch, simply grab some free condiment packets from the mountain grill and enjoy.
3. Plan to Ski and Ride Mid-Week
Lodging can be one of the most expensive aspects of your ski vacation. The easiest way to save is to avoid making reservations on weekends.
Hotels are more affordable mid-week, so if you have the opportunity to ski on a Wednesday, take it. Not only will you be saving money, but the slopes will be less crowded as well.
4. Try a New Mountain
Some mountains are destinations for high rollers and celebrities. If you're looking to save a few bucks, we suggest trying a smaller, local mountain that you've never been to before.
Lifts tickets will most likely be more affordable, and so will lodging, food, and beer. Some great examples include Solitude in Utah (Solitude lift tickets up to 23-percent off when booked in advance) and Mad River Glen in Vermont (Mad River Glen lift tickets up to 61-percent off).
5. Consider Renting Your Apparel (Or Buying It Used)
This is particularly important if you have growing kiddos who shed their snowsuits every season. Buying new ski clothes is often times not cost-effective if you or your family are occasional skiers.
You can rent your ski apparel from sites like GetOutfitted. They'll even ship it to your resort or from a local shop that offers apparel on site.
Another option, although it may require a little more effort, is to find great deals on used ski apparel through eBay or Craigslist and at local gear consignment shops (one of our favorites in Colorado is Mountain Equipment Recyclers).
Be sure to pick up a bottle of Nikwax or other outdoor apparel cleaner/waterproofer to make sure the used apparel you pick up is fresh and ready!
6. Buy Your Lift Tickets in Advance
Don't let lift ticket prices scare you! When you purchase your lift tickets in advance on Liftopia.com, you can save up to 80 percent. Worried your trip details may change? Value Plus and Flexible tickets now give you the flexibility to change your ticket date once or multiple times up to a few days before your arrival.
The cost of skiing likely isn't going to come down anytime soon, but hopefully with these tips and a little research beforehand, you can be out on the slopes without breaking the bank.
About GetOutfitted: GetOutfitted is a web service that rents ski apparel, equipment, and accessories and delivers directly to your doorstep or resort. They offer a selection of premium brands such as Patagonia, Marmot, Smith, GoPro and more. Visit them on the web at GetOutfitted.com and be sure to follow them on Facebook.