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Ways to cut costs on ski vacations

SmarterTravel

It’s too easy to go over your budget on a ski trip, but with a little advance planning and know-how you can keep costs reasonable. Here are some strategies:

  • Book early—you may be able to take advantage of early-booking discounts and you’ll certainly have more options for hotels, flights, and the like.
  • Most resorts divide their ski season into segments based on popularity. If you can travel during less popular times, especially the beginning or end of the season, you’ll pay less for lodging and lift tickets.
  • Look for smaller alternatives to the big resorts. Often the smaller resorts will not only offer lower lift ticket prices, but also free lessons, free kids’ passes, and other perks to attract more skiers.
  • Some airlines run kids-fly-free deals when you book air-and-hotel packages to popular ski resorts. Currently, Steamboat resort in Colorado is promoting kids-fly-free packages through United, American, and Northwest. United also has similar deals with Crested Butte, Jackson Hole, and Vail/Beaver Creek.
  • Look for discounted hotel packages, sometimes including free nights or lift tickets, on Ski.com, a large online ski travel seller.
  • Browse discount sites such as Skicoupons.com and Discount Lift Tickets to search for coupons and other savings at resorts around the country.

Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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