With a little planning and flexibility, you can have an affordable, fun-filled winter vacation in the snow. From choosing cheaper destinations to taking advantage of deals on lodging, lifts, and ski rentals, there are lots of ways to cut costs without sacrificing the experience.

Snow Adventures

Snow Adventures

Research Transportation and Lodging Deals

One of the biggest expenses for any trip is transportation and lodging. But the winter off-season means there are bargains to be found if you do some digging. Consider flying mid-week when fares tend to be lower, or to alternate airports that are cheaper. Check budget airlines and major carriers for sales.

For accommodations, look at vacation rental sites for condos and cabins that allow you to cook some of your own meals. Local motels and inns also offer winter discounts. If you are willing to avoid peak weekends, last minute hot deals on rooms can pop up too. Bundle your flight and lodging for added savings.

Invest in Discount Lift Tickets

Lift tickets can be pricey, especially at the most popular resorts. But you can save quite a bit by pre-purchasing multi-day passes online ahead of time rather than at the window. Some mountains offer specific discounted tickets if you meet certain qualifications like being a student, senior, or military.

Other money-saving strategies are to ski during mid-week when tickets tend to be cheaper, or to choose smaller, local mountains rather than famous resorts. Consider getting lessons or renting equipment on weekdays as well to take advantage of lower rates.

Rent Equipment Locally or Bring Your Own Gear

Speaking of ski rentals, one smart tip is to always rent skis, boots, snowboards, and helmets from local shops instead of at the resort. The team behind Canyon Sports ski rentals say the difference in daily and weekly ski rental rates can be enormous. Call ahead to inquire about deals and discounts too.

If possible, bring some of your own cold weather apparel like goggles, gloves, or balaclavas to save on costs. For families and groups, consider sharing large items like snowsuits or sleds that can get expensive to rent multiple sets. Every bit of gear you provide yourself means extra money for other vacation fun.

Pack Food and Drink

Nothing busts a budget faster than dropping $10-$15 per person, per meal at the lodge. That’s why packing nutritious snacks and lunches to take slope-side makes sense. Get everyone involved in meal prep and have ready-to-go items like trail mix, protein bars, PB&J sandwiches, soup, and chili in a thermos. Stay hydrated with reusable water bottles instead of buying beverages too.

Not everything has to be homemade. You can pick up pizza, wraps and other hot items from local grocers or restaurants on your way to or from the hill. Just be sure to eat in the car or designated picnic areas since most places do not allow outside food on premises.

Enjoy Low-Cost Evening Activities

To really stretch your entertainment dollars during a winter vacation, take advantage of free night-time activities offered by many mountain communities. Check event calendars and community websites in advance for happenings. The key is planning at least a few nights where the fun doesn’t stop just because the slopes close but is still easy on your wallet.


A dream snow vacation does not mean breaking the bank when you employ savvy saving strategies. From getting vacation package deals to choosing reasonable accommodations, lift tickets and rentals to providing your own meals and non-ski activities, the savings add up quickly. Do your research ahead of time, remain flexible to snag last-minute discounts when possible, and get ready to hit the powder while sticking to your budget.

Comments Off on Budget-Friendly Winter Escapes: How to Save on Snow Adventures

Comments are closed.

Arrange Your Vacation - Your home away.