While summer is traditionally considered vacation season, winter tends to be a great time for a ski getaway. However, between lift tickets, accommodations, travel and ski equipment, the cost involved could be pricey. These five tips can help lower the tab for arranging a ski vacation, leaving more money available for getting out on the slopes.
1. Book Early if Possible
As a general rule of thumb, it’s better to book your travels as early as possible in order to get the best deals. This is especially true for trips to popular ski destinations. Many hotels allow travelers to book months in advance, while cruise ships allow you to book as much as 18 months in advance. Additionally, many destinations offer bargain prices for booking early. On the other hand, waiting too long to make travel arrangements may mean getting locked out of the best deals, or finding that flights and hotels for desired dates are sold out.
2. Avoid National and Local Holidays
It’s a well-known fact that traveling around national holidays is an expensive proposition. The same is true for local holidays in domestic or foreign destinations. Airfare and especially hotel accommodations can skyrocket during periods when locals are taking time off. On the other hand, traveling when the local population is working often translates to uncrowded hotels and restaurants — and lower prices on travel and accommodations.
3. Shop Winter Clothing Sales
Conventional wisdom states that the best time to buy winter gear is during the summer. But if you take a look inside your closet and determine that your winter coat won’t cut the mustard for your winter ski trip, then it’s high time to buy a new one.
Plus, a new winter parka or jacket will not only help you look great but also keep you warm and toasty on the slopes or at an après ski gathering. Fortunately, sales on cold-weather clothing can often be found during the winter. After all, that’s when stores are clearing out inventory for spring fashions.
4. Check Out Last-Minute Specials
After weeks of being cooped up inside due to cold temperatures and snow, venturing outside only to go to work, school or the grocery store will undoubtedly allow cabin fever to set in. If that’s the case, a last-minute getaway can be just what the doctor ordered, although it may be potentially pricey.
When booking last-minute travel, the internet is an invaluable tool. Don’t be afraid to shop around on multiple sites like Hotwire, Last Minute Travel, Google Flights or Momondo. Traveling mid-week rather than on the weekend and booking red-eye flights are also smart money-saving strategies.
5. Get Expert Advice
While it’s possible to book every aspect of a vacation as a DIY project, consulting with a travel advisor is one of the smartest money-savings travel strategies you can undertake. Professional travel advisors have connections with hotels, tour packages and attractions that everyday people don’t have. A travel advisor can score great bargains on hotel accommodations, as well as make reservations at trendy restaurants and secure tickets for popular museums and entertainment venues.
While many people think of sandy beaches and waves when it comes to vacations, winter getaways are often just as much fun. A ski trip or a weekend getaway to the mountains can be the ideal cure for a bad case of cabin fever. Booking early and choosing the right dates are smart strategies for saving money. However, it’s also possible to save money on last-minute travel. Consulting with a travel professional can relieve much of the stress of vacation planning, leaving more money on the table to purchase a sharp winter parka or jacket for hitting the slopes!