Life and travel are about choices: choosing where to go, choosing when to go, choosing how to go. There is not always a “right” or “wrong” choice, but there are something less expensive, more budget friendly choices. When it comes to snow sports, this Florida girl is no expert. So, we have collaborated with other travelers to bring you tips on how to explore more in the snow while spending less.
Tis the season to go skiing, or snowboarding or even sledging but winter sports are expensive, right? Not necessarily. Although winter sports, skiing, in particular, are often seen as a luxury sport/vacation for the well-off and well-to-do, it is possible to hit the slopes on a shoestring – you just have to put your savvy hat on and find ways of cutting down on your expenses. To get you started, here are some things you can do to ski for less:
Low-Cost Clothing – If you’re not a regular skier or snowboarder, then the cheapest way to kit yourself out with all of the ski clothing you’ll need to stay warm, safe and comfortable on the lopes is by borrowing it from a ski-loving friend. If you can’t do that, then instead of heading to you local ski store or outdoor clothing places, check discount stores like TJ Maxx and even places like Walmart, which often have at least some of the things (hats, gloves, warm jackets) that you’ll need at a fraction of the price the ski set are probably paying for it.
Rent Your Equipment – Vail Ski Rentals start at $52.00 a day, and a set of skis can cost hundreds of dollars, even for the cheaper models, so it makes sense if you aren’t committed to regular winter sports vacations, to rent your equipment, whether it be skis, snowboards or sledges. Obviously, if you do plan to make it a regular thing, then you’ll be better off investing in the equipment you need for keeps.
Don’t Go in December – December might be the month that you most associate with all things snowy and cold as a traveler, but if you want to get a cheap winter sports break, then January-March is usually the best time because there is a little less demand then – the kids are back at school, and the desire for winter sporting fun isn’t quite as high as it is early in the winter.
Pick a Package Deal – When you’re booking your snowboarding trip, it’s a good idea to choose a package deal, where catering is included in the deal. Why? Because eating out in a lot of ski resorts, even the cheaper ones, can be pretty expensive, especially when compared to these kind of package deals. At the very least, consider hiring a private chalet. This will enable you to cook affordable food for yourself.
Choose a Budget Resort – Skiing might conjure up images of decadent lodges where you can recline with the finest wines, take a sauna and rub shoulders with the rich and famous, but it doesn’t have to be like that, and for most of us it won’t be. If it’s winter sports on a shoestring you require, then there is no shortage of budget resorts, that although they aren’t Whistler or Cloisters, are great places too, y’know get down to it and have fun on the slopes. Gora, located in Slovenia and Sestriere in Italy are two good examples of budget resorts that deliver fun and, yes a little of the luxury (although on a much smaller scale) than some of the big names.
Have fun in the snow!