It’s undeniable that skiing and snowboarding are some of the most fulfilling things you can do. Unfortunately, snow sport’s high-cost results can leave you with a empty wallet and it can be hard to save money skiing. This rapid rate of inflation can be found all over the US in everything from lift tickets to gear to lodging.
While it might be beginning to feel like skiing or snowboarding is becoming something only the rich and powerful can enjoy, here are five ways to save money when going skiing or snowboarding.
1. Get a Season Pass
While some people only go skiing or snowboarding once or twice a year, it’s far more common that skiers and riders find themselves on the slopes for at least a week a year. However, if you are buying a day pass every single time you’re basically just throwing money away.
2. Buy Used Gear
Alongside a sharp rise in ticket prices, skis, boots, boards, and the rest of your gear is exploding in costs. From the Chicago Tribune – the cost of a pair of skis in 1979 was $150 or roughly $600 in today’s money. Today a pair of skis can cost $1000 plus. Add bindings at $200 plus, all the snow gear at $400 plus, $500 plus boots, and you’re looking at over $2000 before you even pack up the car.
Good ski or snowboarding gear can last a lifetime and while living in the internet age, good used gear can only be a click away. Some gear will be better than others and some websites or Facebook Marketplaces ads will be more trustworthy than others; so always do your homework and inspect the gear before you buy. However, an afternoon spent browsing the used gear websites or marketplace listings could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run.
3. Pack a Lunch and Bring Snacks
Lodge and restaurant food are spectacular, there’s no denying that. The bill on the other hand is less so. If you were to spend $10 on at a café in the morning, $30-40 dollar for a meal at lunch, and a $6 afternoon drink before driving home or heading to the hotel for just ten ski days, you would be spending an average of $700 a year on food and drinks alone.
4. Skip the Lift Pass and Buy Skins or a Splitboard
This is for the more hardcore skiers or snowboarders and isn’t allowed everywhere but uphill skiing is the easiest way to save up to $1000 on a lift pass a year. However, wait, what is uphill skiing? Isn’t the point to go down? Well, uphill skiing is exactly as it sounds.
A skier takes a special piece of gear called, “skins” (a piece of special cloth that grips the snow in one direction and slides in the other) ties them on their skis, and can use them to ski uphill without sliding back. This process works for anyone using a splitboard as well. With a pair of skins, you just avoid the lifts altogether and hike to the summit for a free or heavily discounted day of skiing or snowboarding.
Be aware there are some critical caveats to this tip. Not every resort allows uphill skiing and there can be penalties, fines, and blacklisting to anyone that breaks their policies, so if the resort doesn’t have an uphill policy, DO NOT skin uphill. Another important fact of uphill skiing is that the resorts that do allow the practice often have different rules and areas where they allow it. ALWAYS check with the resort and local ski patrol for the specifics of their uphill policy.
5. Stay in Hostels not Hotels
Lodging is by far one of the most expensive aspects of any ski trip. Of course, this heavily depends on the type of ski trip you are taking and who is in your group, however, if you take an average of $400 a night for a ski hotel and a weekend away is $1200 off the bat. Hostels are often $30-60 a night for a dorm bed and usually $80-150 for a private room.
For those of you who don’t know, hostels usually have a common room where people go to socialize, drink, learn new information about the area and make new ski or snowboard buddies. Often hostels have kitchens to cook your own food so you’ll be saving additional money in one simple choice. By cooking your own breakfast and lunch, going out in the Village has never been more affordable.
Cutting Skiing Lodging Costs to Save Money Skiing
Silverton is a local Colorado mountain town where a lot of workers from the ski resorts live. Silverton has a wide variety of options. Ranging from a hostel and simple lodges to budget hotels and townhomes that won’t cost an arm and leg.
All in all, while the Ritz Carton is a nice place, you’re there for the snow, skiing, and the great outdoors so save your money and stay in the hostels and family-run lodges in the local communities just outside of the resort. Your wallet, and these communities will thank you.
Ever since humans figured out how to stand on wooden planks and slide down snow we haven’t wanted to stop. Implement some of these tips and it won’t be your wallet stopping you from taking your well-deserved ski or snowboard days.
Know any other tips to save money skiing, comment down below!