Skiing On A Budget With Preteens
Source: Tween Parent Staff
The dilemma: you have less money in the bank, your financial future is not as secure as it was last year, but your kids are pushing for a ski vacation. Truth be told, you'd also love time skiing with your family. Yes, ski vacations can be expensive, but they are a great way to spend time together. With this in mind, TweenParent.com has come up with some tips to stretch your dollar while enjoying time on the slopes with your preteens.
Getting and Staying There
- Free is the Key - If you are willing to travel mid-week, some airlines have free seats for kids 12 and under. Resorts often offer free lift tickets for the 12 and under set as well as other deals. Remember to ask, since what is offered is not always advertised.
- Go Off-Peak - It's all about supply and demand. Less demand, means better deals.
- Look for Package Deal Discounts - Lots of ski-resorts and travel web sites offer better rates by bundling hotel, flight and lift tickets into a single package.
- Go for Less Time - Instead of booking a one to two week vacation, spend three to four days skiing. Think quality not quantity.
- Plan Ahead - Booking early often gives you better rates on airline tickets, hotels and car rentals.
- It Never Hurts to Ask - Inquire if the hotel you want to stay at offers a better rate than what is advertised. Don't forget to explore options like AAA or corporate discounts.
- Be Less Popular - By considering less sought-after ski destinations you may be able to lower the cost of your lift ticket. The resort may offer fewer amenities, but that also means less temptation to spend money. The hidden benefit, the slopes will be less crowded.
- Drive Baby Drive - Save money by skiing close to home. Aside from the size of your trunk, there are no restrictions on luggage and you can pack your own supplies.
- Super Size - Share a large condo with another family to help amortize the cost of accommodations and food.
Save Money on the Mountain
- Eat In - Meals in the condo are often more relaxing for kids than eating at restaurants. Remember to share the work. After all, you're on vacation too!
- Pack Snacks - Fill ski jacket pockets with treats to keep you going. Raisins, crackers, energy bars and chocolate are good options.
- Lunch Money - Bring sandwiches to the mountain for lunch. You'll save a fortune and won't miss much. Gourmet dining is not the phrase that comes to mind when thinking of ski resort cafeterias.
- Rent Local - Some of the benefits of renting skis at a local ski shop are smaller crowds, better quality gear and discounted prices. In fact, kids are sometimes free. Ask your hotel or search the web for ski shops near your resort. Rent Skis, Pinnacle Ski & Sports and Forerunner Ski Shop are some of the options we found.
Value Means Making Good Choices
- Schlep Less - Opting for "ski in/ski out" is often money well spent. The benefits? You avoid carrying all your ski gear in and out of the resort, early morning runs are an option, plus it's easier to eat in and save money.
- Ski Concierge - If staying slope side is not an option, you may want to consider using the mountain concierge service to store your skis. Again, convenience is king.
- Travel Light - If you are traveling by plane, consider renting your skis at the mountain. The new airline restrictions on luggage may make it cheaper and worth the convenience to rent at your destination.
- Get Traction - When renting a car request four-wheel drive or snow tires.
- Lessons Learned - Free lift tickets are often offered as one of the benefits of taking lessons. Remember to book in advance as lessons often fill up.
Plan Your Ski Trip
Share your ideas with other parents about how to save money on a ski vacation: Travel section of the TweenParent Community