Ski travel is an essential part of our sport, even if you’re skiing on a budget, be it chasing a storm cycle or visiting a new mountain range and ski resorts. If you plan on traveling, be flexible with your dates and timeframe and note that even the cheapest lodging and airfare will be more expensive during busy times of year, like the holidays, President’s Day weekend, etc. Similarly, if you travel in the spring, there are often hotel and lift ticket deals given the lack of usual crowds.
If you plan on flying, pack tight to avoid baggage fees: https://4frnt.com/blogs/blog/ski-trip-checklist, and visit smaller resorts and mountain towns. Also be mindful of how expensive it’s to get there. Visiting the less elaborate ski resorts will not only save money on lift tickets, but also hotels/AirBnB’s, and food.
If flying isn’t an option, a road trip is a more amenable to planning a ski trip on a budget. It opens up more possibilities, rather than being constrained by airline fees and the potential hardships of getting around without a truck/car—that is unless you’re in Europe where they are experts at moving skiers around.
“If you’re driving, do as much grocery shopping as you can beforehand,” says Team Rider Jake Doan. “It’s easy to fall into the trap of not having meals prepared, and you end up spending more money eating out. Also, get an AirBnB with a kitchen, you will save you lots during a trip.” Similar to sniffing out cheap lift ticket prices while at your home mountains, pre purchasing your lift tickets before you travel is a good idea. Also, not staying slope side and taking public transportation will help a great deal in saving money.
All in all, it’s entirely possible to execute a ski season and skiing lifestyle on a budget. It revolves around being flexible and spending money where it’s needed without superfluous costs. Those savings will help in the long run too, as photographer and Team Rider Sam Watson explains, having extra money helped replace some sketchy bindings he bought on consignment one year—from a pro skier no less... So do a little math, don’t hurt your brain too much, and figure out how to maximize your shredding over being stuck at work.