Travel·Posted on Dec 5, 201915 Budget Ski Trip Hacks That'll Save You A Ton Of MoneySkiing and snowboarding aren’t cheap. These tips help.by Evie CarrickBuzzFeed ContributorFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink 1. Be smart about when you book. Somatuscani / Getty Images If you know when to ski, you can save big. During the holidays, spring break, and President’s Day Weekend, everything from lift tickets to lodging is more expensive — plus you have to deal with the crowds. But if you book a trip during the early season (opening day to mid-December) or the spring, you can save money and enjoy shorter lift lines. 2. Avoid big-name resorts. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com / Via instagram.com Everyone wants to ski Deer Valley or Aspen, but you’ll pay for the luxurious, big-name resort experience at every turn. Meanwhile, Wolf Creek is known for getting the most snow in Colorado but their lift tickets remain a reasonable $76. And if you’re on the East Coast, a lift ticket at upstate New York’s Bristol Mountain is as little as $64. 3. Search out an all-inclusive ski trip. View this photo on Instagram @skiusaofficial / Via instagram.com In most situations, the easy route isn’t cheap. But when it comes to skiing, booking a package deal that includes accommodations, lift tickets, and gear rental (and sometimes flights) can actually be the best bargain. Sites like Ski.com, SnowPak, and SnowVentures sometimes have surprisingly affordable ski packages. 4. Stay one town over. View this photo on Instagram @lenamaerr / Via instagram.com The closer to the ski resort you stay, the more you’ll have to pay. Save a few bucks by booking that shabby-chic condo in the next town over and think of all the ways you can spend it during the bus ride to the resort. 5. Book the trip with a group — then cram. Mccaig / Getty Images / Via instagram.com If your ski crew is willing to take turns crashing on the couch, you can max out the occupancy of your hotel room or Airbnb and spend that money on more important things — like an extra round of cocktails or a late-night pizza run. 6. Forget about flying. Especially budget airlines. Rainstar / Getty Images Flying with ski gear isn’t cheap, nor is renting gear at the resort. With a car, you can pack a cooler full of food, another full of beer, and port your own ski gear (assuming you have it) — without worrying about baggage fees. 7. But if you have to fly — nix the idea of renting a car on arrival. View this photo on Instagram @theextraordinarycompass / Via instagram.com We get it — road tripping to the nearest resort isn't always an option. But flyers should forget about renting a car once they land. Most ski resorts have an affordable (or free) bus system that shuttles skiers to and from the airport, ski area, downtown, and the neighboring areas. Sure, you can spring for a car rental, but you’ll save money (and time finding parking spaces) by taking public transportation. 8. Go retro. View this photo on Instagram @rivawellness / Via instagram.com If you’re always chasing trends you’re gonna end up broke — especially when we’re talking about $700 skis and $300 down jackets. Instead, embrace the retro and own your ‘90s ski gear, or crunch the numbers and consider buying second-hand rather than renting. 9. Skip the on-mountain hot chocolate and BYO snacks instead. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com / Via instagram.com Actually, skip the on-mountain everything. It doesn’t matter if there are unlimited marshmallows and free refills, that $7 hot chocolate or $15 hamburger is a ripoff. All it takes is two minutes to whip up a PB&J and stuff your pockets with trail mix. 10. Buy lift tickets online and in advance. Puflic_senior / Getty Images The days of showing up at the lift ticket office and getting a competitive price are long gone. You’ll almost always find the best prices by buying online and in advance. At some resorts, like Colorado’s Copper Mountain, you can save up to 45 percent just by buying your ticket a day or more in advance. 11. If you’re gonna ski several days, consider a mega pass. Dietermeyrl / Getty Images / Via unsplash.com Even if you buy it well in advance, a Winter Park lift ticket can cost almost $150. But with a $799 investment in the Icon Base Pass, you can ski Winter Park and 12 other resorts as much as you want. The Epic Pass is similar, bundling multiple resorts under a single pass and a flat rate. 12. Stay in and cook. Anne-marte Mundal / Getty Images It may be a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. Eating out is expensive, especially in ski towns where food often has to be trucked over mountain passes, and people are willing to overpay for a basic meal. Save yourself the hassle of waiting for a table in a restaurant you probably can’t afford by making a trip to the local grocery store. 13. Pregame at home, then opt for a cheap beer like PBR. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com If you leave your apartment stone-cold sober for a night out on the town, you’ll wake up broke the next morning. Take a cue from your college years and do the pregaming at home. When you’re out, stick to PBR — it’s the unofficial ski town beer and you can usually find it for cheap. 14. Do something other than ski. Georgeclerk / Getty Images Yep, we said it. Believe it or not, after a couple of days on the mountain, you’ll probably be begging for a break. Sliding down a mountain in the elements can be exhausting — so rather than fork out $100+ for another day of skiing, rent snowshoes or go window shopping. 15. Take advantage of your roommate turned ski bum. Lilkin / Getty Images Everyone has that adrenaline addict friend who spent a winter ski bumming and never came home. Even if you can’t crash on their couch, they’ll surely know the cheapest place to grab a beer.