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    15 Budget Ski Trip Hacks That'll Save You A Ton Of Money

    Skiing and snowboarding aren’t cheap. These tips help.

    1. Be smart about when you book.

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    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.

    3. Search out an all-inclusive ski trip.

    4. Stay one town over.

    5. Book the trip with a group — then cram.

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    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.

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    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.

    8. Go retro.

    9. Skip the on-mountain hot chocolate and BYO snacks instead.

    10. Buy lift tickets online and in advance.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

    14. Do something other than ski.

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    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.

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    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.