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Resource Guide: Ski on a Budget

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Skiing has long been known as a “rich” activity that requires a significant investment in equipment and travel. Nowadays, budget-friendly resorts and ski rentals have made this winter sport more accessible to everyone, regardless of budget constraints.

The following resources will help you get started on planning a ski trip (locally or abroad) that won’t bust the bank.

General Tips

  • funny-friends-snowboards-skis-group-happy-excited-smiling-men-women-wearing-goggles-standing-mountains-39410787Hitting the Slopes: This guide from a U.K.-based publication gives some local information on great European ski resorts that don’t “break the budget.”
  • 4 Easy Ways to Save on Ski Trips: These simple tips can save hundreds of dollars by helping you package your ski trip, find discount lift tickets and more.
  • 6 Steps to a Cheap Ski Vacation: Use these ideas to bring down the total cost of a ski vacation. One especially useful tip is avoiding popular megaresorts.
  • http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-freestyle-skis-image13411036Skiing on a Budget: From gear to lodging and lift tickets, this article has advice on how to plan an inexpensive ski vacation.
  • How to Ski on a Backpacker’s Budget: By travelling with a group and bringing your own food, you can save hundreds while still experiencing a 5-star ski vacation.
  • old-wooden-skis-snow-vertical-360170866 Tips to Save Money on a Ski Vacation: These helpful ideas will help no matter where you plan on skiing. Ideas include traveling during the off-season and borrowing equipment.
  • Budget Skiing: Choosing a hotel higher to the peak will cost you more. Also make sure to establish your budget for après-ski food and drinks.

Basics of Skiing

  • Top 10 Tips for Beginners: Here are some basic tips for first-time skiers to help keep balance, control speed and adjust direction.
  • http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-couple-skis-snow-portrait-men-women-smiling-image35459686How to Ski: 29 Steps: Learn the absolute basics with this illustrated guide. You’ll need to know the rules of the slopes as well as how to properly put your skis on.
  • Skiing Tips for Beginners: This final beginner’s article will help you understand the proper attire, skin protection, and other things needed to have a safe, fun time.

Places to Ski

  • 12 Ski Resort Vacations for Every Budget: From Forbes, here’s a list of budget-friendly ski resorts around the United States, from California to Montana.
  • http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-happy-couple-skis-portrait-image35287036Ski Utah on a Budget: Learn some tips to help you save money on airfare, car rental, lift fees and more to make your Utah ski trip more affordable.
  • Ski Trip Discounts on 3 Continents: Here are some starting points to find a reasonably priced ski resort in the United States, Europe or Canada.
  • Ski on a Budget in Switzerland: The Swiss are known for their amazing ski runs. This article gives you specific lodges that rent at an affordable price.
  • Breckenridge Ski Trip on a Budget: Read this traveler’s experiences in planning and organizing a ski trip for two in Colorado for less than $2500.
  • http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-two-beautiful-girls-holding-there-skis-image88773977 Ways to Ski Michigan on a Budget: Check out these resorts in Northern Michigan that are known for their affordable seasonal deals.
  • Top 20 Family Ski Resorts: Learn about various places to ski with the family within the United States. This article includes excellent “What We Love” and “But remember!” sections for each resort.

Skiing Equipment

  • Ski Equipment You Need: You may not even consider that you need special ski socks and goggles, but it’s good to keep these items in mind if you want to be an avid skier.
  • Should You Rent or Buy?: Find out the true cost of buying your own ski equipment, including the cost of transporting it by plane.
  • Rent Skis: This website helps you reserve skis at hundreds of resorts. Reserving in advance can save you money on your total rental fees.
  • Buying Ski Equipment on a Budget: This article specializes in getting the kids started on skis. It also includes useful tips to help adults avoid the common “pitfalls” of ski buying.
  • The Ski Corner: Check out the used equipment section of this website for daily changing deals on pre-owned ski equipment.

Some Final Tips on Skiing on a Budget

If you’ve never skied before, try to stay local for your first ski vacation. Staying close to home could save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on transportation, lodging, equipment, food and more.

Don’t rush for the biggest megaresort that boasts all the amenities. These amenities cost money even if you don’t use them. They’re built into the cost of the rooms. Instead, focus on picking a small resort or privately owned cabin.

Bring your own food and beverages. This can be for a resort that’s a drive away, but if you’re flying in, make sure to stop at the local grocery store. Resort towns are notorious for their expensive restaurants and drinks.

Rent or borrow ski equipment for your first few times. You don’t want to invest the thousand dollars it will take to get a proper start if you’re not sure you’ll stick with it every winter. Renting is also a great option to avoid lugging equipment around on planes. Airlines have gotten in the habit of charging at least $25 for each extra carryon you bring. Your skis and your boots will usually count as two separate carryon items.

Try not to blow the budget on fancy ski accessories your first few times. It’s okay to wear uncoordinated gloves, hats and coats that aren’t specially designed for winter sports. The goal is simply to keep you warm.

Consider paying for introductory lessons or bringing a knowledgeable friend or family member if you’re skiing for the first time. Skiing won’t be much fun if you don’t have the basic techniques to avoid face planting at every turn.

Remember to bring skin care products. That includes sunscreen! The sun will reflect off the glistening white snow and burn you just like a day at the beach. Also remember to bring Vaseline, Chapstick and other skin protectors to alleviate chafing, chapping and dry skin.

Look into travel insurance. These plans will help you in the event you get injured while skiing. Some travel insurance policies will also cover damaged equipment, canceled flights, lost luggage, general illness and other travel mishaps. You’ll especially want to consider this if you’re planning to ski in another country.

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