16 Mar Ski Vacations Are Expensive!
This past weekend I headed out to Breckenridge, Colorado to take part in one of my favorite kind of vacations – skiing!
The trip was part of a 16-man bachelor party… that’s right, 16! It was a relatively tame weekend all things considered. Mostly because the bulk of our party doesn’t get out skiing much and wanted to get our money’s worth out of the 2 ski days we had!
Speaking of Money… Skiing is EXPENSIVE!
Not only outright expensive, but also notoriously difficult to travel hack for us points and miles enthusiasts! You have the typical travel costs – airfare, lodging and rental car – but then must compete for these limited resources with everyone else in the country that enjoys skiing just as much as you do!
The flights are more expensive – both in dollars and points (if you can find award availability, that is)!
Hotels and rental properties are booked well in advance – at a premium during the ski season, of course…
And rental cars out of Denver are a limited resource! All the quality slopes require a trek from DEN – meaning rental car fleets deployed!
How I (kinda) Travel “Hacked” the Trip
Booked 2 one-way flights direct between Tampa & Denver.
While a Rapid Rewards redemption was an option, I opted to utilize Southwest gift cards purchased with my wife’s American Express Platinum and Gold cards (which triggered the annual $200/$100 airline reimbursement fees).
$ Saved = $300
Car rental –
Set up alerts via Autoslash.com. I am a big fan of this site. You can set up alerts and then will receive emails when the rates decrease. If/when that happens, you can go back to cancel and re-book as needed! Just make sure you pay attention to any cancellation terms prior to repeated cancelling & re-booking!
$ Saved = $50
Ski Rentals –
I am from Tampa, Florida and ski once every 3-5 years or so… meaning I do not have my own ski gear.
I had to rent, and while I tried to shop around a bit, I ended up booking at the rental shop less than a quarter mile from our rental house. For some reason my dad does have a ski helmet, so I borrowed that and saved there! To the tune of $10 per day!
$ Saved = $20
What I could NOT save on…
Booked a rental house large enough to sleep 16 grown men. And by grown men I mean physically, rather than maturity… No savings here as I was subject to the decisions of the group lead by the best man.
$ Saved = $0
Lift Tickets – The biggest croc of them all!
Guys… lift tickets are so expensive! It’s price gauging! It’s ridiculous! I could not believe the cost when I initially searched and I was certain that I would be able to find cheaper alternatives on discount sites.
Every site I searched to depart from the premium cost eventually led me back to where I began. Very circular, very frustrating! No discounts to be had for (let me know if anyone has a good discount lift ticket site link)!
$ Saved = $0
I love skiing. It is one of my favorite vacations to take! I always find myself asking why I don’t take more of them?
Then I add up all the costs detailed above and it all makes sense! These trips are EXPENSIVE! And very tough to discount or “hack” for cheaper prices!
Have you found any substantial savings when it comes to your ski trip costs? DO SHARE!