Got the Snow Bug? Find an Affordable Winter Holiday

If the 2010 Toronto Winter Olympic Games TM gave you the itch to get out and have your own winter adventure, then you are not alone. In what is left of the winter you can expect that many large resorts are going to be teeming with snow lovers both new and seasoned. Here are some tips to ensure that you get the best deal possible at the best resort for you.

  • Do your research. The internet is an invaluable resource. But checking out company sites probably isn’t enough to cut it. Go to forums and get first-hand advice from people who’ve negotiated the labyrinth of deals, perks and special offers in the ski holidays industry. Also, contact the travel bureaus and resorts directly, mention the deals you’ve been offered, and make them compete for your business.
  • Check all resorts. Doing research on resorts can be invaluable. Remember, the popular resorts are also likely to be the most populated and expensive. If you’re just a beginner, then thousands of acres of off-piste terrain probably isn’t going to improve your trip, one way or the other. So check the smaller resorts as well, and enjoy the space and safety of less-crowded runs.
  • Seek accommodation off the mountain. At some mountains, you will be able to stay just outside of the resort itself, and take a shuttle bus up each day. They leave very early in the morning, so you don’t have to lose any skiing/snowboarding time. Also, you’ll save money on parking, resort entry fees and over-priced cafés and restaurants if you pack your lunch before embarking.
  • Borrow gear from friends. Equipment is expensive to buy or to rent. If you are only going up for a short time, then ask friends if there is any gear (waterproofs, gloves, boots, skis or snowboards) that you could borrow. If you are going up for longer and have nobody to borrow equipment from, check rental rates and see if it will be cheaper or more expensive to buy or to rent.

Stay safe, bring your own food, and enjoy the snow – it shouldn’t be an exclusive pastime of the well-to-do.
Creative Commons License photo credit: geoftheref