17 Jan 2019

Hit the slopes …. With the right budget!

While a lot of people hate winter due to the cold weather and heavy rains, for many others it is their favorite time of the year for one reason: ski time! The thrill and excitement of going down the slopes, breathing in the fresh air, enjoying the breathtaking view from the top of the mountain… how can anyone not dream of spending the entire winter season enjoying the snow?
But as you pay for your ticket, lunch and gear rental, you realize you may not have the budget to enjoy your favorite winter activity anytime you want. Even going skiing once a week might prove to be heavy on your wallet. Nevertheless, there’s no reason not to let go of your favorite sport when there are several things you can do to make your ski trip less expensive. Here are a few tips and things you can do that will allow you to make the most of the upcoming ski season for less.

Get a seasonal ski pass
Even though it may look expensive at first, but a seasonal ski pass will save you a lot of money on the long run if you intend to hit the slopes whenever you get the chance to. Passes come in a variety of access to slopes and rates depending on the package you choose, so go for the one that matches your needs. 

Choose the right mountain
While we may have a big number of mountains and resorts to ski on, they do not always have the same cost. Check the price offering as soon as you can and take into consideration all other upcoming costs such as gas prices, skis and gear, etc… and compare them to your budget. Even a difference of 10$ per day between one resort and the other will save you a lot by the end of the season and you will be able to put those savings towards getting those amazing skis you have had your eyes on!

Take your own food
If you are planning on going skiing infrequently, then eating at your resort can be fine. However, for the hardcore skier, the budget can get increasingly high with time. So why not take along your own food and snacks sometimes such as a small sandwich or fruits or a couple of chocolate bars! If you end up having lunch at the restaurant, use your credit card when paying and benefit from the points rewards as well or cashback. If you are a university student, your card can also provide you with additional discounts at selected places so take advantage of those as well to make the most out of your day.

Choose the right time to go ski
It is common knowledge that going on a ski day during the weekend will be much more costly than on any other day of the week, not to mention it may get extremely more crowded which may put a damper on your day on the slopes. Take a couple of days off during the week and hit the mountains: not only will you be saving on the fees, but you will get there faster as everyone else will be stuck in their offices while you enjoy your less crowded ride on the slopes.

Renting vs. buying ski gear
Buying your own ski gear might require its own large budget, but take it as a long term investment. A high quality gear can last you for several seasons and save you the money spent on rentals during every trip. Take note that at the end of the ski season, a lot of stores offer discount on ski items, so you can buy your gear then before the next season begins! If still you cannot afford a full gear all at once, you can buy the skis this year for example and rent the uniform or vice versa, and then buy the remaining needed items the year after.

With the gas prices always ever so expensive, driving long distances to get to the mountains will need its own budget if you are planning on heading out every other day. If you are a large group, carpool and split the gas fees. Your wallet and the environment will thank you for it!

Start saving for the upcoming season as soon as you can
The best way to have enough on time for any large expense is to start saving in advance so why not do it for your favorite hobby as well? Set up a separate account for your ski fund and automate a small monthly transfer. By the time the new season hits, you will have enough set aside – and maybe more! – to cover all your costs.