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Our frog family toadally loves skiing and we have a lot of experience when it comes to planning and booking ski vacations. One of the most popular questions we get from vacationers is when the best time to visit a destination.
It’s always frogerrific to book early and save yourself some stress. Our frog family prefers low stress! However, the best time to book a ski vacation does require some deliberating. It depends on where you want to stay, when you want to travel, renting equipment and other factors. If you have your heart set on a location and your trip falls during peak times such as between Christmas and New Years, MLK weekend, President’s Week, or even spring break, then you can never go wrong in booking early. (As a side note, check out the best times to ski.)
Here's a Look at the Best Time to Book a Ski Vacation
When to book early
How early is “booking early?” Many people get a jump on things by booking their ski vacation for Christmas and New Years — two of the busiest times — about a year ahead, especially if they want a specific location. You can save hundreds to thousands of dollars by booking early and secure your desired location. There are summer deals as well, and it is generally a good idea to book in September, October and November before it starts to snow. Booking in advance also allows you to lock in lower airfares or to get the flight itinerary you want. People who drive to resorts might have a little more flexibility in booking than people who are also trying to manage the cost and schedule of airfare. You can find deals later on in the season, but there are more limited lodging choices. If you wait to book your ski vacation, try to plan it when the ski resorts are less busy.
Undercover Tourist has started booking hotels for ski resorts for this season. If you are looking for lodging for resorts in such places as Lake Tahoe, Park City, Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Steamboat Springs, Aspen Snowmass or Breckenridge, we can be your one-stop shop for booking a ski vacation with lift ticket add-ons and even equipment rentals.
When not to book too early
If you want to ski in the later part of the season, you might do better at some resorts by waiting until February or early March to book. You may see late season spring deals that include discounted lodging, free breakfast and perks such as multi-day lift tickets and/or airline vouchers. With some of those deals you might not need to book too far in advance, but it varies, so be on the lookout for spring deals. You might not get your top location, but you can save a lot of money and get a good deal if you are not set on a specific spot. Spring skiing offers its own benefits of groomed runs, sunny days and warmer temperatures, which can keep the kids hoppy. Be aware of festivals and events or school breaks that could cause lodging to sell out. If your trip coincides with them, then you could be out of luck if you wait too long.
We frogs do not always want to commit to spring break skiing until we know there will still be snow. Some years there is plenty, and others it is all melting down (we call that theme park time and hop out to warmer climates). When we feel confident that the snow is good in February, we can commit to late March or April. Back in the 2016-2017 season, one of our favorite resorts had gotten 48 feet of snow by March 1 and was open into summer, so we took advantage of spring skiing with hundreds of inches of snow. The 2017-2018 season did not start out with a lot of snow, but then it started really accumulating making for a greater second half of the ski season than we had expected. Warm temperatures in the Pacific Ocean in summer to fall 2018 are leading to predictions of an El Nino year, which translates to plenty of snow at our favorite family ski resorts across. Fingers crossed!
Book rentals in advance
Booking early doesn’t just mean booking lodging. It can also mean reserving lessons and rental equipment. Some resorts will charge pre-season prices for rentals and lessons booked before the season is underway. And having everything taken care of gives you piece of mind that all is handled. Good news! We are hopping into equipment rentals for the 2018-2019 season, saving you time and money. Book early and check that item off your ski vacation to-do list. Read on for more sanity-saving tips and money-saving tips too!
Book child care early
Book lift tickets early
In spring, there are deals on the next season’s passes. At some resorts if you buy passes during spring, you can start using next season’s pass immediately! If that’s too far away, then definitely look for great prices on Epic passes in August and September. They start out with the best deals several months before snow fall, however prices go up as the ski season approaches. Undercover Tourist sold the Epic Pass for 2018-2019, and we hope to offer it again next season. You can choose between the Epic 4-Day Pass, the Epic 7-day Pass and the Unlimited Epic Pass, depending on your level of commitment to skiing and how many ski trips you intend to make. Having a 7-Day or Unlimited Epic Pass is certainly motivation to start booking those ski vacations. While it's too late for this season, keep an eye out for them starting next spring for the following season so you can get a jump on them while the price is low and the supply is high!
You can still save by combining multi-day lift tickets with your discount ski hotel when booking with Undercover Tourist. If your lodging is set but you still need lift tickets, it's smart to purchase any single and multi-day lift tickets online at least a week in advance. You’ll save a lot doing so rather than purchasing same day tickets at the resort.
Are you excited for your next ski vacation? It’s time to pull out that calendar and plan your next trip. Now is always the best time to book a ski vacation. Waiting to book never pays off and only limits lodging choices, so reserve soon and save money. Whether you are going next month or next year, there’s no time to lose. We've got plenty of ski planning tips to get you started! Let’s hit the slopes!
Related: The Best (and Worst) Times to Ski