As you know, one of the most popular questions we get from vacationers is when the best time to visit a destination. We have an extensive amount of research to answer this question, especially as it concerns theme parks. When it comes to ski vacations, there are, of course, good and bad times to visit. But when it comes to saving money, a lot of families want to know the best time to book a ski vacation. It’s a good question, and the answer really varies.
It’s always a good time to book a trip early, but the best time to book a ski vacation depends on where you want to stay, when you want to travel and other factors. If you have your heart set on a location and your trip falls during a peak time (say between Christmas and New Years, MLK weekend, President’s Week, or even spring break), then you can never go wrong in booking early.
Here's a Look at the Best Time to Book a Ski Vacation
How early is “booking early?” Many people get a jump on things by booking their ski vacation for Christmas and New Years about a year ahead, especially if they want a specific location. You can save hundreds to thousands of dollars by booking early and get 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. While you might find some deals later on in the season, you might not like your limited choices. 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.
Undercover Tourist has already started booking hotels for ski resorts for this season and next. We’ll begin booking packages and lift tickets for the 2017-2018 season soon! If you are looking for lodging for resorts in such places as Lake Tahoe, Park City, Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Steamboat Springs or Breckenridge, we can be your one-stop shopping when you book a ski vacation.
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. Mid-season you will start to see late season spring deals that may 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 make the tadpoles hoppy because there are no cold flippers to complain about. 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. In the 2016-2017 season, one of our favorite resorts had gotten 48 FEET of snow by March 1 and will be open into summer, so we plan to take advantage of spring skiing with hundreds of inches of snow between us and the actual ground.
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 under way. And having everything taken care of can give you piece of mind that everything is handled. 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 season passes, and at some resorts if you buy during spring the season before, you can start using next season’s pass right away! You can save a lot of money on lift tickets by buying online at least a week in advance. Nothing needs to be left to the last minute in skiing.
Are you excited for your next ski vacation? It’s time to pull out that calendar and plan your next trip. It turns out that now is always the best time to book a ski vacation, so reserve soon to make it official and help save you some money. Whether you are going next month or next year, there’s no time to lose. Let’s hit the slopes!