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Budget Friendly Family Ski Vacation

Updated on November 4, 2009

If your family loves to ski you know how heavy a burden a typical ski vacation can be on the family budget. The trick to staying on budget is twofold. First, get your priorities straight and second, bring everything you can possibly bring to your ski location. Here are my favorite tips for staying on budget this winter!

Ski Vacations Are For Skiing!

I understand that some family members may not be hitting the slopes, but for the most part let’s agree that a ski trip is first and foremost about the skiing. While it’s nice to have cute little boutiques, spas, and every kind of food you want to eat, you’re going to pay extra for those amenities.

Consider less popular ski destinations that offer less amenities. The one perk I am willing to pay for is ski-in-ski-out access. It’s all about the skiing!

Drive to Your Ski Resort

I know a lot of people fly into their ski destination, but if you can it’s better to drive. Even if it takes two adults an entire day (12 or more hours) of trade-off driving to get there, it’s worth it. You have your own car PLUS you can pack plenty of your own supplies!

Pack Your Own Supplies

When our family goes skiing, we only eat out for dinner. This may sound silly, but we bring a small microwave and a toaster with us. (I may even bring my own coffee maker this year…). For breakfast we make ‘egg sausage sandwiches’ from pre-made frozen patties or we have oatmeal and toast.

Pack a cooler full of lunch meats and cheese and you save yourself buckets of money you’d have spent on prepared lunches. (Besides, who can ski with a gut bomb burger in the belly?)

I also recommend bring your choice of beverage and plenty of snack foods. After a day of skiing you’re going to be hungry and waits at affordable restaurants can be lengthy. Best to have a little snack before heading out.

Choose Resorts Wisely

I really recommend asking around to find the ideal resort for your location and family. Once you have a few resorts in mind, check out their web sites. A lot will offer special deals at different times of the season.

My very favorite place (so far…) to go with kids is Angel Fire in New Mexico. While you may not get optimum snow, there are always plenty of green runs and it’s very family friendly – in an affordable way!

There you have it! I would love to know your tips for saving money on family ski vacations.

Image Credit: Lela Davidson


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  • Lissie profile image

    Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

    Good advice - another option is to look at cross -country skiing - its a lot cheaper in NZ than downhill: not sure about in the uS?

  • Triplet Mom profile image

    Triplet Mom 9 years ago from West Coast

    Thanks for this hub, my family does not ski but I know a lot of families that would love this information. I will pass it on. Thank you!