My winter vacation dreams were nonexistent before I married my winter sport loving husband. The vacations I grew up taking involved sand and little drinks with umbrellas. Now, as our family has added two additional enthusiastic skiers (who have already far surpassed my skills) planning a winter vacation is something the whole family looks forward to. Winter travel takes advanced planning (and a bigger suitcase to fit all the snow gear!) these tips will help you do it without breaking the bank.
-Start with your Morale Welfare and Recreation . Renting winter recreation equipment can be more affordable if you can utilize your base/post’s recreation department. We have rented skis for our two children, as well as poles and a sled.
-Browse your post buy sell trade pages before your vacation to pick up second-hand winter gear (this is particularly helpful if it is your first winter sport vacation!). My family was able to snag some snow gear at some heavily discounted prices this way.
-Check out rental prices off the Mountain. Renting gear at the mom and pop shop instead of at the big ski resorts and lodges can get you multi day discounts and return customer benefits. It is also a good idea to ask about any Military Discounts.
Mountain resorts and ski lodges often offer military discounts.
-There are also multi day discounts, senior discounts and often, Military discounts. When I first began skiing, we would visit Homewood in Lake Tahoe- they let active duty military ski for free and their spouse for half off. This incredible deal allowed us more ski days!
-Make sure to check mountain resorts websites for discounts and deals.
-If you plan to ski more than one vacation, consider something like the Epic ski pass, that is discounted for military members.
-Many Vacation rentals (like AirBnB and VRBO) will allow you to message the rental property owner. Try messaging the property owner, sometimes you can get a discount for a multiple night stay- or a return visit.
-Pick a handful of hotels that will work for your dates and budget, and call and see if they will price match. You may be able to reduce the nightly rates!
-Save your money and pack a lunch for the slopes (and snacks you will need LOTS of bribes snacks). You will be so glad not to have paid a premium for a bow of chili at the ski lodge- and instead opt for a hot chocolate! (Bonus hot chocolate makes a great bribe and a good break for little kids on the slopes!).
-Choose lodging with a kitchen and cook at home to save further on pricey restaurant meals.
After a year of no traveling- this winter is bound to be busy at the airports and certainly at the car rental counters.
-The earlier you can plan and book arrangements the better. Also ensure the vehicle is set up with all-wheel/ 4-wheel drive and snow tires. (many Morale Welfare and Rec departments will also rent chains for tires- be prepared!)
-If you are flying to your destination, use Google flights to set up alerts for price changes on the flights you are watching and book in advance.
-Sign up for airline award programs to be notified of deals.
How do you save on a winter vacation? Share in the comments!
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