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Five tips for planning a family ski trip on a budget

62% of parents report that the toughest part of planning a family ski trip is making it budget-friendly.

EWING, N.J. – According to a recent survey of Family Vacation Critic‘s Family Travel Parent Panel, 62 percent of parents report that the most challenging part of a family ski trip is making it as budget-friendly as possible.

“There are a number of costs associated with a ski trip, and they’re doubled, tripled – often more – when traveling with kids,” explains Lissa Poirot, editor of Family Vacation Critic. “In addition to accommodations, lift tickets, lessons and equipment, families also have the challenge of dealing with inflated prices during school breaks – what may cost less during the week will many times cost more during times when families are most able to visit.”

To help counter the costs associated with ski trips, Family Vacation Critic – a travel site dedicated specifically to families – offers these tips:

  • Explore “ski free” programs offered to kids. Many ski resorts offer passport programs for kids, allowing them to ski on the slopes free of charge.  Programs are offered across the U.S., so check with your destination of choice, or Family Vacation Critic’s roundup of kids ski free programs, ahead of time to see what’s available. January is “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month,” when many ski resorts also offer free or discounted fees for accessing the slopes.
  • Early bird gets the worm – and the ski deal. Ski season starts as early as October in many ski towns, and resorts are eager to fill those dates. One way to entice skiers is with early-bird packages, which can include accommodations, lift tickets, ski rentals, lessons and sometimes even meals.
  • Extend the fun with complimentary add-ons. Many hotels offer “ski and stay” packages with inclusions such as lift tickets and lessons, along with the price of the accommodations. Some packages include other fun add-ons like movie nights, ice skating and more.
  • Time your visit wisely. Weekends, holidays and school break periods tend to be the priciest – and busiest – times at ski resorts. If at all possible, try to avoid these dates – skiing mid-week can often save a significant amount of money.
  • Extend the invitation (and rein in spending). Save on accommodations by splitting the cost of a rental home or larger hotel suite with additional family or friends. Besides saving on the hotel rate, you can save on meals by eating at least one meal at home each day.
Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.