How to Get the Best Deal on Lift Tickets

Snow flurries are filling the air, and the ski season is once again upon us! A day of fun on the slopes is priceless, but most of us wouldn’t mind saving up for some extra food and drinks at the end of the trip. Apart from the multi-day packages and seasonal passes, are there other ways to save on just a single lift ticket of your top choice? Here are some tips that I learned from the past few years to help you get started on that perfect adventure.

For beginners, get a Learn-to package. Some resorts offer learning packages all season, which includes a lift ticket, a small group lesson, and rental equipment, at an extremely discounted price. Some do it during special promotional periods (in New England, for example, there is the Ski NH program in January). At the end of the lessons, make sure to ask if there are any additional perks such as a second day package or a discount for seasonal passes. Sometimes these bonus are not mentioned online.

Get a half-mountain lift ticket. Perfect for newbies or just a cheap warm-up time for the first day of the season, half-mountain lift tickets gets you on the easier slopes for much less than the full mountain price. Not all resorts offer this, so do good research.

Go for a half-day. If you are lazy like me and can’t wake up at six to go skiing, or have the luxury of living right next to a ski area and don’t need to worry about the drive, half-day tickets might be a good choice. It is not always worth it at every resort: a lot of places only discount for $5 for half day, but it can be quite different for others (20% or more) and considering the lunch time saved, could be enough to make it a win.

Try night skiing. Fewer crowds and less than half the price, night skiing is definitely tempting. Not to mention the glowing mountain and the wild experience! Lots of places have frequent special events with free rentals or party add-ons as well. Do watch out for icy conditions. Try to find just the right weather or better yet, a snow-making day.

Buy a pair of skis. This might seem unrelated, but ski shops many times bundle new ski purchases with free lift tickets that value almost as much as the skis themselves. If you are looking to commit to skiing regularly, find a shop to get the most of your money back.

Buy in advance online. Of course, the good old trick that always works. Something worth mentioning though: websites like Liftopia offer a good selection of discounted lift tickets, but many times they actually cost the same or even more than advance tickets straight from the resort’s website. If your favorite mountain has a online purchasing option, check their deals a few days before you go and you might be able to score some 50% off.

If all fails, take this secret advice: simply walk up the mountain!

Have fun and enjoy a nice snow day 🙂

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