Author Topic: how to be a mustachian for going skiing (dont own skiis) and vaca in general  (Read 3350 times)

kt1

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HELP!
Some friends and I want to drive to colorado and go skiing but prices are insane!!! How do you do this.... OR go on any vacation in general while still being able to retain your stache!?!!?

sarah110

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You should really never pay full price for lift tickets- there's always a deal to be had!  Try liftopia.com.   Also, this is probably obvious, but ski on less popular days/times.  Holidays, weekends, and school breaks mean that ticket prices will be higher and the mountain will be more crowded.   Another option is to see if anyone has a friend/acquaintance/distant family member that works at the resort you're headed to.  Employees typically are given "friends and family" passes.  My boyfriend and I took advantage of this on a recent trip to Stowe, VT, where lift tickets are $89 a day!  A friend was able to give us coupons for one free day (for both of us) and then a second day at 40% off!   Still pricey for a mustachian, I suppose, but we got a kick out of how much we were saving compared to everyone else!

Also, this may seem obvious, but anything purchased at a ski resort (food, rentals, lodging) comes at a premium price.   The area surrounding the resort will typically have plenty of rental shops, grocery stores, and efficiency type motels (so you can cook your own food).   

chatsc

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there are a lot of used ski packages (boots, poles, skiis with bindings) on kijiji.  I bet you could turn around and sell them for the same price on kijiji, if you dont plan on skiing again in the next 2 years or so.  or even see if you can borrow any equipment from a friend and rent what you need (ie:  borrow poles and boots and rent skiis). 

I know in Ottawa, costco has lift ticket deals online.

happy skiing!

starbuck

  • Bristles
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  • Age: 34
  • Location: Small Town Connecticut
I love going skiing, but you're right, it's really not the most frugal activity around. When I was in college and learning, I would borrow a friend's snowboard and boots when she wasn't using them. (I miss college lift ticket prices!) We still take a couple ski trips per year with friends, and there's lots of way to minimize costs, but understand that it's not going to be as cheap as something like camping in a state park.

We always rent a condo or house when we go. We usually have 6-10 people going, and the more people you have the lower the housing cost per person. It helps if you have friends that aren't too picky about sleeping on the floor. We're off to VT this weekend with friends to go skiing, and because it's a holiday weekend + school vacation week, some condos were going for $500+ night close to the mountain. (Forget the ones AT the mountain.) So we picked a farmhouse for rent that's a 30 min drive from the ski resort for half the price, 5 bedrooms, and 200 acres. (That means we can get some bonus snowshoeing in!)

We're cooking all our own meals at the farmhouse. We've found it easiest to just assign a meal to each person, and they take care of the cost. For instance, I'll take care of breakfast for the trip, someone will make dinner Friday night, someone else Saturday night, someone will bring stuff for lunch on the mountain, etc. (ALWAYS bring lunch to the mountain! Some of those caf prices are insane.)

I've had good luck with the Liftopia app, especially for day trips during the week. One of my friends has a corporate discount program so he's getting all the lift tickets for this weekend, saving about $20 per ticket.

If you do need to rent equipment, it's usually cheaper to rent at the local ski shop instead of the one on the mountain.

And smaller mountains are generally cheaper than the bigger mountains. But smaller mountains mean a different ski experience, so you'll have to decide if the tradeoff is worth it to you. My spouse and I have also done a living social deal that included free lift tix at a small ski area + lodging at a bed and breakfast. Wasn't too bad of a deal. It always helps if you go where the deals are rather than being beholden to a specific mountain.

Jamesqf

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Cross-country skiing.  You can do it pretty much anywhere there's snow, basic equipment (new) will run a couple of hundred or so, ongoing expenses are pretty much nothing, you don't have to put up with crowded lift lines, and you can take your dog(s) with you.  It can also - depending on how much effort you put in - be much better exercise than downhill, and there's a much smaller risk of expensive injuries.

the fixer

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My girlfriend and I just spent a weekend skiing. This is pretty hardcore, but we camped at a nearby campground in 10-20 degree nights. We have a 4-season mountaineering tent and winter sleeping bags, and it was actually quite comfortable. We needed chains on the car to get in and out of the camping area. We also brought a bunch of our own food but ate out for dinner.

Total cost per person came to about $200, and $160 of that was lift tickets. I didn't know about Liftopia, I'll have to check that out.

tooqk4u22

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My girlfriend and I just spent a weekend skiing. This is pretty hardcore, but we camped at a nearby campground in 10-20 degree nights. We have a 4-season mountaineering tent and winter sleeping bags, and it was actually quite comfortable. We needed chains on the car to get in and out of the camping area. We also brought a bunch of our own food but ate out for dinner.

Total cost per person came to about $200, and $160 of that was lift tickets. I didn't know about Liftopia, I'll have to check that out.

Yeah....really badass, but not for me.

happy

  • Walrus Stache
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  • Location: NSW Australia
Research/local knowledge and keeping your eyes open can help save costs:

Yes I stayed in a tent too when a lot younger...

I found a  ski community had an annual sale of second hand ski gear in the local community hall...not advertised,  just local knowledge. We used to head down and get all our gear...only way I could afford to get my kids skiing.

Bring/prepare your own food if at all possible - resort food, even the supermarket, is usually pricey.

At a certain resort it used to be possible  to sleep in the"Nordic shelter"  for a night if you were low key about it ... no heating/ no lights/ no beds.... but warmer than camping

Snowboard junkie

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Oh my...a topic i can go on and on about...

1.  Depending on the hill and your fitness level you can often get up early, snowshoe up partway, then out on skis and stay near the top of the hill all day (past the main lifts) and then ride the lifts all day for free.  (Haven't done this since I was a student, yes I know it is illegal, but it is badass enough that the lifties will give you props and probably let you continue even if they catch you.)  Has worked at whistler if you hike up to midway station or at cypress if you snowshoe over the top.  Alternately for a legal method, deals can be found at 7-11, Costco, and online on lift tickets.  If you have a group, deals can be found for bulk lift ticket purchases.

2.  rent somebody's place privately.  lodging is super expensive near ski resorts.  I have a vacation property at whistler.  If you rent from me, you get a key to the storage locker which has several older skis and snowboards.  You need to bring your own boots to be able to use them, and a screwdriver to adjust bindings.  Spend your money on good boots.  Economize on your ski/ board.
(Look on Craigslist, vrbo,and Airbnb, plan well in advance, and ask about equipment availability when renting)

3.  Buy used equipment & take it with you.  Resell after your vacation. (Keep the boots) Or find people who ski a few times a year, share the equipment, and split the cost.  Several years ago, i shared a pair of skis with my roommate...we never got to ski together, but we both skied 30-40 days per year.  I worked weekends and he worked during the week, so it worked out well.  coworkers are another option.  the best way to do this is to buy at the end of a season, keep it over the summer, then use the equipment for most of the season, and sell 2/3 of the way through the season.  Rental places often sell their old stuff cheaply.  If you must rent, the farther you rent away from the lifts, the better deal you will get.

4.  Look at weather reports if you are going last minute.  1 good sunny day after a big snowfall = better value for money than several days of overcast skiing with old packed snow.  Obviously if you are paying for the day, you need to ski for the whole day.  so make sure you get up early instead of starting at 10 like some suckers.  Also, most hills have lifts running quite a bit earlier than the stated opening time.  ( e.g. Fresh tracks breakfast at whistler- where if you will pay a ridiculous amount for breakfast, you can get up on the hill an hour early before the crowds.)
or you can talk to the lifties nicely and they may just let you go on.

5.  if you truly love skiing, consider getting a season pass or multiticket package early as possible.

6.  look for last minute deals / packages.  But look at them critically because most are not deals.

7. Take a small backpack, pack a lunch and snacks.  On hill food is ridiculous for both cost and wait times. 

8. Plan next years vacation now.  I have several renters that have booked for next year now.  They know their dates almost a year in advance, and rent the same weeks each year.  They get the best deals because they have locked in at this years prices plus an early booking discount. 

Hope that helps. 

Ps - I am not actually encouraging anyone to break the law with #1.  Just know that there are people who ski for free routinely.