The holidays are over, but that doesn't mean you can't have any more fun this winter. Regardless of where you live, taking a ski trip can be a great way to celebrate the season and even get a little exercise in. There are all kinds of myths surrounding this winter activity though, from how expensive it is to how cold you're going to be. If you're new to the world of skiing and need some pointers on how to make your next ski trip a thrifty success, check out these six suggestions.
1. Rent your gear
Don't borrow a friend's skis or put down a bunch of cash on a new pair of boots. Skiing equipment is largely customized to each individual's height and weight, so what works for your friend might not be ideal for you. Plus, you don't want to waste money buying a bunch of gear only to find out that skiing's not something you can see yourself doing often. You'll be able to save a lot of money by renting your equipment when you get there. A nice jacket, snow pants, gloves and a hat are nice to own, however. If you find out you're a skiing fanatic, you can purchase your own skis and boots later on.
2. Buy online ahead of time
You can save yourself a lot of hassle and money by purchasing your lift tickets online well ahead of when you actually plan to go. According to Newsday, buying online can save you about 5 percent. You may also be able to find special deals and e-coupons on resort websites after Christmas and New Year's. The source also noted that skiing midweek can score you lower rates. Sign up for newsletters from your favorite mountains so you can be notified of specific deals going on.
3. Don't stay on the resort
Sure, it's nice to be able to ski right out of your condo's back door, but it also costs a lot of money. Unless you find a great deal from a certain resort, you're better off staying at a hotel, motel or inn that's in the nearby village. You might have to sacrifice a little convenience, but the savings will be worth it.
4. Dress smart
You want to be as comfortable as possible when you're on the slopes, so dressing smart is key. Wear breathable layers that you can take off if you find yourself overheating during the day. Look for jackets and snow pants that are made of decent materials and allow you plenty of room to move.
"Don't wear jeans and don't wear cotton because they absorb water," Dan Bergeron, ski and ride director at Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, told Boston.com.
Don't forget to bring sunglasses or goggles, sunscreen, lip balm, gloves and a hat. You need protection from the elements and the sun while you're up on the mountain.
5. Don't skimp on lessons
If you haven't skied much before, don't let your pride get in the way of taking lessons. There's no shame in refreshing your memory and taking it easy for the first few hours of your trip. Group lessons are often affordable and can help you make new friends on the resort. When you're making your way seamlessly down the slopes later on, you'll be glad you took the time to get comfortable on your skis.
6. Go with a buddy
It's never a good idea to head up into the trails solo – you never know what might happen. Go with a trusted buddy or a group of people who are as experienced as you are. Don't let anyone push you out of your comfort zone and convince you to try trails that you're not ready for.