How to Plan Your Ski Vacation

Imagine spending your upcoming vacation gracefully gliding down fresh powder on tree speckled slopes, and enjoying your evening nestled up with your loved one or meeting interesting new people around a fire. If you have taken a vacation at one of the many luxury ski hotels around New Mexico, you know this dream is well within reach. Armed with this how-to guide, there is nothing stopping you from planning a truly epic ski vacation that will not break the bank.

Rent Rather Than Buy

If you are a beginner or do not ski often, buying equipment is expensive and makes little sense. Instead, rent your skis or boards, boots, and necessary accoutrements. Not only will this tactic save you money, but will save you the hassle of carrying the equipment back home. Skiers and snowboarders can usually rent their equipment within a range of $30 and $50 dollars a day. You can often rent equipment at the resort for maximum convenience, but contacting an in-town outfitter beforehand and conveying your needs is likely to save you time and money.

Lift Tickets

Often lift tickets are the most expensive aspect of snowboarding or skiing. You can typically get a discount of around 5% for buying your tickets online, and you may be able to get the scoop on limited time deals and e-coupons by signing up to your favorite resorts’ mailing lists, especially immediately after a major holiday. Additionally, the middle of the week is a typical slow period for most mountains, so you can usually achieve a cheaper price, and less of a crowd on the lifts or on the slopes.


There are a variety of different types of lodging, ranging from the expensive and indulgent on-slope lodge, to the luxuriously cozy and quaint hotel in the village. You can find deals allowing you to, in some cases, literally ski out of your hotel room, for as low as $110 per night per person. However, staying in the village and shuttling to the resort is a great way to save money, and often see more of the local nightlife in the town.

Meals and Entertainment

Depending on your priorities, meals may be the most expensive aspect of your trip, especially if you choose to dine in the resort’s ski lodge, restaurant, or bar. Usually there is a pretty steep mark up for food and drink items bought on site. You can save money by packing a backpack with snacks and drinks bought from the village, or a small cooler with sandwich materials. Prioritize meals and entertainment so that you are certain to try the best the town has to offer, but not for every meal, so you still have some cash for other splurges.


For beginners, the cost of lessons are essentially unavoidable. While it may be tempting for you to save money by letting a friend or family member teach you, this can often lead to avoidable mistakes and injuries. Instead, seek training from a seasoned and impartial trainer. Beginner’s classes usually only take a few hours and can save you from some of the embarrassment of falling down a lot trying to teach yourself.