How Much Does it Cost to Go Skiing?

Cori Gramms
Written by
Last update:

Skiing is truly a great sport with innumerable benefits. However, the key to getting the most out of it is to be clear about how much it really costs and to have a plan how you will pay for it.

The last thing that should happen is to realize that you have blown through your savings the day before your trip and are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

If you are wondering how much it costs to go skiing, the answer depends greatly on who you are and how you ski. If you are a veteran and enjoy getting out often with your friends, your expenses will be higher than those who ski more infrequently. The first-time beginner typically has more expenses than the intermediate or advanced skier, as the necessary ski gear has to be purchased, and you might need skiing lessons. After you’ve mastered the basics and have been out a few times, you will be able to save money.

Skiing is a sport that can be pursued either independently or by joining a group, which directly impacts the costs involved in this sport. Going on a skiing vacation as a member of a group is likely to work out cheaper because there are often deals for group bookings.

Several costs are typically involved in a skiing trip, namely travel, lodging, equipment, and lift ticket costs. For each cost, we will offer ways to save money.

Travel Costs

The first and foremost expense you’ll encounter in a skiing trip is travel costs. If you’re from a city, you’ll likely have to pay for accommodation, transport, and any other locations you may visit while on vacation.

Taking a ski-in, ski-out resort, on the other hand, will cost just a little more. It’s ideal for skiers who prefer the convenience and have a tight schedule. You can save some money as there is no need to pay for a rental car every day you wish to go skiing.

If you require flights to and from the skiing destination, be sure to book well in advance and look out for flight specials. You may be able to save a sizeable amount on your airfare this way.

Food and Lodging Costs

When you are on a ski vacation, you will spend a lot of time on the slopes, which means that you are going to ski until you are exhausted. Consequently, you will get off the mountain so you can find a place to rest your weary legs and get food into your system.

A great tip to keep your expenses low is to bring your own food instead of buying it at the resort. In fact, there is plenty of food they sell at the resorts, such as hot dogs, sodas, and food and warm snacks. Bringing some of your own food, such as an apple you can eat during the rest to replenish your energy.

There are quite a few options for where you can stay while on your ski vacation, but most people will stay in a hotel. Hostels are a good option for young, insolated urbanites, but lodging and food prices will likely eat all of the money you brought. Hotels are a pretty good option and are typical of what people are used to while on vacation.

Hotel prices tend to move in a seasonal manner, with the highest prices typically occurring during the winter season. You can save a lot of money by planning a skiing vacation in September or October. However, the slopes are much more crowded during these times, which is something to keep in mind.

No matter what time of year you choose to go skiing, prices will vary based on where you are staying. Typically, lodging prices are higher in national ski resorts and cities than they are in smaller ski towns in the area. You can save on lodging prices by choosing a time when the ski season is winding down.

Don't forget that making group accommodation bookings will work out much cheaper per person than making an individual booking.

Equipment Costs

Depending on how often you are on the slopes, you’ll either want to rent equipment or purchase your own. Purchasing your own equipment can be just as much of a financial investment as going skiing itself. Most skiers don’t have experience using their own equipment, which means that they are not aware of the costs associated with maintenance and repair. This can lead to a huge financial burden for those anticipating regular use.

Although it isn’t necessarily cheaper to buy your own skis, it can sometimes be more convenient. I bought my own skis to avoid paying for the rentals all the time. To my surprise, it turned out that the money I paid to buy the skis worked out cheaper than paying for rentals on a regular basis.

You will have to calculate which option will work out more cost-effectively for you.

Lift Ticket/Season Pass Cost

If you just want to go skiing for a day or two during the season, this would be your lift ticket cost. Nonetheless, if you spend a lot of time skiing, you can actually save a decent amount of money by paying for a season pass.

Of course, the cost of the lift ticket is always directly related to factors like the location, the resort, and the time of year. So if you’re interested in finding the best price for a lift ticket, I suggest you check out some comparison websites, like OutsideOnline or Liftopia, to find the best prices for your area.

So, How Much Does it Cost to Go Skiing?

Ski vacations are a GREAT way to have a lot of fun in a short amount of time compared to other vacations. This is because downhill skiing is a fast-paced activity that keeps you on your feet and moving. One has to be realistic, however, as to the costs involved in this type of vacation.

From the expenses discussed above, it is clear that many factors and variables are involved when trying to determine how much a skiing trip will cost you. The best advice I can give is to examine the costs involved in the four areas mentioned above. Most importantly, do your homework and research the options available to you.

Though having said this, I'm sure you would still like a ball-park figure. According to a 2020 estimate, a 7-day skiing vacation will cost between $1,200 – $2,500 per person. To learn more about this calculation, read "How Much Does it Cost to Go Skiing?"

Final Thoughts

Skiing is cool, and it can be a very fun activity, especially if you do it with friends or family; but skiing can also be quite expensive. However, keeping your skiing costs down to a minimum is possible.

In my opinion, you won’t have to make too many sacrifices to have a great skiing trip. But be prepared to work a little to reduce your expenses. Budgeting and forecasting your expenses are key to keeping your costs as low as possible.