How to Plan A Lake Tahoe Ski or Snowboarding Trip on a Budget

Skiing in Lake Tahoe

There’s nothing like an amazing ski or snowboarding trip in Lake Tahoe. Seriously. The fresh air, fresh powder, and amazing views are something you can’t quite put into words. However, that doesn’t mean you need to overspend in order to plan the perfect ski trip. We’ve got your budget-conscious back. Check out these tips to help you save money and plan your next Tahoe ski trip without breaking the bank.

Plan and book your ski vacation early.

As the saying goes, “the early bird gets the worm.” By planning and booking your ski trip early, you’ll have first dibs on tickets, lodging, rentals, and basically everything. First dibs generally means scoring the lowest prices.

Avoid weekends and peak times.

Generally, prime travel times are going to come with the highest price tag. You may be able to find some deals if you opt to ski during the week or early/late in the season. While skiing or snowboarding in Lake Tahoe is weather-based, you can expect higher prices during the holiday season and prime snow dates in January in February. If you’re traveling during the week, be sure to check out our midweek savings! 

Use credit card points and reward points.

Now is a good time to take advantage of all those “rewards” programs that airlines and credit card companies set you up with. You may be able to save big bucks on free or discounted airfare by signing up or using points.

Look for deals and promotions.

This is across the board. Restaurants, hotels, car rentals, and ski resorts generally offer various deals and promotions throughout the year. Keep your eyes peeled to see what might pop up — especially during the holiday season and prime shopping dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. At Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, we offer a variety of deals and promotions throughout the year that help travelers save money.

Take advantage of special discounts.

Are you a student? A senior? A veteran or active military? Maybe a AAA member? On top of deals and promotions that are open to everyone, lots of businesses, like Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, offer discounts to travelers that fit specific categories. It’s always worth a phone call or email to ask what kind of discounts you may be entitled to. Don’t forget to bring your student or military ID card along on your vacation to redeem your special discounts!

Look for freebies.

As you’re booking your trip, pay attention to what’s offered for free. For example, at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, a full breakfast buffet is included in every reservation. We also have free soft drinks for kids during our Happy Hour. Along the same lines, you may be able to find free sample products to use on your trip or luck out on some great free branded swag, such as pens and notepads. While it doesn’t seem like much, even small items can add up over time when you have to purchase them yourself.

Bring your own snacks and beverages.

When you’re eating out frequently, food can quickly become one of the top expenses on a vacation. For those on a budget, visiting a local grocery store is a great way to save money. You can load up on some healthy treats at a cheaper cost and cut back on spending at convenience stores or restaurants around the ski resort area. Protein bars, granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, beef jerky, and other non-perishable food items are great for on-the-go travel and for some quick fuel on the slopes. Lake Tahoe Resort’s suite-style rooms have a kitchenette with a small refrigerator and microwave, so you can even keep things cold and save any leftovers during your trip.

Take public transportation.

Renting a car, parking costs, gas, insurance, and other related travel costs are expensive. If possible consider taking public transportation. Chances are, it will be significantly cheaper than driving yourself! If you’re flying to the area, fly into the Reno/Tahoe International Airport and then hitch the South Tahoe Airporter directly to our hotel. Once you’re in the area, there are a variety of ski shuttles that can get you to and from the slopes. In addition to saving money, public transportation can also be faster and safer than navigating the roads yourself during the slippery winter season. Plus, it’s better for the environment!

Rent your ski equipment or buy it used instead.

It’s not unusual for good skiing or snowboarding gear and equipment to cost $1,200+ per person. For families, that can turn into a pretty hefty price tag. If you’re not an avid outdoorsman or particular about brands and styles, you may find renting your gear is more cost-effective. Renting is also a great option for kids and teens who are still growing and will likely outgrow the expensive gear before your next trip. Other than renting, consider searching for used ski equipment or snowboarding gear rather than new. You can scour thrift shops, consignment stores, garage sales, and online sellers for quality gear at a lower cost. Just use caution and do your research to make sure you’re getting a quality product.

Shop during the off-season.

If you are searching for ski equipment, outerwear, and athletic gear, try and shop during the offseason. You’ll likely find great clearance deals as stores look to make room for new seasonal equipment and updated styles. Then, all your gear is just waiting and ready to go when your ski trip rolls around months later. If you’re shopping for used skis and poles, spring and summer are also when many people clean out their basements, garages, and storage units and donate winter gear they no longer need so you may get lucky.

Connect with the locals.

Locals are always going to have great insights on where to get the best discounts and biggest bang for your buck around Lake Tahoe. You never know what helpful tidbits you may find through online reviews and recommendations or via causal in-person conversations. Who knows, you may even make a new friend! Of course, our helpful staff is always here to answer your questions and offer some insider tips as well! Contact us at any time, or shoot us a message on Facebook. We love connecting with fellow skiers!

Start planning your dream ski vacation in Lake Tahoe today!

We’d love to be a part of your epic ski trip. With some of the best skiing in the world right in our backyard (literally), we’re the perfect home base for your next Tahoe adventure. What are you waiting for?

LTRH Book now