During the winter months, many Americans look to make the most of the fresh snow and cooler temps by skiing and snowboarding in cities and towns across the United States, often taking a weekend getaway to experience some place new. But trips to the slopes can be a costly expense.
As a longtime ski enthusiast with 50 years of experience road tripping to ski resorts across the United States and Canada, Joe Miron has spent several decades perfecting the art of planning cost-effective ski voyages.
He shares his five best tips to make traveling to the slopes budget-friendly without sacrificing the adventure below:
1. Seek Early Bird Specials
Purchase passes in advance, rather than at the ticket window, to get the best bang for your buck. Many resorts and ski passes will begin offering discounted prices in early spring, known as “early bird specials.” Miron opts for the Indy Pass, a multi-resort season pass offering access to 80 independently owned and operated ski areas across North America. For a limited time, My6 Members can receive 10% off adult and kid passes.
2. Consider Weekend & Holiday Crowds
For large resorts, consider the crowds on holidays and weekends in January and February, and time your visit to the “off” days. Weekdays are typically less crowded and will allow you to take full advantage of an uncrowded ski slope. Miron prefers visiting large mountains between Tuesday and Thursday to avoid the high ski traffic.
3. Road Tripping with your Furry Friend
Pets are great travel companions, especially for ski trips. When deciding to bring your furry friends along for the adventure on your next ski trip, make sure you have all the necessities, such as a pet-friendly lodging option such as Motel 6, and bringing a dog jacket and heavy blanket to keep them warm. Miron, who travels with his dog, Kilo, throughout the winter months, even attaches a Tractive GPS device to his dog collar.
4. Select Affordable & Accommodating Lodging
Identifying lodging that accommodates all your needs is vital for planning an affordable ski trip. Miron chooses Motel 6, an economy lodging brand with more than 280 locations near ski resorts. Motel 6 is known to be clean, comfortable and affordable, and it offers a pet-friendly environment, where up to two dogs or cats can stay for free.i Miron personally appreciates how over 1,400 Motel 6locations are locally owned and operated and are easy to spot from the main road or freeway.
5. Seek Out Unique or Smaller Locations
While exploring the various winter wonderlands, seek unique and smaller ski areas, as there may be some hidden deals and unpolished gems to help keep your trip within budget. Miron loves to visit smaller resorts alongside the major mountains, specifically New Mexico, Idaho and Montana ski areas.
BIO: Joe Miron is an avid skier, proud dog dad and member of the American Legion who began his ski career in 1967 at the age of 20 in Lake Tahoe, CA. Since taking his first ski road trip back in 1972 from San Francisco to Colorado and back, Joe has turned road tripping to various ski resorts into an everlasting tradition. Joe’s road trips became longer after retiring from his career 11 years ago, as he then had the entire winter season to do what he pleased. Joe enjoys the adventure of skiing at different resorts throughout the U.S. and Canada and exploring all the various places along the way in his SUV with his travel companion, Kilo.
This year, Joe and Kelo departed for their ski pilgrimage on December 9. They will visit 109 ski resorts in two Canadian provinces and 10 U.S. states. They will spend 56 nights at 27 different Motel 6 properties.