Skiing is a great activity that, while fun, can cost quite a bit of money. Anyone who truly loves the sport knows how expensive it can be. As such, if you want to take your entire family out on a ski trip, it’s always good to have an idea of how much it might cost in terms of travel, lodging, and general ski-related expenses.
While the exact amount can vary from region to region, the following sections will look at how much it costs to go skiing.
Ski Related Expenses
To get an accurate estimate of what it costs to go skiing, you should consider all of the possible expenses. To help you with that, we will look at the average cost of lift tickets and ways to save some money. However, there are almost always more costs involved with skiing than simply the cost of a lift ticket. All of these factors added together can give you a better idea of what it will cost to take yourself or your family skiing.
Some skiers are lucky enough to live in a ski town or a region that offers access to nearby ski resorts. Most people, however, have to travel quite a distance to hit the slopes. The travel costs are going to be different depending on where you live and what time of year you travel.
A skier who lives in a ski town only needs to think about the price of a ski pass and the cost of travel from their house to the chairlift. If you live far away from the mountains, your travel costs can go up immensely. That’s especially true if you need to purchase a plane ticket or a lot of gas.
The average cost of a domestic flight in the US has actually decreased over the last decade. Even so, it still costs around $350. That means you will spend around $100-$500 per skier on travel expenses depending on the style of transportation you use and how far you need to go to get to the resort. That number gets even higher if you need to travel between countries.
Lodging is another considerable cost you need to take into account before you go skiing. Again, there will be a big difference in lodging costs between those who live in or near a resort and those who have to travel a long way. If you don’t need lodging at all, you don’t need to worry about any lodging. If you don’t, lodging costs in ski towns and at ski resorts can be quite expensive. Expect at least $250/night for basic lodgings and over $1000/night for luxury accommodations.
Another cost that comes into play with skiing is your skiing equipment. If you ski often and take the sport seriously, you want to invest in getting your own gear. That will include skis, boots, poles, and all of the winter clothing and accessories needed to stay warm and safe on the mountain.
If you want to buy your own equipment, it will typically set you back more than $1000. That can get even higher for premium items. However, when you consider that you’ll use your gear for many years, that cost can be spread out over time. The other option is renting equipment. However, though that takes a lower initial investment, it can add up if you ski a lot over time.
Renting skis, boots, poles, and a helmet will cost you around $50-$100/day depending on which package you rent and the location you rent from.
Lift Ticket/Season Pass Cost
Probably the most expensive aspect of skiing is the actual cost of a lift ticket or season pass. You need a ticket or pass to get on a chairlift at any resort, and that cost seems to go up every season.
The cost of a lift ticket or season pass varies from resort to resort. Some of the top resorts in Colorado (where I often ski), such as Aspen and Vail, now charge around $200/day for a ticket. Other resorts that are not as popular, large, or easy to access have more reasonable rates: somewhere around $50-75/day.
Season passes are best-suited for those that ski quite a bit during the season. There are some great options out there that allow you to ski at a variety of resorts across the country and even the world. The two main passes in my region are the Epic Pass ($979) and the Ikon Pass ($1099).
Lift ticket costs can vary at each resort depending on the time of year you want to ski and how early you purchase your tickets. One tip to save money is to never buy your lift tickets on the day of at the resort ticket window. That’s always the most expensive option, and it can easily be avoided if you purchase your tickets online.
It’s a good idea to buy your season pass ahead of time as well. It’s also cheaper to ski on weekdays over weekends when possible. Prices around major holidays such as Christmas and Spring Break are higher as well.
How Much Does it Cost to Go Skiing?
With all of the above factors added together, we can make an estimate of how much it costs to go skiing. Let’s take a simple approach.
Single Day Lift Ticket Cost (With own equipment and tickets purchased ahead of time)
Season Pass Cost (Varies from location but with the two common multi-mountain passes here)
- $1000 (with own equipment and purchase of Ikon or Epic Pass)
- $2000-$3000 (if you need to purchase your own equipment)
Total Cost for a Weeklong Ski Trip (travel, lodging, equipment, tickets)
- $1200-$2500/person (airfare, lodging, rental equipment, lift tickets)
As you can see, skiing is not cheap. The costs can quickly add up, especially if you need to travel a long way to get to the mountains. If you plan to ski a lot, there are some easy ways to cut down on general costs. Getting your own equipment has a large upfront cost, but will save you lots of money in the long run because you won’t need to constantly pay for rentals.
If you get a season pass, you will also save on the cost of lift tickets. If you plan on skiing 5-10 times or more a season, it really pays to get a pass. Also remember that the earlier in the year you buy your pass, the more savings and deals you will see.
Even though the expenses of skiing can add up, it is still well worth it. Skiing is a truly amazing experience that cannot be matched. The reason ski resorts can charge such a high amount for access is due to the high volume of skiers who know the joy and excitement the activity can bring. If your budget and plan ahead, you can make your next ski trip or ski season truly amazing!
How much is a lift ticket at the nearest ski resort to you? Do you have any tips for saving money on a ski trip? Let us know in the comments below!