Why You Should Book Your Ski Trip by the End of August
According to mountain vacation package site Ski.com, booking a ski trip by the end of the month ensures that you’ll be able to get the best deals on accommodations, flights, and lift tickets. The site reported it is currently seeing savings of up to 40 percent for lodging options at popular destinations like Whistler and Vail when booked by August 31.
This time frame also ensures ski enthusiasts are able to secure ski-in, ski-out accommodations, which the company said can be some of the first to get sold out.
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“There’s a finite number of prime hotels and condos, as well as a finite number of flights that go into these typically smaller airports in the mountains,” Dan Sherman, vice president of marketing at Ski.com, told Travel + Leisure. “People often wait until they get into winter mode to start shopping for their holiday vacations ... and at that point, it’s too late for many resorts.”
If you’re wondering which winter wonderland to explore next, here are 12 locations around the globe offering prime deals and top-notch amenities for those looking to book early.
Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler Blackcomb is already popular thanks to the 8,171 skiable acres it provides. The area is also known for its high-end lodging, most of which can sell out fast.
While the destination is already a hotspot, Ski.com predicts it will be in even higher demand this year since skiers can now take advantage of the Epic Pass — which offers unrestricted access to 15 different North American resorts and 30 different European resorts — at this location.
Whistler Blackcomb will also be raising the price for its EDGE card, which gives you five days of access to the resort and limited access to participating Vail Resorts in Colorado, Utah, and Lake Tahoe, on September 4, meaning you're guaranteed the lowest price if you purchase before that date.
Ski.com is also offering up to 40 percent off lodging at the resort when you book before August 31.
Aspen offers four ski mountains to choose from, and an eclectic après-ski scene that includes pop-up champagne bars and daytime parties at locations like Cloud 9, but it's the flights you'll want to watch out for when planning a trip.
“There’s not a mountain airport that’s more convenient than Aspen,” Sherman said. “It’s about three miles from Aspen and the runway ends across the street from the half pipe where the X games take place, but while it has a lot of service for a mountain airport, it’s an expensive route and airlines yield that price regularly."
Booking early can help you snag lower flight prices, as well as you give you more options on flight times and seats.
Japan has also become a destination of growing interest for winter enthusiasts, with heavy snowfalls that make for prime skiing terrain.
According to Sherman, January is a top time for U.S. skiers to head to Japan thanks to the high likelihood of deep snow, with industry professionals even nicknaming the trend “Japanuary.” Booking early will help to guarantee you won’t miss out on the top spots if you’re looking to head to the destination during this time.
In Telluride, Colorado, skiers and boarders alike are treated to views of the San Juan Mountains and open, often crowd-free slopes.
When it comes to accommodations, visitors can choose from ski-in, ski-out lodges and resorts at Mountain Village or in the former mining town of Telluride.
Those looking to access the ski-in, ski-out properties should book their trips before September, as these are the first to go, according to Sherman.
Vail is known as one of the largest ski resort towns in the world, offering more than 5,200 acres of developed ski and snowboarding terrain and Black Bowls that extend for seven miles.
The destination has been a regular winter stop for snow enthusiast for years, which is why Ski.com recommends booking now to ensure not just a prime spot, but any spot in Vail, as accommodations here can sell out quick.
Vail is also one of the locations where the Epic Pass applies, so once again booking before September guarantees you the lowest price on the pass. The resort is currently hosting a flash sale of up to 40 percent off of lodging when booked by August 25, while Ski.com also has various deals offering up to 35 percent off lodging when booked by September 1.
Deer Valley, Utah
Open for skiers only, Deer Valley is renowned for its luxurious touches that include uniformed ski valets and even complimentary tissues handed out in lift lines.
The resort limits its number of daily lift tickets to around 8,000 skiers to ensure a lack of big crowds, meaning you’ll want to book early to secure your spot, while famed dinner at locations like Fireside Dining, where everything from meats to cheese are cooked directly over a burning fire, also fill up earlier on in the year.
The ski resort town of Breckenridge stretches across five different peaks that include the highest chairlift in North America, the Imperial Express, which takes skiers a whopping 12,840 feet into the air.
Since it’s near Denver, the location is a popular weekend destination for locals, according to Sherman, and you can expect prices on accommodations to increase based on demand.
Breckenridge is also part of the Epic Pass route, so booking now will get you the lowest rate on the pass before prices rise on September 4. Meanwhile, the resort is also having a flash sale starting at $99 per night for bookings made before August 25.
Ski.com is also offering up to 25 percent off of lodging for bookings made by August 31.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
While the Jackson Hole Airport is located near the resort and provides regular service, the routes can get pricey the longer you wait, according to Sherman, and the accommodations located in the popular base area of the resort at Teton Village can sell out fast.
Finally, a Grand Pass sale is offering unlimited half-price lift tickets at 16 partnering destinations and five 50 percent off passes at affiliate resorts. Prices for the pass will go up on September 1.
Crested Butte, Colorado
Crested Butte is home to 1,547 acres of skiable terrain, with over half of the mountain offering runs for intermediate and beginner skiers.
Crested Butte is also surrounded by 1.7 million acres of the Gunnison National Forest, allowing for additional activities that include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and biking.
$300 in flight credits is currently on offer for those flying into the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport on a first-come, first-serve basis, and you can also bundle the deal with lodging promotions of up to 30 percent off, available until September 15.
Revelstoke, British Columbia
Revelstoke is popular today for those looking to experience heli skiing, with 500,000 acres of exclusive terrain to enjoy.
Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing caters to the area, though these heli trips have limited inventory, so you’ll need to book rather quickly, according to Sherman. In addition, Revelstoke is offering up to 44 percent off lift tickets when you book your vacation by August 31.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
According to Ski.com, Steamboat has some of the most affordable ski-in, ski-out condos on the market, with terrain for skiers of all levels to explore.
Steamboat’s airport is tiny and has limited flights, so you’ll need to book early if you’re looking to avoid last-minute price hikes, according to Sherman.
If you book lodging by the end of August, you could also save 15 percent on a stay during the week of Christmas.
The Alps have long been a winter playground for those traversing Europe, with countries like Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, and Switzerland all offering summer and winter activities of their own.
According to Ski.com's flight department, travelers tend to book flights to the destination as soon as the inventory is released, which can be as early as February of the year before. So, while the top price deals for these destinations have likely already passed, if you’re still looking to book a ski trip here, you’ll want to do it now since fares will continue to be on the rise.