By Troy Hawks
Its a common dilemma for vacationing families: Should youbook your ski vacation early, or hold out with the hope of cashing in on a last minute bargain?
Thelast minute bargain your minds eye envisions might not materialize.As a result, you may miss out on lucrative advanced reservation promotions or even worse, not be able to stay in your familys favorite slope-side hotel because its already sold out. Savvy families know that there are a host of budget-friendly benefits to booking a ski and snowboard vacation early. Here are three good reasons to book your vacation now.
Ski areas are a lot like grandparents: They cant wait to hear when youre coming, and they want to know how many people youre bringing with you. The resorts of Colorado Ski Country offer a slew of incentives for booking early, including discounted lift and lodging packages, and even promotions for saving money on airfares and travel.
Copper Mountains 1,2, Free! Package offers guests a free third night of lodging when booking three nights or more. The package includes a slew of other 33 percent discounts.
Ski areas operate much like airlines. The earlier you book, the better the bargain. If your family is planning on an extended stay, you might save money by purchasing season passes or other multi-day lift ticket products. A few resorts even allow you to make a down payment on a season pass.
For instance, this year Winter Park allowed skiers and riders to make a $49 down payment on a season pass, with the remainder due in September. Programs like this allow you and your family several months to set aside money for the ski and snowboard vacation youve always dreamed of, without accruing debt or having to pay interest charges on your credit card.
Plus, ski areas offer season pass holders a lot of additional incentives such as discounted lessons, equipment rentals, lodging packages, and even promotions with other local businesses.
Most ski areas offer the lowest price on a season pass and other lift ticket packages during the summer months. However, once the winter holiday season rolls around, ticket prices increase to premium rates.
The further out you book your ski vacation, the more choice youll have on lodging properties. Its hard to find an unsuitable room at a ski area, but nevertheless, booking early means you can request a room just a few steps from the slopes.
Youll also have more options for flight departure and arrival times and seating choices. By booking early, you can ensure your family gets a room in your favorite hotel, your kids are enrolled in lessons or day care, and you even have a reservation at your favorite restaurant.
Yes, we said three reasons, but heres a fourth just in case it hasnt sunk in. Having a Colorado ski vacation markedon the calendar is almost better than having presents under the tree. The whole family can savor the anticipation by counting the days until you are all sliding together in the Rocky Mountain splendor.
And dont forget about Colorado Ski Countrys 5th and 6th Grade Passport Program, and also the Gems Card, that entitles you to a one-time buy one, get one lift ticket deal at the eight Gem resorts.
In addition, by booking early you leave yourself plenty of time to plan what you need to pack and what gear you might need. You also have time to research various destination options by reading reviews and browsing resort guides and websites.
Nothing is worse than feeling that you have to rush to book your vacation without doing the proper homework. Why not book your vacation now and put a picture of the ski area you plan to visit on your refrigerator to remind yourself and your family and friends of the good times to come!