Each year I look forward to my annual, guys’s snowboarding trip in Colorado. It is a nice way to reconnect with my friends, enjoy nature and a fun way to burn calories. It also provides me the time to catch up on reading, research and recharge. Heading out West each year for a snowboarding trip, may seem a bit extravagant but there are several things I do each year, to save on my trip expenses.
6 Creative Ways to Save on a Ski Vacation + 1 Budgeting Trick
I buy a ski pass in June, at the lowest rate for around $400. If you spend the money up front, the pass ends up paying for itself after the 3rd day on the slopes.
I have purchased high quality ski gear, and I don’t upgrade it often. My Obermeyer pants and jacket shell are vintage 1999 … they are also a unique color so I am easy to find on the mountain, which is key when riding with a group. My Polarmax base layer was purchased circa 2002. Polarmax is based in the states, manufactures locally and focuses on making the best base layer possible. My Burton mittens were purchased in 2010, and keep me super warm. My Burton boots were purchased end of the season, on sale, of 2016. And my latest purchase was a helmet, that keeps me safe and incredibly warm, in 2017. Anything that does not perform up to spec, gets dropped and replaced by the best possible alternative.
I shop around for airfare well in advance. Both Delta and Southwest fly to Denver. I keep an eye out for prices starting 2 or 3 months out. When I see a significant dip in prices, I jump on it and make the purchase.
I rented a car from Enterprise, that was 10 miles removed from the airport. Rentals at DIA were DOUBLE the daily rate. For an inexpensive Uber fare, I was able to save half off the total bill. And the pick up place was on the way to the mountain, so it did not cost us extra time.
I love to cook, so I always make sure I cook one or two dinners for the big crew. We typically spend ~$40/person when eating out. So eating in, twice, will save a good bit of money. The big deal about these dinners, though, is that they better be tasty, because I am dealing with some discerning dudes.
I typically budget $800 for the trip. In order to pay for it, I prepay my Amex $200 each of the 4 months prior to the trip. Then, when I arrive, I just spend up to a 0 balance!! It keeps me from getting home and having to write a huge check at the end of the month.
Last night I made White Chicken Chili, the guys loved it, not just because it was free but it was delicious too.
Josh’s White Chicken Chili
Perfect for APRÈS SKI
Saute 5 chicken breasts followed by 3 thighs over high heat in a large dutch oven
Add a glug of olive oil, and then a diced onion and drop the temp to medium heat
After the onions are well browned, add 6 minced garlic cloves, a minced poblano pepper and half a minced jalapeno
When the garlic is fragrant in the pot, deglaze with half a beer, preferably Coors, when in Colorado
Add a can of diced tomatoes, a can of chipotle peppers in adobo, .a can of salsa verde, 4 cans of cannellini beans and plenty of chicken stock to cover everything. Raise to a boil.
Add a table spoon of chili powder to it all, and then cut up all of the chicken and add to pot
After the chili comes to a boil, lower the temp, until you have a nice soft rolling boil
Cook for 45-60 minutes
Stir in 2 or 3 table spoons of sour cream
Serve with fresh cilantro, shredded cheese (or cottage cheese) and sour cream
Best accompanied by cheap American lager
Want to discuss how you can plan ahead and save on your next vacation? Short term goals are important and help keep us on track with saving for our big, long term goals. Contact me, helping people make smart financial decisions, have fun and save for their fortune is my passion.