Last year marked a record-setting ski season for American resorts with 60.5 million skier visits, according to the National Ski Areas Association. This year, many ski enthusiasts are faced with tighter budgets and new economic challenges that have them searching for ways to save without giving up their annual trip to the mountains.

When looking to cut vacation costs, it all starts during the booking process. Top travel experts share the following tips for ski savings:

Consider your lodging location. While “ski in/ski out” locations offer the convenience of walking out the door and hopping on the lift, opting for lodging a little further from the mountain can save you cash. And most ski resorts offer free shuttle services with stops throughout town, so getting to the slopes is not a hassle.

Look for alternative lodging. For families and groups, alternative lodging like vacation rentals – homes, condos, cabins – can be much less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms. Check out for more than 30,000 properties around the world.

Ski on off-peak dates. Busy holiday weekends, including Christmas, and Martin Luther King and President’s weekends, can be more expensive and very busy. If you want to save money and avoid long lift lines, think “off peak.” Consider weekday versus weekend trips and you’ll save even more.

Low prices at

popular destinations

Online travel Web site, Orbitz ( has pulled together a list of the top ski destinations for the 2008-2009 ski season. Lake Tahoe takes the top spot while Colorado makes a strong showing with six of its most popular destinations on the list.

The good news is that popular doesn’t always mean expensive. For example, even as Lake Tahoe continues to remain skier’s favorite destination, it still offers the lowest average daily hotel rate of any ranking destination.

With ski season lasting well into the early months of spring, there are many opportunities to grab up the perfect ski vacation package at the right price. By searching for deals in even the most popular ski locations, every traveler’s budget can be accommodated this ski season. – Courtesy of ARAcontent

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