How Much Does Skiing Cost? +How to Save Money

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If you’re new to skiing of planning a family ski trip, you’re probably looking for the bottom line and what to know “how much does it cost to go skiing?”

Getting started with skiing or going on a one off ski trip can be pretty expensive, so here you’ll find what you can expect to pay to go skiing, and also some good tips on how to save money skiing.

Average Cost To Go Skiing

While the cost to go skiing can vary greatly, Let’s assume that you just want a quick answer. To go skiing for just one day, it will cost you between $120-$400/day (assumig you don’t need to buy ski clothes. Here’s a quick breakdown of the cost of skiiing for a day, but make sure to keep reading below for tips on how to save money and make your ski dollars stretch further.

The cost one one day of skiing:

Equipment Rental$30$50$70
Helmet and Goggle Rental$20$20$20
Lift Ticket$50$125$200
Food $10 (pizza)$20 (burger + fries)$30 (steak)
Transportation$10 (bus)$40 (taxi)$80 (car rental)
Brother and sister skiing and snowboarding

Costs Of Skiing With Kids

Generally speaking, it’s a bit cheaper for kids to ski than for adults to ski. Typically it’s about 30% less for kids lift tickets and gear, though many resorts offer deals for kids to ski free. If you’re planning on skiing with kids, we highly recommend starting somewhere that’s a very family friendly resort, or a smaller local hill for kids to learn on before moving to bigger and more expensive resorts.

Costs For Lift Tickets

If you’re planning to ski at a resort, one of the biggest expenses will be the lift tickets. Depending on where you ski, how long you ski for, and whether you buy a multi-day pass, prices can range from $50-$250 per day for a ski lift pass. You can find the best deals by looking for budget ski areas instead of big name resorts.

park city ticket window

To get the best deal on lift tickets, it’s often worth buying them in advance online, as you can often save up to 20% or more. Another top tip is to look out for ski resorts that offer free skiing for kids- this can help to reduce the cost significantly if you’re bringing young children along.

Budget Lift Ticket Price: $50
Mid Range Lift Ticket Price: $125
High End Lift Ticket Price: $200+

Tip: : read below for some of our best tips on how to save money on a lift pass and get cheap ski tickets for your next ski trip.

Costs For Ski Equipment

Costs for ski equipment vary grately depending on the equipment you’re getting and the condition that it’s in.

Family skiing taking a break

Cost For Buying New Ski Equipment

Ski equipment isn’t cheap, but if you take good care of it, it will easily last a full decade. Buy ski equipment that will work for the ability you are now, but will also allow you to improve and still be great for what you need. A good ski shop will be able to help you know what skis, boots, and poles will work for your ability and also the next few levels at the ski resort.

Budget Ski Equipment Price, New: $500
Mid Range Ski Equipment Price, New: $800
High End Ski Equipment Price, New: $2000+
Shopping for skis at a store

Cost For Buying Used Ski Equipment

A good way to save money on ski equipment is to buy used ski equipment. Ski equipment lasts A LONG TIME, so if you’re willing to look around, you can find some fantastic deals. Ski swaps are our top recommendation for where to buy used skis since there is always a HUGE selection and prices are usually really good. If you can’t get to a ski swap, look at online classifieds, or stop into a ski shop and see if they’re selling any used skis (many often sell their old rental or demo skis at a great price in the fall and early winter). When you compare the costs of buying used skis vs renting skis, buying used skis can be a great deal.

Budget Ski Equipment Price, Used: $100
Mid Range Ski Equipment Price, Used: $200
High End Ski Equipment Price, Used: $400+
Ski rack

Cost For Renting Ski Equipment

If you’re new to skiing, aren’t ready to invest in your own ski equipment, or don’t want to travel with your own equipment, renting skis is always a good option and very budget-friendly. Ski rentals are almost always more expensive at the ski resort, so if you want to save money, rent from a ski rental shop that’s in town, but not at the resort. Here is what you can expect to pay for ski rentals each day.

Budget Rental Price: $30
Mid Range Rental Price: $50
High-End Rental Price: $70+
ski rental shop at the ski resort

Read Next: Buying vs Renting Kids Skis

Ski Clothing Costs

Ski Clothing costs can vary widely depending on what you are looking for and the quality of the ski clothing you’re buying. There is also a major price difference in kids’ ski clothing costs and adult ski clothing costs. For adults and older kids, we always recommend getting the best ski clothing that you can afford. There are lots of sales out there in the off-season that help make getting high-end ski equipment at a lower price much easier.

Park city ski crowds

Kids Ski Clothing Costs

We’ve written A TON about the best kids ski equipment, so make sure to click on each category to find all our reviews of the best ski gear for kids:

Kids Ski Pants3070125
Kids Mittens and Gloves154090
Kids Base Layers3060120
Kids Ski Socks101520
Kids Ski Coats3575150
skiing High Meadow With Kids

Ski Helmet and Goggle Prices

A ski helmet is an absolute essential piece of equipment for your next ski trip. They keep you warm, comfortable, and most of all SAFE on the slopes. WHen fitting a ski helmet, make sure tou know the circumfrence of your head so that you get a helmet that fits well.

family ski helmets

Ski goggles are mostly essential and you’ll likely never want to ski without them. Ski goggles help you have a clear and wide field of vision, are adapted to variable light conditions on the snow, and also help keep your face warm on colder days.

Ski Helmet Prices$40$70$120
Ski Goggle Prices$25$45$125

Make sure to check out our ski helmet and goggle reviews for our top recommendations and discounts on some of our favorite brands.

How Much Does Ski School Cost

Learning to ski properly is absolutely essential. Whether you learn from someone who’s already a skilled skier or from ski school, you can have great options either way. We always recommend that all skiers (adults and kids) take a couple of days of ski school instruction per year.

Ski school next to snowy trees

Cost of ski school

Ski school costs vary widely, and most often correlate with the price of the lift tickets at the resort. Resorts with cheaper lift tickets often have less expensive ski school and resorts with expensive lift tickets, typically have the most expensive ski school prices. Here are the average costs of ski school at US ski resorts.

All day kids group ski lessons$100$200$350
Half day kids group ski lessons$75$150$250
Private ski instruction/hour$60$125$225
Half day adult group ski lessons$75$125$225
Full day adult group ski lessons$100$200$350
Ski school grand targhee

How Much Does Ski Resort Food Cost

Generally speaking, resort food is expensive no matter where you eat on the mountain. Obviously some food choices are cheaper than others, like at any restaurant, but generally ski food is pretty expensive. Most resorts do not have kids meal options, but often have smaller portion sizes that are more suitable for kids.

Average Cost For An Adult Meal at a Ski Lodge: $20

Average Cost For A Kids Meal at a Ski Lodge: $15

honeycomb grill food solitude

Ski Trip Lodging

For most people, a ski trip means an overnight stay, unless you live really close to a ski resort. Planning your lodging well will have a huge impact on how your trip goes. Here is what you can expect from common ski trip options.

Park city main street at night

Budget Ski Accommodation: typically in a neighboring town where you’ll have to drive to the resort. Most budget ski accommodations are basic hotel rooms. Typical Prices $150/night

Mid-Range Ski Accommodation: there is a wide variety in what you’ll find for a mid-range ski accommodation. This is where you’ll find rental houses that are farther away or mid-range hotels that are in the actual ski town, but not right on the slopes. Typical Prices $300/night

High-End Accommodations: Here, you’ll find on mountain properties or luxury hotels within walking distance. Plan to pay well for convenience and luxury. Typical Prices $800/night

Ski-In Ski-Out Accommodations: These are the absolute most convenient places to stay (especially when traveling with kids. Sometimes they’ll be at the base area, others are right in the middle of a run at the ski hill. You’ll find everything from condos to cabins on the slopes. Typical Prices $1000-$3000/night

Budget Ski Accomodation Price$150/night
Mid-Range Ski Accomodation Price$300/night
High-End Ski Accomodation Price$800/night
Ski-In Ski-Out Accomodation Price$1000-$3000/night

How To Save Money On A Ski Trip

At this point, your head might be spinning at the costs related to skiing. Trust me, I’ve been there. From a poor college student trying to afford as many ski days as possible, to a newly married young couple trying to afford our ski habit with little kids in tow. We’ve found some absolutely amazing way to ski for cheap, but also know that saving and budgeting goes a long way as well (we literally save all year long for our season passes).

Get FREE Kids Lift Tickets

Many resorts have programs where kids ski free. SOme even include free rentals or lessons for kids. Make sure to read all about the ski resorts where kids ski free.

Kids skiing together

Borrow Ski Gear From Friends

Not sure if you want to commit to skiing in the long term? Ask around and find friends that you can borrow ski gear or clothing from. If you’re a reliable individual, most people are happy to share with you.

Kids hiking with skis in the snow

Buy A Season Pass Instead of Day Lift Tickets

Gone are the days that season passes are just for people who ski all the time. In fact, at many resorts, a season pass is cheaper than a full week of skiing. Season passes typically give you access to all the lifts at a resort, meaning you can ski as little or as much as you want. You also often get other perks like discounts on lodging, food, and rentals.

Kids getting off ski lift skiing

Visit A Closer To Home Ski Resort

Rather than flying on your next ski vacation, do some research and see what ski resorts you can drive to from your home. Not only will you save money on flights, but it’s also significantly easier to transport your ski gear in a car than to pack it for airplane travel.

Park city ski resort in the winter

Take A Ski vacation During Shoulder Season

If you can be a bit flexible with your dates, consider planning your ski trip for shoulder season. That’s typically the time period between late February to early April. Not only will there be fewer crowds, but you’ll often find better deals on accommodations and lift tickets. Skiing Midweek is also a great way to save money on your next ski trip.

Father and son having fun skiing

Buy Lift Tickets In Advance

Most ski resorts offer significantly reduced lift ticket prices if you purchase in advance. This is especially true for larger resorts that see a lot of visitors. If you know your dates, it’s worth it to buy your lift tickets ahead of time and save some money.

Utah powder day with kids

How To Ski On A Budget

Want more tips on how to ski on a budget? We’ve put together an entire list of ways to ski for cheap that will share more of our best money-saving ski tips!

Is Skiing Or Snowboarding More Expensive?

People often ask if skiing or snowboarding is more expensive. The truth is that skiing and snowboarding cost just about the same amount. One of our kids skis and snowboards and the costs for each are almost identical. The big difference between skiing and snowboarding is the equipment, which can be just as expensive for either sport. The clothing, lift ticket prices, and accommodations are all going to be the same as the cost of snowboarding and skiing.

snowboarding with kids at nordic valley

How Do People Afford To Ski?

Skiing is a sport that’s traditionally been thought of as a rich person’s sport. However, if you’re willing to buy used ski equipment and ski at budget hills (or get a season pass), skiing can be incredibly affordable. Skiing is also more affordable for families if you choose to ski at ski hills where kids ski free.

Whistler sky cabin gondola

Where Is It Cheapest To Ski?

When you’re looking for the cheapest place to ski, look past big-name resorts, and look for smaller, local ski hills nearby. They typically still have great snow, but they’ll have a small fraction of the crowds and a much cheaper price.

Family skiing clear day

How Do I Plan For A Ski Trip?

Want to make sure that you have all the best details of your next ski trip planned out well, so you’re not wasting any money? Check out our Family Ski Trip Planner Guide, to learn all the details of planning an incredible family ski trip!

When Is The Most Expensive Time To Go Skiing?

The most expensive time of year to go skiing is from Christmas to New Years. Not only are resorts the most crowded then, but the prices for everything, including lift tickets, are significantly more expensive.

When Is It Cheapest To Ski?

The cheapest times to ski are always during the middle of the week. Nearly all ski resorts offer discounted midweek lft tickets. Skiing at low times is always a good idea as well (early december, mid February, late March)

Written by Jessica Averett

Hi, I'm Jessica! After meeting my husband on a chairlift, we now live in the mountains of Utah with our 5 kids. As a former ski instructor and mom, I'm here to help you make your family ski trips as easy, and FUN, as possible!