I grew up in a tropical country. We do not ever have snow. So the first year I lived in a country that snowed, I finally got to cross out skiing from my bucket list. Since then, I have really enjoyed the thrill of downhill skiing. You get to enjoy a nice gondola ride and swish down the slopes as the cold air blows on your face. Thereafter you get to challenge yourself to improve your skills each year and hopefully make it to one of those black ski trails or moguls one day.
I soon learned that you do not get to ski in all cities in countries that snow, even those in the northern hemisphere. For example in Illinois, they get a ton of snow, but just not hilly enough for downhill skiing. So I was excited when we moved to a city that has ski slopes within an hour drive’s from where we lived. The year my son turned seven, I was excited to bring him skiing. By some turn of luck, the ski school was full on the day we went, so instead of disappointing him and going home, I decided to coach him myself. I am quite proud to say, I went on to successfully coached all three of my kids to ski.
Skiing is an expensive hobby. After adding in lift tickets and equipment rentals, it can easily cost $100 or more for one person to go skiing. With three kids in tow, this easily becomes an even more exorbitant family activity. Therefore, while keeping in line with my motto to spend on things you truly enjoy and value and ruthlessly cut out the rest, I was so excited when I found a wonderful way to enjoy this fun activity for less as a family.
For the past four winters, we have skied at local City Parks Ski Park. It was a small facility but was plenty for the kids and me. It was small enough to not be too overwhelming, yet have enough challenging trails to keep my kids entertained. I also realized that I am beyond the age for exciting moguls and trails. In fact I enjoyed coaching my kids the most, teaching them how to keep trying and not be afraid to fall and seeing their joy when they get it.
This winter, one of my nephew visited us and I wanted to take take him and kids to experience a large ski resort. I remembered how amazed I was the first time I went skiing at Whistler mountains. It took 30mins just to get up to the very top of the mountain on the gondola. But the views were amazing. I was hoping to let my nephew have the same experience and figured it would be fun for the kids to try something new too.
We decided to go Hidden Valley Resorts, of course not quite the Whistler, but it was definitely more than I could handle with three young kids without losing them in a big mountain. As with everything else, before I purchase or do anything, I try to find if there are any deals or savings available. So I was so excited when I found that you could save more than 30% if you went as a group of 15 or more.
|SUNDAY||REGULAR RATE (ADULT)||REGULAR RATE(KIDS 6-11)||GROUP RATE(ADULT & KIDS)||SAVINGS|
|ALL DAY, 9 A.M. to 9.30 P.M.||$71||$57||$46||35%|
|TWILIGHT SESSION, 1 P.M. – 7 P.M||$48||$35||$25||48%|
|EQUIPMENT RENTALS(ALL DAY)||$40||$40||$28||30%|
|SKI OR SNOWBOARD LESSONS||$51||$51||$22||56%|
I quickly pinged a couple of other moms. We managed to get three other families who were interested and got enough people to make the minimum count of 15 pax. Instead of paying almost $400 for the twilight session, we ended up paying $265 instead. Still expensive, but better than paying $400.
Best of all, we not only got to spend time as a family, we also got to spend time with our friends on the ski slopes and everyone had a great time! I also hoped my nephew made some wonderful memories with us. He initially was not keen as he was not taught how to ski properly. Thankfully, after some tips from me, he was trying out some big trails and having a wonderful time by the end of the day.
One other tip for trying to get a group rate for ski trips is to try to find local ski clubs in your area. They often organize ski trips and you could tag allow to enjoy the savings!
So the next time before you head out for the slopes, remember to check out if there’s any group rates that are available. One of my friend, after hearing our experience, exclaimed, “I did not know about that! Next time, I will just wait in the car park to form my group.” Hmm.. I am not too sure if that is going to work out, it’s probably better to have your group together before you head out!