Tips for Managing the Cost of Skiing

Skiing is a popular winter hobby, but skiing costs can be high if you don't budget carefully

Skiing is a winter tradition for many people, but the average cost of skiing might be surprising to a first-time skier. In this article, you'll find some helpful tips for purchasing everything you need for your first downhill winter adventure, in addition to a few ideas for planning for skiing expenses. We'll also explain how you can budget for and keep track of your skiing costs when you open a checking account with Citizens Bank. With checking from Citizens Bank, you'll gain access to convenient banking features that will help you save for the cost of skiing and make your trips even more enjoyable.

The ski equipment, lodging, travel and lift ticket can cause the average cost of skiing to rise quickly

Preparing for a weekend of skiing means budgeting for several different aspects of the trip. Below are a few examples of items you'll need to include in your skiing budget:

  • Skis - To rent or to buy: It's an age-old question for skiers. Since the cost of skiing equipment will likely be close to $1,000 (not including maintenance and transportation), buying equipment outright probably doesn't make financial sense for casual skiers, but it could be cost-effective for someone who skis often. Ski equipment rentals generally range from $30 - $60, with larger, top-tier resorts on the high end of the range and smaller hills on the low end. Usually, the rates cover only basic ski gear rental, with the price of premium equipment rentals being higher.

  • Lift ticket - For first-time skiers, a lift ticket is a tag that you attach to your coat that gives you access to ski lifts and to the top of the hill. The cost of a ski lift ticket varies depending on the size and location of the resort. Larger resorts could charge close to $100 per day, while smaller hills average around $40 or $50. You may be able to bring the cost down by skiing only during certain hours, as many resorts offer special afternoon and evening rates. If you plan to ski often, you can purchase a season pass to bring down skiing expenses. At a smaller resort, season passes will be around $500, while a larger resort will cost somewhere around $1,000 per season.

  • Travel and lodging - Unless you live near a ski resort, you'll have to travel the next time you want to hit the slopes. If you'll be traveling more than a few miles, be sure to factor the cost of gas, a hotel and maybe even a plane ticket into your estimated skiing costs. Ski resorts are popular travel destinations, and nearby hotels fill up quickly during winter. Book your trip well in advance, and never assume there will be available rooms when you arrive. Even if you aren't planning on staying overnight, winter weather can be unpredictable, so it's wise to have an emergency fund for last-minute accommodations.

Don't forget about the cost of cold-weather clothing and gear when estimating the average cost of skiing

First-time skiers might end up underestimating the amount or cost of ski equipment and gear they will need. Staying warm on the slopes is about more than comfort; it's about staving off frostbite and staying safe. Whether you're starting on the bunny (easy) hills or heading straight for the moguls (very bumpy runs), always factor the following items into your anticipated costs:

  • Jacket - Though almost everyone owns a winter jacket, a ski jacket may be different from what you wear casually. Look for something with a hard shell that will resist wind and repel water. A good jacket is essential to include in your budget for skiing costs.

  • Ski/snow pants - Insulated pants with a hard, waterproof shell are ideal since they will keep you warm and dry while keeping moisture out.

  • Gloves - Choose waterproof gloves that fit snugly. Fingers are especially susceptible to frostbite, so be sure to budget for a quality pair of gloves.

  • Hat - Purchase a winter hat that fits comfortably to keep your ears and head protected from the cold downhill wind.

  • Base layer - The base layer is clothing worn beneath your ski coat that usually encompasses two to three layers. The lightweight first layer should be thin and made of a material designed to wick away body moisture. Adding a thicker, mid-weight layer on top of the thin layer is usually sufficient to stay warm in moderately-cold conditions. If it's frigid, you'll also need to budget for a thick heavy-weight layer in your skiing budget.

  • Socks - Not only do you need thick, warm socks, but you should also try to include a sock liner to protect your feet from moisture. Since your feet's mobility will be limited by rigid boots, it's very important to be sure they aren't soaked by the end of the day.

Here's how opening Circle Gold Checking with Interest® from Citizens Bank can help you manage skiing costs

Skiing can be a fun way to enjoy the winter months, but it can also be an expensive hobby if you don't anticipate the costs. When you need to budget for the cost of skiing, consider opening Circle Gold Checking with Interest from Citizens Bank. This banking solution is not only a great way to plan and budget funds, but it also earns you interest while you bank. Plus, when you open a checking account with Citizens Bank, you can take advantage of convenient online bill pay to manage your finances while you're away from home. With the help of Citizens Bank, it's never been easier to budget for a memorable weekend on the slopes!


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