Long days skiing shouldn’t end sitting in traffic; it’s always more fun to have an apres ski dinner, tuck in for the night, and get a few more kilometers in the next day. But how to score last-minute rooms and good deals, especially when occupancy is high? We asked a Nordic resort insider to give his best tips for landing lodging.
1. Depart from the herd. “They go left, you go right—if everyone wants to book a three day weekend, you book the weekend following,” says our source.
2. Get on the list. Most hotels, resorts or ranches have e-mail lists where they blast out updates on packages, events, sales, and more. “This is where we list our deals first—even before social media.” Find a favorite property and get connected.
3. Think mid-week. Weekends mean peak occupancy and prices; Sundays through Thursdays there are “sweet deals to be found—think breakfast included, resort credit, and significantly lower rates.”
4. It doesn’t hurt to call. Even when travel search sites and lodging web sites show a place a full, there may be last-minute rooms available. “Call the front desk directly, and ask if there were any cancellations day-of. You might not get a deal, but you may get a room.”
6. Don’t forget late and early season. “Some of the best skiing happens in December and April, with huge dumps of snow; rates are terrific.” Not to mention more available staff—a great time for lessons, demos, and one-on-one advice.
Other ways to play the lodging game
Be a regular. When booking condos or homes through a property management company, you frequently get first dibs on the same time slot the following year.
Look for odd days. Found a great property on VRBO, but it’s always booked? Look for unbooked days sandwiched between bookings—like a stray Sunday or Thursday night. You may be able to book for one night (vs. the typical 3-day or week minimum) and/or avoid things like cleaning fees. Again—ask and negotiate.