How to Get Free or Cheap Ski Lift Tickets

Snow Skiing

As full-day lift tickets can cost up to $100 at some high-end ski resorts, many skiers and snowboarders are looking for opportunities to save. Here are some of the ways how you can score inexpensive ski lift tickets.

  1. Search for Deeply Discounted Tickets

By planning your vacation far in advance you can purchase your tickets for up to 90% off the regular price. Just buy date-specific lift tickets in advance for the date you plan to ski. By purchasing early you can save on skiing lessons and rentals as well.

  1. Check out Local Retail Shops, Costco or REI

When shopping at the local ski store ask whether they also provide discounted lift tickets. For instance, such stores as Canyon Sports, AJ Motion Sports and See ‘n Ski do offer discounts to their customers. If you are a REI or Costco member you can buy discounted lift tickets in the grocery stores, but make sure you first check with your local store what exactly tickets are available. The grocery store Kroger (branded King Soopers and City Market in Colorado) typically collaborates with some ski resorts so customers can purchase discounted tickets at their Customer Service Desk. But if you are looking for area-specific deals you had better search the web.

  1. BOGO FREE Lift Tickets at Shell

If you live in Colorado and Michigan you can get a BOGO voucher for participating ski resorts when purchasing 10 gallons of gasoline or more at select Shell stations starting January 2017.

  1. Look for Beginner Packages during January’s Learn to Ski or Snowboard Month.

Newbies are eligible for discounted lifts, lessons and rentals within the framework of this nationwide program. Check individual resorts for detailed information concerning deals they offer for the beginners.  In addition, ski resorts across the country typically have Winter Trails Day (usually one day or one weekend) with free or deeply discounted cross-country and snowshoeing events.

  1. Check out Kids Ski Free Programs

Many ski resorts, including Steamboat, Vail Resorts and others offer free lifts, lodging and lessons to kindergarten through 5th grade students with parents for vacation stays of 5 days or longer. Such states as Colorado, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York State, Michigan and some others have statewide programs that let 5th-graders (and sometimes 3rd, 4th or 6th-graders) ski free.

  1. Purchase Colorado Gems Card

Colorado Gems Card costs just $20 but it offers great discounts at eight smaller Colorado ski areas, including Arapahoe Basin, Eldora Mountain Resort, Loveland Ski Area, Monarch Mountain, Powderhorn Resort, Ski Cooper, Ski Granby Ranch and Sunlight Mountain Resort. It also features a variety of Flash Deals with enticing last-minute promo offers available only to Colorado Gems Card.

  1. Buy Online from the Resort

If you plan a short vacation for just a few days, consider getting tickets after the cut-off date for regular season passes. For example, the prices at Vail Resorts vary depending on dates and conditions. At the beginning and the end of the season when some lifts and runs are closed, prices are typically 30% lower than during the holidays or mid-season. But make sure you purchase your tickets early to take advantage of these offers. For example, in Colorado, the best-price window at Vail Resorts is seven days out. If you plan to ski at Lake Tahoe resorts, it’s just three days.

  1. Bring a Friend

Many ski resorts offer discounted ticket price to season pass-holders if they bring friends.

  1. Save with Teen or Senior Discounts

Even though children’s ticket discounts are generally available for kids through age 12, some resorts provide teen or student tickets for season passes. For example, Stowe Mountain resort in Vermont has a variety of age-related options for season passes: deep discounts for children and young people (ages 6 to 18), young adults (ages 19 to 34) as well as full- or part-time college students. Some areas offer senior ticket discounts for age 65+, 68+ or 70+.

5 Things to Skip at Disney World to Reduce Costs

Disney World

Visiting Walt Disney World during summer vacation is probably one of the must-haves for families with kids. Unfortunately, fearing that the cost of visiting the Happiest Place on Earth is too high, some families may decide to skip this sort of entertainment and opt for a cheaper vacation. To discourage you from doing that offers some useful money saving tips that will help you stay within your budget. Of course, kids are sure to have the time of their life at Walt Disney World, especially if they adore Disney movies and characters. So taking them to Disney World can be well worth the expense. With the following cost saving ideas you are sure not to spend more than you have to!

  1. Skip the Food in the Park

The fact is that the food you will get at most amusement parks, including the more expensive Epcot, is the ordinary cafeteria food. Now the worst part of it is the price. For three adults and two kids, you will have to pay as much as $70. To cut down you food costs skip eating at the park, and get premade food from a nearby grocery store or consider making your own lunch. Or you may just pack snacks for quick meals as you walk around the park. Also, if you don’t want to spend $3 on water make sure you bring your own water with you.

  1. Limit Your Disney Memorabilia

Of course, no visit to Walt Disney World would be complete without purchasing some Disney memorabilia to take home with you.  But to avoid spending too much you had better have a plan, because near every attraction, you will be offered lots of gifts. To keep costs down consider picking your own pearl at the Japan store at Epcot (just $15.95 plus tax), or getting a special tradable collection pin that you can trade with Disney cast members or other guests. If the souvenir you purchase is tied with some sort of experience at Disney World, it will become a real keepsake to be cherished for years to come.

  1. Take Disposable Ponchos with You

The chances are that it might rain during your vacation. To enjoy your visit to Disney World without getting drenched to the skin go to a local Dollar Tree and purchase disposable ponchos for just $1. You can also buy one at the resort for around $2.99 or at Disney World at as much as $9. Ponchos sold at Disney World are probably more durable, but consider whether they worth the cost. For example, for a family of five, the Disney ponchos will cost you $45 instead of just $5 for those bought at the dollar store. Or you can just pack the rain jackets you already have.

  1. Skip the Park Hopper Option

If it’s going to be your first visit to Disney World you probably won’t use the park hopper option as there’s so much to see and do in each park. Just ask yourself if you need the park hopper option to be added to your base tickets. Unless you’ve already been to the parks and know exactly what you want to experience at each park, it will be wasted money for the whole family.

  1. Save $17 on Disney Parking.

Disney World visitors pay $17 to park at the theme park lot without repaying the parking fee for the day when going from one theme park lot to another. If you plan to stay in one park, you can completely skip this expense. In fact, most non-Disney resorts offer free shuttle service to and from the park and all Disney resorts offer free transportation for guests as well. Of course, if you prefer to be on your own schedule without worrying about the shuttle schedule then parking is your best choice.

10 Ways to Save at California State Parks

Many outdoor enthusiasts must have noticed that going to a state beach or visiting one of California’s 278 state parks is becoming more and more expensive. In fact, Orange County is notorious for having the most expensive state parks in the entire country, one-third more than similar parks in San Diego and Santa Barbara. Unfortunately, you can’t change the park fees but you can substantially reduce your costs if you follow the tips below.

  1. Become a Member of the California State Parks Foundation.

Join the California State Parks Foundation to receive seven parking passes that can be used at any state park or beach. This way you will save $105, if you pay $15 each time to park at a state beach in Orange County. Keep in mind that this pass is not valid for beaches run by cities such as Huntington Beach, only for state parks.

  1. Get a Senior Discount

If you are 62 or older, you’ll get $1 off your parking fee at state parks and beaches.

  1. Ride your bike

You can hike or ride a bike to get to a California state park unless the tour requires admission tickets. Plus most state parks are now offering “Hike or Bike” campsites on a first-come, first-served basis which are much cheaper than regular ones.

  1. Walk in Free

On approaching a popular state park, you may notice many cars parked along the road. In most cases, these belong to people who park just outside the park’s boundaries and then walk in without paying a fee. If you want to save and don’t mind walking, it’s worth trying.

  1. Buy a Regular Annual Pass

Frequent visitors have a choice of four different 2015 annual passes for California State Parks which are good for 12 months whenever you buy them. Annual passes can be purchased online at the California State Parks Store or starting Jan. 5 at state parks where fees are collected. Keep in mind though that no pass will give you free access to all of the 280 sites managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The most expensive one is California Explorer Annual Pass that costs $195. It grants admission into 134 state parks including Torrey Pines State Beach in La Jolla and Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu. But it won’t get you into Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisadesm where parking fees range from $4 to $14.50 in summer; Corona del Mar, Dockweiler State Beach, also in L.A., and Point Dume State Beach in Malibu where summer parking costs run $3 to $12.50. Many surfers prefer the California Explorer for the number of beaches it covers.

Golden Poppy Annual Pass at the price of $125 covers 112 parks including great hiking and outdoor spots such as Julia Pfeiffer Burns and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park near Monterey and Will Rogers State Historic Park in Los Angeles. In Southern California, it won’t cover Topanga State Park, Malibu Creek State Park, Crystal Cove State Park and the beaches mentioned above. This pass is extremely popular among hikers because it includes access to many parks and picturesque trail heads.

Tahoe Pass that costs $75 was created exclusively for the Lake  Tahoe region. It provides admission to D.L. Bliss State Park, Ed Z’Berg Sugar Pine Point State Park, Emerald Bay State Park, Kings Beach State Recreation Area and Donner Memorial State Park.

The Historian Passport costs $50 and grants admission for up to four people to state historic parks that charge an entry fee.

  1. Apply for a Disabled Lifetime Pass

People with a permanent disability can get a lifetime state parks pass for only $3.50. The proof of disability is required. This pass entitles the bearer to a 50% discount for vehicle day use, family camping, and boat use fees at state parks and beaches except Hearst Castle. You only have to buy this pass once in your lifetime.

  1. Get the Limited Use Golden Bear Pass

For just $20 a year the U.S. residents who are 62 or older can get a “limited-use” annual Golden Bear pass that entitles the holder and spouse or registered domestic partner entry to most California State Parks during non-peak season (from Memorial Day through Labor Day and winter in Anza-Borrego) where vehicle day use fees are collected at no charge. The pass must be renewed each year.

  1. Get a $5 Annual Golden Bear Pass

If you are 62 or older and on a low fixed income, receiving Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled or CalWorks, you may receive an annual Golden Bear state pass for $5 per year. The pass must be renewed each calendar year.

  1. Get a Free Distinguished Veteran Lifetime Pass

Honorably discharged military war veterans living in California who received a 50% or more service-connected disability, were held as a prisoner of war, or received the Congressional Medal of Honor, are eligible for the Distinguished Veteran Pass. This pass is absolutely free and grants free admission and free family camping and day use to all facilities operated by the state parks system. Keep in mind that the pass is not valid at parks operated by local government, private agencies or concessionaires.

  1. Go primitive

You can get 50% off camping fees in state parks if you decide to stay at a “primitive” site. These sites are equipped with fewer facilities and feature chemical toilets. There are no electrical or other hookups for RVs and you will have to bring your own water. Primitive campsite fees currently range from $9 to $25, while developed campground fees can cost up to $60. Some of these campgrounds are very picturesque, less crowded and much easier to reserve.

Enjoy Free Summer Movies with Your Kids

When you visit some of Clearview Cinemas in New Jersey, New York or Pennsylvania you will surely be interested in opportunity of enjoying a movie a week for eight weeks thanks to Clearview’s Kid’s Club free summer series of movie. As a rule it starts in July and you can watch movies at 10:30 on Thursday mornings.

Clearview’s Kid’s Club showed such famous family movies like Nanny McPhee, Madagascar, Curious George and other great films. So if you want to be part of Clearview’s Kid’s Club check out in June for info at

Free summer movies

Mountains Are Fascinating





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Free Admission to Museums

Free Admissions to Museums

Did you know that on Museum Day you could get a free admission to thousands of participating museums?

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