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.”
5. Ask about event rates
Nordic centers, ranches and resorts might partner with area lodging or have their own sweet deals to incentivize racers or tour participants to make it a longer visit.
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.