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Nordic Getaway: Turn a Day Trip into a Stay Trip

Travel Tips Monday, February 1, 2016

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.

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