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How to Book a Last-Minute Ski Trip With Points and Miles

Jan. 15, 2020
Travel, Vacations & Trip Planning
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This article is being updated.

Sometimes, booking last-minute allows you the opportunity to take advantage of last-minute deals. If you’re looking to book a last-minute ski holiday, there are a few things to keep in mind. For the sake of this article, let’s use Beaver Creek as an example. Beaver Creek is located in the Colorado Rockies and it’s perfect for the quintessential Colorado skiing experience. While it isn’t Vail, Beaver Creek is an excellent option for beginner and intermediate skiers.

Let’s say you’re faced with a semi-last-minute opportunity to head up to Beaver Creek but you’re not sure how to book this trip. To make the most out of the time frame you have, it’s best to pounce as soon as possible and pool all of your resources. Once you’ve decided where you’d like to go, hop online and get booking!

» Learn more: The cheapest ways to fly with skis and snowboards

Be flexible

This one depends on your situation, but last-minute ski trips aren’t always easily booked if you can’t be a little flexible with your dates. This mostly pertains to accommodations. However, if you can leave yourself a little bit of wiggle room, you might be able to snag yourself a deal instead of paying inflated last-minute prices.

Book lift tickets online, ASAP

As with many attractions, Beaver Creek incentivizes skiers with lower prices when they book online rather than at the counter. By buying online, you not only receive an online booking discount, but you also can skip the line and head to the express counter to pick up your lift ticket when you arrive.

In addition to discounted lift tickets, booking seven-plus days in advance can get you bigger savings. If you have the ability to wait a week before you hit the slopes, it’s definitely worth it to do so.

Book several days of skiing

Let’s say you’ve decided to go to Beaver Creek but you would also like to check out the slopes at Vail, Breckenridge or Keystone. Typically, purchasing a multi-day lift ticket will entitle you to lifts at multiple resorts. With Beaver Creek, for example, purchasing a lift ticket for three or more days gets you access to Beaver Creek, Vail, Breckenridge and Keystone Resorts. This way, you don’t have to choose between slopes and can ski your way through each resort if you wish.

Use your points

If you have a stack of points, redeeming them for a last-minute ski trip to Beaver Creek might get you a lot of value. With last-minute fares and hotel rates generally being higher, dipping into your points and miles stash might be the way to go.

Below are some examples of bookings you can make at Beaver Creek on points, but there are plenty of options for these same loyalty programs in most of the big ski destinations.

» Learn more: 5 great ski resorts you can book with points

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek

The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa is a great option if you want to be right on the slopes. Starting at just 30,000 points per night (or 15,000 points + cash) you can enjoy mountainside luxury, cozy winter vibes and on-site dining with your family or ski buddies. The on-site concierge can help you plan your ski adventure if you are unable to do so in advance.

Grand Hyatt Vail

Of course, it’s possible that your last-minute booking can’t accommodate your first choice of hotel. In that case, it’s nice that many of the ski resorts are within close proximity to one another. Even with your plans to ski Beaver Creek, you could stay at Grand Hyatt Vail for 30,000 points per night, Hyatt Residence Club Breckenridge, Main Street Station for 25,000 points per night, or Hyatt Place Keystone for 15,000 points per night.

Beaver Creek Lodge

Of course, plenty of other hotel brands are available near the slopes. You can redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points at Beaver Creek Lodge for 50,000 points per night during off-peak travel dates. Note that standard nights at the Category 7 property cost 60,000 points per night, while peak nights cost 70,000 points.

» Learn more: How to book a ski adventure with points and miles

Use a travel agency

When all else fails, consult the experts. Travel agencies operate for the express purpose of helping folks organize their dream holiday, whether it’s well in advance or last-minute. While it may be beneficial to consult a small local travel agency or general touring company, you can also simply start with Expedia.

As a well-established site that boasts great value, Expedia features travel packages and deals that extend to ski resorts.

With Expedia, you can peruse available deals on accommodations, flights and activities separately or together. Again, it comes down to flexibility. If you are flexible with dates and accommodations and are looking for a great last-minute deal, Expedia is an excellent resource.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
How to book a ski trip and save cash
Ask a points nerd: What’s the best way to use my travel credit card points?
Find the best travel credit card for you

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