Whistler on a Thin Wallet: Frugal Advice for Travelers on a Budget

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Whistler, British Columbia is one of the most-beautiful places on the planet.  Every person should get a chance to see the majestic mountains and breath the fresh North American air.  However, not everyone has the budget for lavish vacations.  Of course, you don’t have to spend a lot to see wonderful places.  Here’s how to make your way to Whistler on a frugal budget.

Cheap Sleeps

Those who determine the price of lodgings at Whistler know what they’re doing.  Rates rise as holiday and vacation season approaches.  You’ll pay top dollar if you’re headed that way from Christmas to the new year, but prices start to drop the closer you get to late March and April. 

Also, you can shop around for hotel or condo discounts.  You may get a discount on a package deal that includes lodging and lift tickets.  Depending on the point of contact, you may find a deal that includes free parking and an extra night’s stay.

Also, pay attention to various vacation rentals in Whistler.  In some cases, you may get more space at a lower price when you rent directly from owners.  The area is home to plenty of people who have the business sense to know they can help pay the mortgage by renting their homes and apartments for a part of the season.

If you want to take the ski bum approach, try a hand at couchsurfing or staying at a number of hostels in the area.  The Hostelling International-Whistler is a four-story building with plenty of opportunity for those who don’t want to spend big bucks on accommodations.

Low Fee Parking

Making your way around the village warrants nothing but your own two feet, yet if you park your car nearby, be prepared for a bit of a shock.  You may get charged $20 or more to keep your ride at a hotel’s parking lot, which adds up, so it’s worth shopping around and taking notice of deals that include free parking.  Day lots near the slopes may charge as little as $8 for the day but there’s no overnight parking.  Outlying lots near Creekside are free.

Ways to Save

You may find a deal on a place to stay or a lift ticket at a great price, but if you’re traveling on a budget, catching one break may not be enough.  To start, buy lift tickets in advance.  You can usually get tickets as part of a hotel package if you book a room before you go. 

Secondly, travel to Whistler later in the season.  Once Whistler closes, lift tickets drop for Blackcomb-only skiing (starting in late April).  Also, rather than a full day, ski for half a day.  The afternoon prices drop to about half the price.  Some score last-minute tickets at 7-Eleven in Squamish, getting $17 off the price of a daily ticket.

Grocery Shopping

If you’re traveling on a budget, don’t be tempted to eat at restaurants or pay top dollar for a beer or cocktail.  Buy groceries and libations from local stores, which won’t eat into your budget.  Sure, eating well a pleasure of going on vacation, but you’ll have to decide what aspects of Whistler are most important.  You can always return at another point to experience the finer dining destinations.

Harry Boyette works as a travel consultant. He enjoys sharing his experiences on the web. His articles can be found mainly on travel sites.

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LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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