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How to save on a family ski weekend

You can have a wonderful winter vacation without emptying your bank account. Here's how.

It's never too late to get a great travel deal! Here are some tips on how to save on a skiing trip with your family.

Book early. The earlier you commit, the more you save, said John Briley at The Washington Post. Check Liftopia for big discounts on advance-purchase lift tickets. New York's Whiteface Mountain, for example, is offering more than 30 percent off a package of four lift tickets — if you purchase by Dec. 8.

Place some calls. Ski resorts prioritize customer service, so get on the phone to ask the customer reps if they can help put together a ski and lodging package. Often you'll save both time and money compared with shopping for packages online, a task that often involves "maddeningly illogical" web interfaces.

Consider smaller resorts. Everything is twice as expensive at a megaresort, and kids especially will be just as happy at a small one — such as Wyoming's Grand Targhee or Vermont's Mad River Glen, which is offering three unrestricted, transferable lift tickets for $169, 37 percent off the regular price.

Buy megapasses. Hoping to hit a few resorts? The Mountain Collective Pass, at $499 per adult and $99 a child, will buy two days of skiing or boarding at any of 16 resorts, plus half off additional days. Colorado's $899 Epic Pass provides unlimited skiing at 15 resorts, plus six discounted tickets for friends.

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