All-Inclusive Ski Vacations
All inclusive ski vacations are a great way to de-stress a winter getaway. And if there's a silver-sloped lining to a down economy, it's that ski resorts are anxious to bring more skiers to their slopes, and that means bargains abound, if you know where to find them.
Europe is the place to go if you want to kick back, have three meals a day, lift tickets, amenities, and entertainment rolled into one package. Club Med has a number of specials at their all-inclusive ski resorts in France, Switzerland, and Italy, and despite the sometimes unfashionable connotation of the brand, in most cases, that's really unearned. Their Cervinia, Italy location, for instance, rates consistently well.
In the United States, however, you aren't likely to find many traditional fully all-inclusive ski vacations (i.e., including meals and beverages), but there are a number of websites and services that organize and update ski vacation packages and deals on a daily basis which at least bundle the price of your lift ticket in with lodging and free nights. Rocky Mountain Tours is a good place to start if you're looking to ski west, with featured deals at resorts from New Mexico to Canada, featuring names like Aspen, Telluride, Snowbird, and Whistler-Blackcomb. If you'd rather go straight to the source, there's also Snow.com's deal page which handles the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone resorts in Colorado and Heavenly ski resort in Lake Tahoe, California.
Tours de Sport, which covers deals from all over North America (you'll notice half of the ski-package sites on the web are "powered by" Tours de Sport -- just go to the source). You can use their interactive map function to get a quick overview of where the "hot deals" are that week (just look for red flame) broken down by state/province and resort. Then there's Ski.com which maintains a well-kept list of daily and weekly lodging and skiing bundles for resorts all over the world.
Finally, for a slightly more DIY-approach, you can always check Expedia's list of Winter ski deals, which helpfully lays out the price of airfare, lift tickets, and accommodations in addition to listing top deals from various resorts in North America and Europe. It's not strictly "all-inclusive," but you can save yourself considerable headache by booking as much as you can in advance.
Photo by via Iwona Erskine-Kellie via Flickr