We all love the word free, especially when used in connection with travel. Here's how to save green this ski season with these great vacation package deals from top resorts --
Crested Butte, Colorado is famous for its early season packages that give away free lift tickets. Ski for free. The freebie is good from opening day Nov. 26 -- that's the day before Thanksgiving -- throuugh Dec. 15, 2008. Find a choice of "Stay and Ski Free" packages starting at $63 per night, on the Crested Butte website. One choice is Elk Mountain Lodge in downtown Crested Butte, a great old-fashioned Western town. You'll get a room with king bed, full bath, mountain view, breakfast and lift tickets for two for $125 plus tax per night. Room, breakfast and lift ticket for less than the price of a lift ticket alone. Now that's a great green travel deal! And you get to ski one of the best mountains in Colorado. Some of my favorite runs are off the Paradise chairlift. I've said more than once I want to ski another day in Paradise.
Waterville Valley, New Hampshire offers a $30 gas voucher for guests staying three nights or longer. And packages start at $77 per person per night, though Dec. 21. Add a semi-private ski lesson for just $35 per person. Waterville Valley is about two-hours drive from Boston, six from New York City, in the scenic White Mountains. It also boasts one of the most diverse -- and picturesque -- cross-country ski trail systems in the Northeast.
Are you currently on active duty or a retiree? Diamond Peak in North Lake Tahoe is giving away free lift tickets for people with an active military ID. The offer is good Mondays through Fridays in non-holiday periods, such as Xmas-New Year's week.