The southern United States has a large freshwater lake attracting thousands of tourists each year. With a picturesque setting and an endless range of activities including hiking and fishing as well as skiing and snowboarding, there’s little wonder why Lake Tahoe is a favorite vacationing spot. Tourists have a variety of accommodation options from hotels and resorts to rustic mountainside Lake Tahoe cabins. But such an environment comes at a cost. Check out how to cut the expenses on your trip to Lake Tahoe below.
Travel Outside of Peak Season
Lake Tahoe’s peak season corresponds to the summer for outdoor enthusiasts and hordes of skiers and snowboards flock here in winter. Expect the price of accommodation to be higher and have less availability compared to offseason. If you want to come to the lake to enjoy hiking, the scenery and to take part in water sports, visit in late spring or early fall instead of summer. Not only will you find slightly lower prices but the views and experience are going to be different. From the spring flowers to the fall’s colors, Lake Tahoe is beautiful at all times of the year. If you plan to take part in winter sports, snow usually starts to fall from November to early March. The busiest time of the year is around Christmas and New Year. But expect the costs to be much higher.
Visit the Southern Side of the Lake
Lake Tahoe splits a vertical border between California and Nevada. Californian has approximately two-thirds of the lake while Nevada’s is about one-third. Different sides of the lake tend to cost slightly more or less. A top tip to avoid paying a higher rate is to head to the southern part of Lake Tahoe. You can stay on either the Californian or Nevadan side and can expect to pay less than other destinations. As an added benefit, it’s easy to pass from one side to the next and to experience them both.
Search for Promotions and Discounts
Regardless of where you travel in the world, the 21st-century often provides opportunities to find discounts and promotions online. Search on coupon websites and take advantage of special offers. Finding a gem could potentially save a significant amount on everything from accommodation and dining costs to renting water or skiing equipment. As an alternative, call the place you plan to stay in advance and ask if they can give you a discount, especially out of peak season. Unless you search and ask, you’ll never find the deal of a lifetime.
Want to Go Skiing? Book Months in Advance
Skiing season takes place at the same time every year. So if you know you’re going to go skiing, it might be a good idea to start making arrangements in advance. Leaving it to the last minute will leave only a limited selection of accommodation choices, and it might be hard to get a skiing pass. Instead, a smart way would be to start enquiring towards the late summer. If you’re planning to go skiing at Lake Tahoe, the early birds often find themselves with the best offers and deals.
Enjoy the Free Activities
One of the benefits of visiting Lake Tahoe is the wide selection of outdoor activities. You could easily spend a weekend or even a week hiking along different trails and be rewarded with the views and incredible scenery. Some visitors use the campsites and spend all their time enjoying the environment and outdoor wonderland that they’re in. Others will stay in a hotel or cabin and make the most of what they can see. Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to relax and get reacquainted with the great outdoors. And the best part is that most activities are free. Unless you want to rent a jet ski or visit some of the attractions in the towns, you won’t have to worry about paying admission fees.
Have a Picnic Rather than Eating Out
Just because you’re at Lake Tahoe on vacation, it doesn’t mean you should eat out for every single meal. Some hotels provide a breakfast leaving you to find something to eat for the rest of the day. Instead of going to the restaurant, why not visit the local supermarket and make yourself a picnic? This has two benefits: First, it cuts the costs of meals and second, who wants to rush back to the town when they’re out on the trails because they’re hungry? Grab yourself some snacks and make a bite to eat and put it into your day sack. This allows you to stop at any place you want and have a bite to eat. Just think of the views from the top of the mountains or along the side of the lake. Eating next to it gives you more time to appreciate what you’re seeing.
Drive Rather than Using Public Transport
If you have a car and are travelling outside of winter, driving is the most cost-effective way to visit Lake Tahoe. Buses are available from the nearest airports in both Nevada’s Reno and California’s Sacramento but expect a one-way ticket to be around $50. Public transport at the lake isn’t very reliable either. A set of wheels gives you freedom and flexibility as well as cutting the costs.
Lake Tahoe Doesn’t Have to Be an Expensive Destination
As you’ve seen, there are several ways and hacks to reduce the cost of taking a trip to Lake Tahoe. Try to travel off season and avoid weekends, search for promotions in advance and make the most out of the free activities.