5 affordable ski-free winter vacations for the whole family

You don’t have to ski to enjoy the snow. Forget overpriced lift passes, exclusive resorts, and expensive gear. From dog sledding in Norway to snow tubing in Breckenridge, Colorado, keep the whole family happy with these five wallet-friendly vacations in the snow.

1. Go dog sledding in Norway

Dog lovers, listen up. How do you fancy heading into the wild with Alaskan huskies for company? Take your place on your sleigh and let your personal pack ride you through the winter wonderlands of Ringebu, Tromso, and Jotunheimen National Park. You’ll even get to feed and care for your newfound friends along the way. Given that peak season is winding down, accommodation and restaurant costs will be more affordable, making March a great time to visit the stunning snowscapes of this Arctic treasure.

Make this cozy cabin your home base for fireside warm-ups.

Average cost per person, per night is $21.*

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2. Catch the Northern Lights in Whistler, Canada

Ready to see a party in the sky? If the Northern Lights haven’t made it onto your bucket list yet, the time is now. Vacation in technicolor with a stay in Whistler, Canada, and cross everything in hope for the lightshow of your life. Of course, there are no guarantees as to when they’ll show up, but cozying up with family as you stargaze expectantly, hot chocolate in hand, makes for the perfect affordable winter family vacation for whiling away winter in style.

Bag a wow home on a wallet-friendly budget.

Average cost per person, per night is $48.*

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3. Explore snow-covered Salt Lake City, Utah

If you like the snow but prefer the city to the slopes, head to Salt Lake City for an urban winter adventure. Take a free tour of Temple Square and make for one of the famous hot chocolate houses where you can learn how to make your own. Then hit the Downtown Farmer’s Market to stock up on fresh local honey, cheese, meats, fruit, and veggies to cook up a family feast back in the warmth of your vacation home.

Everyone’s invited to this character-packed urban oasis.

Average cost per person, per night is $34.*

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4. Soak your stresses away in a French Alps thermal pool

True, the French Alps are not known for their cheap ski resorts. But if you think it’s all bougie ski chalets and overpriced après ski, think again! It’s totally possible to boss an affordable winter vacation here with a cute and classy cabin fit for the whole family. Switch the skis for incredible views of snow-covered mountains, crisp snowy walks together, and a soothing soak (or three!) in an outdoor thermal spa. Stay past sunset and bathe beneath the starry skies for total unadulterated bliss.

Keep it cheap and chic in this stylish mountain retreat.

Average cost per person, per night is $18.*

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5. Go snow tubing in Breckenridge, Colorado

Could there be anything more fun than flying down the snowy slopes at white-knuckle speed with your family and friends? Done by day, or under the twinkling lights by night, it’s a great way to enjoy Breck on a budget. The best bit? Age and experience don’t matter. Everyone from grandma to the little ones are invited, which makes it the best family snow vacation ever. If you’re looking to save a few extra dollars, hunt out a free ride on open slopes, like Breck’s sledding hill. Just don’t forget to bring your own tube or sled.

Go big, spend small with this huge family hot-tub home.

Average cost per person, per night is $33.*

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*Property costs reflect average per night rates based on maximum occupancy, rounded up to the nearest dollar.