Own the Slopes at Out-of-the-Way Ski Resorts
If you schedule your annual ski trip just one week earlier, you'll avoid killer lift lines. Resorts that aren't located near a big city or a major airport tend to be slow during the pre-Christmas weeks, so you'll likely be sharing the lift with a few locals trying to ski off the holiday stress. At Taos Ski Valley, which is a two-hour drive from the nearest airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico, there are less than half as many skiers on the mountain on December 20 as on December 27. Business at the Sun Valley Resort in Idaho starts ramping up on December 20, but lift ticket prices go up $6 on the 25th. Both resorts say they make enough artificial snow that beginner and intermediate skiers will be able to count on well-groomed trails even if the mid-December weather doesn't cooperate.