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5 Ways to Save Money on your Estes Park Vacation

Do you want to know the BEST WAYS to save money on your Estes Park vacation? As industry experts, we’ve compiled our TOP SAVINGS TIPS:

1. Never, Never book your Lodging with one of These 

OTAs (or Online Travel Agencies such as, Expedia, or Travelocity). We’ve all seen them. They’re at the top of every Google search for hotels or lodging, and for good reason – they pay big bucks to advertise. But will they actually save you money? Turns out, the answer is NO!

The top tip for saving money on your Estes Park vacation is to book directly. Avoid booking your lodging through one of the popular OTAs. It turns out that these third-party booking agencies actually charge local lodges between 15-30% commission fees, and this means you may actually be paying MORE for your room by inflating prices! always provides the customer direct access to local lodging’s own booking sites and phone numbers.

2. Dine In … (at Least 1 Meal a Day!)

A great way to stretch your vacation budget is to save on food. So many resorts, lodges, and vacation homes have well-stocked kitchens. Our search tools can help you find a great place to stay with a kitchenette so you can fix a few meals. Estes Park has a couple of options for grocery shopping. But if you’re driving into town you can maximize your food savings by shopping in the front range before you head into the mountains. 

Another pro tip – there is only one restaurant in RMNP… and it’s at the Alpine Visitor’s Center all the way at the top of Trail Ridge Road! To avoid going in and out of RMNP and dealing with crowds, pack a picnic lunch with incredible views inside the park. Here are some great spots to eat your picnic.

3. Park Pass

One of our favorite ways to save money, also gives back. Did you know that the America the Beautiful Pass can save you money on park entrance fees? And that’s every time you visit any National Park or National Forest Land around the country! Additionally, they have special passes for seniors, active duty military & veterans, 4th graders, and people with a disability. These passes are well worth getting before your visit to RMNP! You will also feel great knowing you are supporting public lands. Up to 100% of the proceeds from these passes are used to enhance visitor recreational experiences. 

4. Avoid Peak Season 

Timing is everything when it comes to saving money! A simple tip to keep in mind: If schools are out, there will be bigger crowds and higher prices. If you have flexibility, plan a trip outside of the peak season from June to October. The wildlife will still be plentiful, the traffic will have died down, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find better deals. 

Another thing to keep in mind for the off-peak season: longer stays can equal savings if you plan your trip for late fall, winter or spring. Often, a hotel or lodge will offer a discount for a week-long stay because less turnover means less work for their staff, and they’re happy to pass that savings along to the guest.

If you are planning a visit during the peak months, be sure to book early!

5. Seasonal Specials

You can save money with a couple simple clicks. We have the insider scoop on local lodging specials! Check out packages and specials that local lodges advertise with us, and on their websites – discounts at a restaurant, a bottle of wine, firewood, or outdoor activities for a couple or family are common if you know where to look!

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