When you only have one precious week off from work, you don't want to waste it. Now thanks to scientific research announced by Ski.com, you can make an informed decision about picking dates for your winter retreat.

According to the results, January 9 to 14 is officially the best week of the year to plan your ski trip. As explained in a recent press release, "Ski.com used weather information and analyzed cost and arrival data of more than 25,000 recent reservations to pinpoint the best time to take a low-cost, crowd-free and powder-filled ski vacation." After all, why should you have to compromise one for the other?

They're serious about cost savings too — skiers can save up to 45 percent at resorts like Aspen, Jackson Hole, and Beaver Creek if they forgo December dates and opt for the second week of January instead. As the press release shows in an example, "a five-night ski vacation for four people at Beaver Creek during the recommended time period costs $1,674 per person for lift tickets and accommodation in a two-bedroom condo at the Elkhorn Lodge. In comparison, the same trip at Christmas would cost $3,049 per person."

Yeah, that's a good chunk of change that could go to other things. Along with price, Ski.com saw a noticeable dip in arrivals during the mid-winter season; half that of Christmas week and 44 percent less than any week in February. That means less crowded slopes, shorter lines, and unobstructed pictures that actually capture those epic mountain views — not tourists.

As for the actual snow conditions, meteorologist for OpenSnow, Joel Gratz, points out that by early January, most resorts have had time to build up their base depth. That means more open runs, more courage to try new tricks, and more cushion when you fall. Hey, it happens.

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