You’ve just booked your ski condo and now the next step is to find a way to get your skis and gear there! There are a few things to think about when traveling with so much equipment, so consider all the options first, then decide what works best for you and your family.
Fly: Check Your Ski Bag!
Most airlines will let you check out a ski or board bag for the same price as regular carry-on luggage, which is a great inexpensive option for getting your gear to your destination. Do your homework before booking, as some airlines charge baggage fees. Also don’t forget to weigh your bag – keep it under 50 pounds to avoid overweight charges.
You can pack your gear in a hard-sided sports tube, this does protect the equipment well, but can often get bulky and difficult to handle. Most ski shops sell soft ski bags or board bags at reasonable prices and they provide adequate protection. You can also wrap the skis in bubble wrap or plastic for added protection. Another option is to pack your clothes in a bag.. your jacket doubles as a packing material!
Getting to the Resort from the Airport
Once you arrive at the airport, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to carry yourself and your mountain climbing gear to the resort. Most car rental companies have vehicles equipped with ski racks or boxes. You may also want to request 4 wheel drive or all wheel drive to make sure you get there safely without any worries, even if you experience snow!
Shuttle services are also common and will usually drop you off right at your destination. Most airport shuttles offer better rates for larger groups of people, so if you’re bringing the whole family, the cost per person will be lower. Be sure to schedule your shuttle in advance and make a reservation. Transport is a great option because you’re leaving all the driving to someone else, especially on unfamiliar roads with winter driving conditions you might not be used to. Just sit back and enjoy the view…or take a nap!
Keystone, Colorado has a spectacular free bus transit system that will take you wherever you go, be it the slopes, the outlet mall, or for dinner, making it easy to survive without a vehicle. You can rent a condo in the village and everything you need will be within walking distance. You don’t need to have a car in the highlands!
Send Your Gear to Your Destination
An easy way to avoid airport hassle is to send your skis or boards directly to your lodging company. While it may cost a little more, you may take comfort in the fact that you can insure the package and even track it. Get an exercise tube or stop by a local sports store to see if they have cardboard ski boxes. Most lodging companies have easy procedures for accepting deliveries and some may even go the extra mile and leave your gear waiting in your room at check-in! Summit County has several companies that specialize in ski and snowboard delivery.
Rent Your Gear Instead!
If you don’t have your own gear or don’t want the hassle of traveling with one, another practical option is to rent your gear from a local shop once you arrive at your destination. It’s easy to find discounts on ski rentals; be sure to ask your lodging company if they partner with any of the rental shops. You will find that the shops have experts on hand to provide great service and advice and will suit your interests and skills. Whether you’re looking for the best ski demos or you’re just getting started on the rabbit slopes, the shop will have what you need to enjoy the snow. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time so they can be prepared for your arrival.
When you rent equipment, you can also choose your skis based on the conditions on the slopes. Just got a pile of snow last night? Take their fattest powder skis! Fresh ski groomers? Look for skis that are stiffer and faster. It’s easy to change your skis based on the conditions of the day and it will help you ski or bike to the best of your ability! Better yet, bring your own boots and just rent the skis! If you bring your own skis you may only be able to take 1 pair and you’ll have to take a risk with the weather, we all know how forecasts can be unreliable at times!
As you can see, there’s a lot of planning involved with a ski trip, but it’s well worth it – when you finally arrive at the resort, it’s all taken care of and you can head straight to the slopes! The key is to be prepared and have a plan. Keystone Resort in Colorado offers stunning skiing terrain, one of the longest ski days (Night Skiing Rocks!) and is perfect for families with events and activities like Keystone Kidtopia, snow tubing, ice skating and a real snow fort off the mountain!