You’ve just booked your ski condo and now the next step will be finding a way to get your skis and gear there! There are quite a few things to think about when traveling with so much equipment, so weigh out all of the options first and then decide what will work best for you and your family.
Flying: Check Your Ski Bag!
Most airlines will let you check a ski or board bag for the same price as a regular piece of luggage, which is a great low-cost option for getting your gear to your destination. Do your homework before you book though, as some airlines do charge baggage fees. Also don’t forget to weigh your bag- keep it under 50lbs to avoid excess overweight fees.
You can pack your gear in hard sided sport tubes, these really protect the equipment well, but can often be bulky and hard to handle. Most ski shops sell soft ski or board bags at a reasonable price and they provide sufficient protection. You can also wrap skis in bubble wrap or plastic for added protection. Another option is to pack your clothes inside the bag.. your jacket doubles as packing material!
Getting to the Resort from the Airport
Once you arrive at the airport, you have to decide how you’re going get yourself and your gear up the mountain to the resort. Most rental car companies have vehicles that come equipped with ski racks or boxes. You might also want to request 4-wheel or all wheel drive to ensure you will get there safely without worry, even if you run into snow!
Shuttles are also common and will typically drop you off right at your lodging destination. Most airport shuttles offer better rates for bigger groups of people, so if you are bringing the whole family the cost per person will be less. Be sure to schedule your shuttle ahead of time and make a reservation. Shuttles are a great option because you leave all the driving to someone else, especially on an unfamiliar road with winter driving conditions that you may not be used to. Just sit back and enjoy the views… or a nap!
Keystone, Colorado has a spectacular free bus transit system that will take you just about anywhere you need to go, whether its the slopes, the outlet malls, or to 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 necessarily need to have a car in the high country!
Shipping Your Gear to Your Destination
An easy way to avoid airport hassle is to ship your skis or board directly to your lodging company. Although it may cost a bit more, you may be comforted by the fact that you can insure the package and even track it. Get a sports tube or stop by a local sports store to see if they have any cardboard ski boxes. Most lodging companies have an easy procedure for accepting shipments and some may even go the extra mile and have your gear waiting in your room upon check in! Summit County has a few companies that specialize in ski and snowboard shipping.
Rent Your Gear Instead!
If you don’t have your own gear or don’t want the hassle of traveling with it another convenient option is to rent your gear from a local shop once you get to your destination. It is 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 give great service and advice and will fit you based on your interests and skill. Whether you are looking for a top of the line demo ski or you’re just starting out on the bunny slopes, the shop will have exactly what you need to enjoy the snow. Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time so they can be prepared for your arrival.
When you rent equipment you are also able to pick out your ski based on the conditions out on the slopes. Just got a dump of snow last night? Grab their fattest powder ski! Skiing fresh groomers? Look for a stiffer, faster ski. It’s easy to switch your skis out based on that day’s conditions and this will help you ski or ride at your best ability! Better yet, bring your own boots and just rent the skis! If you do bring your own skis you might only be able to take 1 pair and you will have to take your chances with the weather, we all know how unreliable forecasts can sometimes be!
As you can see there is a lot of planning involved with a ski trip, but it’s well worth it- when you finally arrive at the resort everything will already be 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 boasts amazing ski terrain, one of the longest ski days around (Night Skiing Rocks!) and is great for families with events and activities like Keystone Kidtopia, snow-tubing, ice skating, and a real snow fort at the top of the mountain!