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How to Plan a Ski Trip to Colorado

Sucheta Pradhan
Skiing is always fun for both experts as well as rookies, and Colorado is like heaven for skiing enthusiasts. Here's how you can plan your trip to America's best ever ski resort.
"In the nineteenth century, Fritjof Nansen wrote that skiing washes civilization clean from our minds by dint of its exhilarating physicality. By extension, I believe that snow helps strip away the things that don't matter. It leaves us thinking of little else but the greatness of nature, the place of our souls within it, and the dazzling whiteness that lies ahead."
― Charlie English

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One of the most popular winter vacation destinations in the world and the best in the United States, Colorado, with its awe-inspiring and curious Rocky Mountains, is indisputably the first choice of skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. 
In fact, the attitude, altitude, and atmosphere of Colorado are so addictive that people tend to revisit again, as if there is absolutely no other substitute to this place. From family-friendly skiing adventures to expert-only terrains, Colorado has a skiing slope for every kind of tourist, and this is perhaps the reason why it is so popular.

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Planning a Colorado Ski Vacation

Some of the largest ski resorts in America are located in Colorado; however, there are numerous smaller ones as well that offer a perfect skiing experience to tourists.

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If you are a skiing enthusiast, and wish to spend your vacation skiing in Colorado, here's a rough guide to help you plan your trip.

Prepare a Budget

The very first and foremost step in planning a ski trip is to prepare a proper and practical budget.

Consider factors such as costs of transportation, lodging, meals, skiing equipment rentals, and so on.

Ensure that you pay attention to every minute detail while planning your budget, because even small things may make a big difference.

Choose Appropriate Travel Dates

The ski season extends from mid-October to early June. So, if you intend to take a ski trip to Colorado, it is vital that you book for this particular period.

Check who all are going to accompany you, and choose dates that suit everyone in the group.

Determine the Length of Your Stay

It is also important to decide, according to everybody's convenience, the total duration of your stay.

This will, of course, depend on the number of days that you have in hand and your overall budget as well. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to be a little flexible with your travel dates, just in case.

Decide the Kind of Resort You Wish to Ski At

As mentioned, Colorado has both, big and smaller ski resorts. The big ones offer more number of accommodation options to their guests, alongside faster ski lifts and numerous non-groomed and groomed ski trails. Owing to this, bigger resorts always tend to be more crowded than the smaller ones.
► However, if you want to ski in a more serene atmosphere with lesser crowds, opt for a smaller ski resort that will provide you with a more relaxing ambiance.

Shortlist Resorts that Suit Your Needs

After deciding the kind of ski resort you want to book, browse the Internet, search travel magazines, etc., and make a rough list of resorts, which you think are suitable for you.

Check out specific websites of the resorts to find out what special things they offer to their guests, how much they charge for their ski lessons, etc.
Also, check for the vertical drop of the resort, which is mostly posted on the website. Vertical drop generally indicates the total elevation of the ski resort. It gives you an idea of the height at which you will be skiing.

Consider all these factors before opting for one or more resorts from your list.

Choose the Right Kind of Lodging

Once you have zeroed in on the resort, your next step is to choose an appropriate lodging for yourself.

Logically, it is good to have your lodging in the vicinity of your ski resort. Many people opt to stay at the accommodations provided by the resort itself as it is more convenient and hassle-free.
► However, if you opt to stay away from the ski resort, you will be able to save a substantial amount of money.
► Colorado has a number of inexpensive lodging options such as budget hotels, hostels, guest houses, and B&Bs. By opting for one of them, you will be able to savor in Colorado's local culture; however, you will have to make quite a feat for getting to the ski slope with all your equipment and other things.
► Book your accommodation only after considering all these aspects.

Book the Accommodation

If you have chosen to stay at the resort itself, browse through their website and look carefully at the various lodging options and rates, and also check if any special discounts/packages are being offered.
Read all the terms and conditions thoroughly, and then carry out the transaction only after being completely satisfied with the information.

On the other hand, if you have chosen to stay away from the resort, there are several travel websites where you can make bookings.
► Compare prices on different websites before you strike a deal. However, remember not to get carried away if you see some exceptionally low prices on some website. Do check for any sort of hidden costs, surcharges, extra taxes, etc.

Additional Tips and Warnings

Always remember that the earlier you book, the more you are likely to save. So, apart from making reservations for ski resorts and lodgings, also make reservations for ski schools, equipment rentals, and ski lift tickets. This way you will definitely save some extra money. Further information on bookings and Colorado's skiing season can be found here.
► If you have any sort of health issues and/or are undergoing a specialized treatment for some ailment, please ensure that you have all the necessary items and medications in place. Do not forget to carry the doctor's prescription with you as well.
► Make sure that you buy appropriate health insurance, and carry the documents with you. You might need them in case of an accident or medical emergency.

► While it is a good idea to carry your own skiing equipment, it is not an absolute necessity. If you are not traveling on a tight budget, you can also rent it at the resort.
► However, remember to carry other ski essentials such as ski socks, ski pants, ski jacket, ski boots, a helmet, gloves, ski goggles, sweatshirts, and so on.
► If you stay at a lower altitude, you may require some time to acclimatize to the elevation of the ski slopes, in which case, you may be prone to altitude sickness. This can be avoided by drinking plenty of water.

► Carry some extra cash on you, just in case you need it.
► Finally, confirm all your reservations before embarking on your journey, in order to avoid any sort of inconvenience. If you are booking through a travel company, be extremely sure about their reputation and record.

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So, gear up and head to the world's best skiing destination. You are sure to have the most outstanding experience of your life!