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Best way to book a trip?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I find myself in an odd position. For the first time since 1988, I don't live within a short drive of a major ski area. Yes, it's killing me and my kids because we're used to taking several ski trips a year in addition to multiple day trips.

Now, I'm looking to ski like a tourist. I need the whole deal: airfare, lodging, tickets, lessons for kids, etc. Usually, I have enough local knowledge to pick the best hotels and then buy everything else individually.

This year, though, since we have to fly anyway, we're thinking of going somewhere new. Jackson Hole, Park City, or Whistler (I've been, but my wife hasn't).

We're not interested in an economy trip and instead want convenience. I'm thinking ski-in/ski-out with shuttle service to the airport so we don't have to bother with a car. We'd like an area with a nice base area (Like Whistler Village, Vail Village, etc.) so we're not stuck in the room all night.

Is it best to book something like this through the ski area, through a travel agency (do those still exist?), through an online travel company, through an airlines, or some other way?

post #2 of 8
I've had good luck booking this sort of trip by booking the condo first. I find places for rent by owner and in talking to the various owners get a lot of great info on the area. Even had owners offer to show us around the mountain and in one case a guy actually steered us away from his place because the ski school wasn't great for young kids.

I've also had good luck resorts directly when cost was no factor and we wanted to hear all options for slopeside.

Never tried the travel agent or package route so I can't comment there.

Dealing with condo owners directly is more work on your part, but I've met some nice people, stayed in some really nice places, saved a few bucks and have never been burned.
post #3 of 8
as far as flights, I went to travelocity and have a farewatcher set up for the various places I want to visit.

I watch them from time to time and I get emails when the prices drop. I hurry and get them ordered (I've gotten killer deals, $76 flight RT to vegas, $115 to NYC). Then I'll figure out where I'm staying...

As far as the condo, I can't help you there as I prefer to rent a car so I can drive around and get a feel for the place (except NYC obviously).
post #4 of 8
Out of those mentioned, I've always had great experiences dealing with the Whistler central reservations. I told them what I'm looking for and my budget and I've always had success. It's a long ride, but shuttle service to/from airport right to the hotel in the village.

Jackson was similar, but I booked everything on my own (hotel, flight, etc). Still had shuttle to/from airport but I didn't stay slopeside. I'm sure hotels in the JH village offer shuttles. Good Luck.

oh, check out sidestep.com for flights. So far I'm more impressed with them over orbitz, expedia an travelocity. just my $.02
post #5 of 8
Since budgeting isn't your primary concern, I'd call a travel agent (or two) and have them build you several all-inclusives to pick from. Then come on here and ask locals if the places they are sendinf you to are nice I book a lot of all inclusives for group ski trips..so if you like, when you get a quote, I can run it through and see if it's reasonable.

DaMtnRider is absolutely right about Whistler central reservations! They are fantastic.
post #6 of 8
I've used Julie before and she is great. She will book vacations all over the west.

Julie Stepniewski
Rocky Mountain Vacations
931 Blake Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
970-945-8612 (fax)

post #7 of 8
try these people. i have heard good things about them. they are supposed to be a
one stop shop.

post #8 of 8
I would wait until the last minute to see who had the best conditions. Then I would use one of the wholesalers like Rocky Mountain or Moguls.
Delta has some nice direct flights to Jackson, Vail and Gunnison.
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