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Family trip out west

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Our family of 5 is planning a trip from PA to Breckenridge in March.  Any thoughts on whether it is best to take our own skis on the plane, ship our skis, or rent when we get there?  Thanks

post #2 of 11

You can treat this a financial calculation and/or a performance question.


Taking with implies: Owning a packing solution for skis + Baggages Fees + Renting enough vehicle space to haul 5 skis/people/luggage from the airport to Breck.


Shipping implies that you have a packing solution and the higher fees to ship your skis.


Both of the above imply that you get to use your own equipment which is familiar, but may be wrong for the conditions at Breck.


Renting means paying extra for something you have but you are cutting down on the transportation hassles and costs.  While you might need some time to get used to your skis, you have a good chance of renting something that will fit in the current conditions.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  Really looking for the most cost-effective way to travel.  We have the bags and the appropriate equipment to bring our own, but with all the airline hassles today was thinking of just renting when we get there.  Was wondering if anyone preferred one over the other.

post #4 of 11



"cost effective" says a couple of things stated by mmascolino which is a mix of choices.  whats the cost of taking your own stuff, given the added fees? what's the cost of renting, whats the cost of shipping.  is there a happy mix, and then the hassle cost.


one can work the numbers without too much hassle.  the treads cover this pretty well but one thing is that younger kids seem not to care greatly on equipment so it may be cheaper to rent and you lose the hassle of hauling stuff.  (i've got five and often slung 60+lbs of equip on my back and carried to and fro the home, car, airport, etc. 


it may be nice to simply ship out early and not have to haul about the stuff.  pack tape with the stuff (or bring along) to repack in the same boxes.  a lot of places are now handling this for their customers and will have your gear in a locker or condo waiting your arrival.


renting can be pretty cheap and offer a chance to try new gear.


personally, i would at least haul my boots as i am familiar with em unless you've had good luck finding good fitting rentals.  if you have customs .. it's likely you would want to haul or ship ahead.


i've also packed two sets (mine and kids or wife) ski in a bag which counted as "one" with a boot bag ..





post #5 of 11

I would pack up your ski's AND your clothing (into your ski bags) and fly on out.


No biggie.


If you ask me....renting sucks.


At a minimum you must take your boots.

post #6 of 11

I'd think the most "cost effective" solution would be to take your own gear. How much is a baggage fee? $25? maybe as much as $50? I don't know as I am a very frequent traveler and baggage fees are waived. However, I have flown JetBlue to Denver and they don't charge for the first 2 bags, I believe. I checked only 1 bag (my skis in a Sportube) and carried on my boot bag and roll-a-board. Southwest doesn't charge either. But, anyway, it would certainly cost more to rent equipment. And the hassle of rental shops is truly a ... hassle. I get to take 3 or 4 trips out west per season and only once did I rent skis. I was happy with what I ended up with, but I had to go around to a few shops before I could get something decent. It was $100 for 3 days. The circumstances around that trip kept me from being able to bring my own skis.


Best advice though, whether or not you rent skis, is to be sure you carry-on the plane your boots (and helmet) and 1 set of ski clothes... just in case of the unlikely event of lost checked bags.


Breckenridge is a lot of fun! You'll have a great time!

Edited by Kim - 9/21/10 at 1:17pm
post #7 of 11

If you fly Southwest , you can each take two bags without a luggage fee and thus be able to use your own equipment .

post #8 of 11

Last year when I flew out I ordered a pair of skis I wanted from Level 9 sports.  They agreed ahead of time to allow me to pick them up, use them, and to return them at the end of my ski week to be shipped to me, as they would have been shipped.  I arranged this before placing my order, put it in notes and who approved it.   I figure it saved me the $100.00 as it allowed me to make the trip with only carry on luggage, a direct savings off the price of my new skis in my mind.  Being as the first bag 25 and second is 35, but having my skis shipped I then took a back pack for my personal bag (no purse but a small waist pouch) and a small allowed carry on size wheeled bag. So no baggage costs.  I did pack incredibly light to pull this off (leggins and 6 turtlenecks, one zip up high tech micro material sweater for warmth and layering).  My ski pants went in this bag also and one pair of pants. I wore my second pair of pants, a nice dress sweater for evenings that was also light weight.  There's always a washing machine at the hotel.  My goal with the carry on baggage is really easy of getting around, dragging skis, boots, luggage and carry on through the airport if quite the feat.  I used to travel each year with my two boys so that can be a treat.  They never want to carry their gear.


I would never go without my boots, too hard to get a good fit renting.  One pair of skis and one pair of ski boots travels as one bag.  Print that off of special luggage instructions from your airlines web site and have it in your pocket.  Every other time we travel the agent won't know this and just presenting it will mean we get charged appropriately.  We fly from Charlotte, NC though and they don't see many skis.  This isn't usually a problem when flying from somewhere that see's more skis.


We looked in to shipping our skis to the hotel last year but it would stll have cost more then the airline baggage fee to get them there and back.

post #9 of 11

2nd what Kim said + enough base layers (top & bottom) for 3 days in the roll-aboard. 

The flying greyhounds (FG) generally takes about 3 days to find and reroute luggage that are truly lost. 


If they have to gate check your roll-aboard - take out the ski boots and carry them on - naked if necessary.

The FG are known to misplace gate check items. 


Going out west, everyone in my family each travel with 2 pairs of skis - one for western hard snow (70-80+ mm) & one for powder (95+ mm).

Mother nature is a women after all. 


If possible - Arrive a bit earlier and curb check the bags.

Make sure you are holding the generous tip for the baggage handler in your hand. 

Most machinery runs smoother with added lubrication - especially the digital computers employed by the bagage handlers.  


The extra luggage fee should be no more than $50 per person / round trip - most times less due to the added lub. 


post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by oldfool86 View Post

If you fly Southwest , you can each take two bags without a luggage fee and thus be able to use your own equipment .

Bingo ... and I didn't even have to type it. 


Too, this assumes your skis work for Breck.  We can get by with a narrower ski on the East coast with the ice and such, and if these are what you have you may consider renting to up the enjoyment level.  Either way, with flying Southwest, the trip costs no more to take what you have.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone. 

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