Planning a ski trip

How does one go about planning a winter ski trip to a resort? Is it best to contact a travel agent? To contact the resort directly?

I do not have a specific location in mind but would like to find the best deal possible to go to somewhere like Colorado, Utah, or Tahoe. No preference on which one, just best package price I can get for a 4-5 day trip. I don’t want to research every single resort, every airline, every car rental company, etc. to figure this out so I’m guessing agent?

Any experiences or resources you’d recommend?


You’ll have to do some research, but these trips are pretty easy to plan. What kind of skiing do you like? Do you want to stay slopeside or nearby? Are you going to visit multiple ski areas or just one?

My advice would be to decide what amenities you are looking for, decide a few basics mentioned above, and check the packages offered by the ski areas online. They all have vacation stay packages with lodging. Rental cars and flights are pretty easy to handle on your own. If you’re going to be staying at a ski area forget about the car; many resorts will provide transport from the airport to the resort. You won’t need a car if you’re staying right there. Even if you are going to be away from the resort, there will be buses or other transport provided for you.

If you’ve never skied out west before I’d recommend Tahoe or Summit County Colorado. Each has several ski areas that provide all types of skiing and generally can be guaranteed to have decent snow. In Utah, the best skiing is at places that don’t have great lodging/amenities. Park City, the biggest resort, isn’t nearly as good as Alta/Brighton but it’s the place with all the lodging.

Since the OP is seeking personal experiences and opinions, this is better suited to IMHO than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

If you want to stay at a resorts, they make it really easy for you. They have connections for airfare and shuttles, and may offer packages.

We are big fans of Salt Lake City. World class moutains and snow, less than an hour from the airport. No place else can you get to the slopes quicker. Just mentioning, in case you have an issue driving in mountains in winter. I have a strong preference for a short shuttle ride. Snowbird and Alta are huge - Alta does not allow snowboards. Several other resorts are one valley further in.

Realize that you will be paying a premium to ski from Christmas thru New YEars, or over the 3-day holiday weekends in Jan-Feb. So if you can go right after New Year’s, or during the week, you will save a ton of cash.

It also is most expensive to stay slopeside - tho if this is your only ski trip you may enjoy the convenience. Basically the further you get from the slopes, the pricier. Folks on a real budget stay in SLC hotels, and take the shuttle to the slopes every day.

Check out Daman-Nelson ( They specialize in ski packages, and are some are very reasonable (IMO). They can also help with airfare to/from, so they can take care of all the arrangements. I’ve used them a couple times, and have been very pleased. The agents seem very knowledgeable of each location, so if you tell them what you’re looking for (night life, fancy restaurants, or not, etc.) they can help you select a place.
They may not cover ALL the ski resorts, but they do handle resorts at a lot of very popular ski locations.