First rule of your Copper Mountain ski vacation: Leave your skis or snowboard at home.
With airlines charging $100, $200 or even more for “oversized” luggage – plus the aggravation of schlepping your skis or snowboard through the airport, hoping they don’t get lost and then waiting, waiting for them to be unloaded last – it’s absolutely not worth it.
Instead, pack only your boots and plan to rent at the ski area. For the same price, you can demo this year’s latest and greatest boards and even swap them each day for different models so you’ll know what you want for your next upgrade.
Second rule: Don’t pay full “window” price for your lift tickets.
Yes, it seems funny for the resort to suggest that you shop around for discounted tickets, but everyone should know that the lifts run whether or not you pay top dollar. So why pay top dollar?
Steeply discounted tickets can be purchased on the Copper Mountain website, Liftopia and other websites and outlets, with some of the greatest savings for multi-day tickets. Heck, if you’re going to hit the slopes for as little as four days, it’d even be worth buying a full season pass for $389 over paying for the daily window rate of $109: Not only do you save on lift tickets, but you significantly up your “cool quotient” when you’re walking around your home town with that Copper pass dangling from your ski coat. (Although a Copper Mountain four-pack gives you four days of lift access for only $159.)
Third rule: While you’re saving money, why not keep at it? Booking your entire vacation through CopperColorado.com – lodging, lift tickets, on-mountain activities and even add-ons like snowmobile tours and airport shuttles – can cut 20 percent or more off your vacation costs, even for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Last rule (there sure do seem like a lot of “rules” for a vacation, huh?): Travel light.
This goes back to Rule No. 1 – don’t bring your skis/snowboards – but it also includes things like bring only one or two pair of pants (there isn’t a restaurant in Summit County, no matter how upscale, that will stop you at the door for wearing only jeans and a nice ski sweater), a couple of pair of base layers, a clean pair of socks for every day on the slopes (trust me), minimal toiletries (no need to shave -- you’re in the mountains; this goes for men, too) and a versatile ski sweater on top of your ski jacket, ski pants, gloves, toque and goggles.
No, no, no! You're doing it wrong!
Skip the excess baggage fees, the delays at the airport waiting for oversized bags and all of the nonsense about schlepping unwieldy ski bags through the airport. Simply pack your boots and a credit card, and rent state-of-the-art skis at the resort.
That's more like it ...
The ski shops at Copper Mountain allow you to swap out skis daily -- or more frequently, if you'd like -- to test the latest and greatest equipment. And with airline baggage fees, renting skis might not cost any more, plus it'll save you the hassles.