Ah, the relaxing joys of a ski trip. Slopeside cocoa. A lingering hot-tub soak. The snow angels. Giggling children. The giant tangle of ski gear so weighty and oversized waiting to be dragged from your car to the airport to the shuttle and beyond.
Yeah, that last part isn’t so relaxing. Schlepping ski gear through planes, trains, and automobiles is the worst. Plus, the airlines slap on a stiff fee for your ski baggage. You’ve looked forward to your ski trip for months. Is there a better way than starting and ending it with sweat and stress?
Short answer: Yes. Renting gear makes it simpler and cheaper to get on a pair of slope-worthy planks. Before you roll your eyes at renting, take a look at all the benefits it will bring to your vacation.
1. Save on Baggage Fees
Owning a pair of skis is great when you’re able to hit your local hill on the weekend. However, as soon as you set foot on an airplane, you can plan on extra baggage fees. Ski clothing and boots are bulky, so it’s almost impossible to get by with just a carry-on bag. You have to check a bag or two of clothes and boots, and then pay an even higher fee to add another bag with your skis in it. (Most airlines charge more fees as you add more bags.)
By the time it’s all said and done, the extra fees for every person in your party add up. For very little extra money, you can skip the whole rigamarole and have rental skis waiting for you when you arrive at your destination.
2. Skip the Wait at Baggage Claim
Airport lines are one of the worst things about travel. Waiting to drop off your baggage and then pick it up at baggage claim is about 80% worse when you’re lugging oversized ski bags and extra suitcases. If you rent your skis, you skip line time and enjoy more downtime.
3. Avoid Transportation Headaches
When you bring your own skis, you’re limited to ski-friendly transit and can’t get a normal rental car or shuttle. You need an SUV, a van, or a shuttle with room for oversized baggage. This adds up even more costs and limitations, and it extends the time that you’re dragging and lifting heavy bags. When you reserve your equipment online ahead of time, you can have it delivered to your hotel or pick it up at a rental shop that’s near your lodging and the mountain. In some cases, you can even take advantage of ski valet service and have someone deliver your rental gear to the slopes and pick it up when you’re done for the day.
4. Two Words: Kids’ Skis
If you’ve ever traveled with children and children’s ski gear at the same time, you’re familiar with the impossible physics of carrying (and remembering) every little item they’ll need—and can’t carry themselves. Transporting kids’ ski gear adds so much stuff and so much hassle that it’s like something out of a funny movie, except it’s not funny because it’s your life.
Epic Mountain Rentals has a Junior package for children 12 and younger. Your kids will get premium skis that fit them perfectly, so you don’t need to worry about the gear ruining their day on the mountain. Depending on which shop you rent from, you can arrange to use the ski valet and have your gear waiting for you at the base each morning and skip carrying the gear from the hotel to the lift. Many Epic Mountain Rentals locations also offer overnight ski storage, so if they don’t have valet, there’s a good possibility you can leave it at the shop overnight.
5. Try the Newest and Nicest Gear
In addition to lowering the anxiety of traveling with all your gear, renting has another pretty benefit. It’s a great way to try out the newest gear from top brands. This is great for beginners because you are guaranteed a good set-up (and some free advice from the experts) to get you started. Experienced skiers and snowboarders can rent a Demo package to test new gear, try different brands and styles, and ensure they have the right gear for specific conditions—if you arrive at the resort right after it’s been dumping, you can pick up something suited for deep powder. During the day, you can even swing by the rental shop to quickly swap out demo gear and test something different.
6. Flexibility with Pickup and Dropoff
If you have a complex or multi-stop trip itinerary, Epic Mountain Rentals can easily adapt. You can have your gear delivered to one resort, and then picked up at a different resort at the end of the trip. It’s no sweat for them, and it frees you up to explore the whole area you’re visiting.
7. Extra Savings
Lucky number seven. As you’re reserving your skis, boots, poles, and helmet online, you can save an additional 20% off the best price if you have an Epic Pass or Epic Day Pass. With Epic Mountain Rewards, you can use your Epic Pass account to quickly checkout online to save even more, adding a little more value to your vacation.
With everything perfectly ready and waiting for you, you can let go of the transportation headaches, bits and pieces of forgotten kids’ gear, crazy lines, and extra fees. Instead, cruise straight out the door and do precisely what you’re there to do: have the most epic, beautiful, relaxing time of your life.
Featured image provided by © Vail Resorts