Top-Five Ski Trips (and How to Get There on the Cheap)


Boarders and skiers all know that November means that first snow is weeks-maybe even days-away, so RelayRides blogger Sydney Jarod shares some advice on how to get to your favorite slopes cheaply.

Winter is on its way in a hurry–for all of our car owners, don’t forget to winterize your car. And while a chilly winter may be a drag for some folks, skiers and snowboarders couldn’t be happier. That said, while fresh powder is heavenly, getting from the city to the mountain is often a bit of a hassle. For folks who don’t own a car, or have a ski lease for the season, getting up to the lifts often means getting together a group of friends, renting a car, finding a house and sorting out payment among your group. As if this wasn’t bad enough, you still have to worry about the chance that it will snow the day you are headed up the mountain. If it does, and you were unable to secure an AWD vehicle from a traditional car rental company–many traditional car companies will not guarantee an AWD car–all of your plans may be altered considerably for the worse.

Want to ski, or snowboard, but don’t have a ride? We have you covered.

Why take the risk? RelayRides has plenty of AWD vehicles, plus, in an apples-to-apples comparison with traditional car rental companies, RelayRides rentals are on average 20-30% cheaper. Better yet, RelayRides rentals are on average 40-50% cheaper than ZipCar!

We think that your choice is obvious. When faced with unpredictable weather and tough terrain, RelayRides helps you to confirm an AWD rental with $300,000 in insurance coverage for all renters—all at a steep discount to competing companies and car-share services.

Now that you know that good news, RelayRides presents the top five ski trips and the best cars to get you there.

Vail Ski Resort Near Denver, CO
125 miles from Denver

All conversations about skiing should start with the Rocky Mountains, and because it is one of the best resorts in the country, we will start with Vail. Vail Ski Resort is located in Eagle County, Vail Mountain, is the largest single mountain ski resort in the United States, at 5,289 acres. Featuring seven bowls and intermediate gladed terrain in Blue Sky Basin you need to get out of Denver to experience this awesome resort.

We’d recommend Megan’s gray 2005 Jeep Cherokee in Denver or Charlie’s silver 2003 Toyota Tacoma in Boulder for the perfect ride.

Squaw Valley near Lake Tahoe, CA
196 miles from San Francisco

Home of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley, near stunning Lake Tahoe, already has received several feet of snow, and the official opening day is planned for November 21. Plan your trip now to try any of its 270 trails using 43 lifts at the 6,000 acre site.

For this, we’d recommend Paul’s silver 2008 Subaru Outback, or Ashley’s white 2007 Nissan Xterra. Remember to rent them for multiple days so that you stay within the daily mileage limit for your trip to the Sierras.

Your ride to Tahoe awaits

Mammoth Mountain in Inyo National Forest, CA
365 miles from Los Angeles

Just a short drive from Los Angeles in the San Bernadino mountains, Mammoth is a local favorite with more than 3,500 acres of skiable terrain, serviced by 28 lifts, including 3 gondolas, and a variety of difficulty options. The best part of all is that Mammoth is already open.

Tempted to shred, try Cameron’s white 1996 Ford Explorer, or Paul’s black 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee to get there. Because it is 365 miles away don’t forget to split your trip up over a few days so you can stay within your average daily mileage limits.

Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, VT
260 miles from New York City

Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers need a break from the city in the form of a ski vacation. Luckily, fan favorite Okema plans to open on November 17. Don’t miss its 650 acres with 19 lifts and the biggest vertical drop in southern Vermont.

Cars like Anthony’s white and tan 2012 Toyota FJ cruiser in Astoria and Susan’s silver 2004 Subaru Forrester in New York are ready to go—just don’t forget to split your trip up over a few days so you can stay within your average daily mileage limits.

Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, VT
205 miles from Boston

Stowe is a popular choice for Bostonians for good reason–it has some of the best slopes on the East Coast. The ski area is composed of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak. Some 116 trails on Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield provide 39 miles of skiable terrain. Only 200 miles away, Stowe is the perfect choice for a weekend ski-cation.

Keith’s olive 2007 Subaru Outback in Medford and Tyler’s blue 2007 Subaru Impreza hatch-back in Boston will get you there and back once the snow starts falling in the coming weeks.

Don’t wait around to shred on your board, or skis, get your lodging booked, join RelayRides and get up the mountain today!

Photo Credit: Skistar Trysil