This trip was our JOYFUL farewell to 2020👋 We are so thankful we took this trip, it was a much needed getaway from all the madnesss of the world and really, there isn’t much a little mountain air can’t fix. Although the majority of our ski trip was spent outdoors, we were nervous about the logistics of traveling during a pandemic. Abi and I spent a TON of time researching to make this trip as seamless as possible and it absolutely paid off. We are sharing not only what we did, but some of the Covid-related precautions we took to feel 100% safe as well.
Best Tips for Planning a Ski Trip in a Pandemic:
- Book refundable stay + flights if possible
- If you are worried about hotels, choose a house or condo for less contact and cook your meals or order take out (we cooked all our meals and loved it!)
- Check public health restrictions in the area prior to travel (they change all the time)
- Reserve your ski days online in advanced (this is new-and required for Epic pass resorts). More info on the is here.
- For less contact, rent your ski’s from a delivery service. We did Ski Butlers and they came right our door to fit us and did an amazing job!
- If staying in a rental home, do grocery curbside pickup to avoid grocery store crowds. we did ours at Safeway in Frisco.
- Pack your lunch and plan to eat outside if restaurants are closed*
*As of Dec. 2020, both Breckenridge and Vail closed all resort indoor dining options. Meals were available for purchase but there was no eating indoors, no indoor bar and the seating was very limited. Restaurants in the towns were still open for 25% capacity.
Where We Stayed
We stayed in Frisco, Co and absolutely loved it! When we first decided to plan a ski trip, we couldn’t decide on whether to ski Breckenridge or Vail – when we made the decision to stay in an Airbnb (could not recommend this enough), we decided that it would be a fun idea to choose a location where we could hit both ski resorts. Ally and I both think that Frisco is the most underrated little town. I mean, it seriously felt like we had stepped into a Hallmark movie when we were walking down the streets and it has everything that you need – coffee, grocery stores, ski stores, cute little boutique shops (would be super fun post-Covid). Although we weren’t planning on shopping or dining in any restaurants, we really enjoyed the opportunity to take a walk at night and take in all the festive sights.
This was our Airbnb – ya’ll, when I say this was exactly the festive, cozy, lodge vibe that we were looking for this trip, I really mean it! We developed a cute little routine on this trip where we would come home from the slopes, hop in the hot tub for some Aprés, and then cook dinner together, more wine and either a game or a movie – how cute are we!? 😉
Where We Skied
Since we are all green skiers we loved our two days in Breck (and so did our legs😅). Our first day in Breck, we arrived early, 15 minutes before lift lines opened, and we had a lot of the mountain to ourselves until the afternoon. Due to Covid, the mountain was at 25% capacity and Summit County had just lifted their “red zone” restriction the day before we arrived, which closed all indoor dining and businesses; we were surprised and happy to see people still out skiing. The first day was so magical as it snowed ALL day on the mountain and we enjoyed all the fresh powder. The staff enforced both face coverings and distancing on lifts but otherwise, the world felt like a refreshing normal for the first time in a while. For lunch each day we packed our lunches and ate in our car for a quick break (and for some heat!). Our second day skiing Breck was blue skies but unfortunately the conditions weren’t great. It was really windy so we had a slightly miserable (lol-disastrous) time on the lifts and the higher peaks were all ice. We called it short that afternoon and ended up walking around town in and out of shops(which were limited capacity and doors were open)and grabbed a hot drink to sit outside and drink. I wanted to take Abi to Crêpes à la Cart, a well-known little to-go crepe shop in Breck, but the lines were longer than I’d ever seen them. Wait times were 1-2 hours for food and outdoor seating is closed as well. I’d recommend going on a weekday during off hours for a shorter wait time. We strolled the streets of the cute little mountain town and eventually headed back on our quick drive back to the AirBnb.
After a day Skiing Breck, we felt a bit more confident heading over to Vail which is known for more advanced terrain – even on the green runs! Our airbnb in Frisco was about 30 minutes from Vail, so we were up bright and early to be the first ones on the mountain again. Every time I have skied Vail before this trip, we were in a ski-in ski-out hotel, so I was a bit anxious about where to park and if we would have to carry our skis for miles to get to the lift. Brian and I had been hyping Vail up to Alex and Ally for months… so I wanted it to be as easy as possible to get to the slopes! After doing some research, we decided that it would be best to park in the public parking lot in Lionshead – it was about a 4 minute walk to Eagle Bahn Gondoloa – easy! Parking here was $35 for the day. Vail was also at 25% capacity which actually made it feel like we had the mountain totally to ourselves – just when you think the Vail views can’t get better… experiencing them and feeling like the only ones out there makes them even more magical. We hit the slopes at 9AM and skied the Lionshead side of Vail mountain until lunchtime when we skied all the way down into Lionshead and got take out from Blue Moose Pizza – our favorite! This process was so so seamless. We ordered our pizza from the top of the mountain and skied right into lionshead to pick it up. Lionshead is the cutest little village and has little fireplaces dotted around – we sat by the fire to eat our Pizza and it was the perfect way to warm up while staying socially distanced! After lunch we headed back up the mountain for a few more hours before heading back to our airbnb.
Other fun things we did!
- Visited Denver before our flight and had lunch at the cutest outdoor igloo at My Brothers Bar
- Sipped moscow mules on the Four Seasons Vail mountain-view patio by our own fire pit
- Walked into downtown Frisco from our Airbnb (15 minute walk) into the CUTEST main street decked in Christmas lights
- Visited Sapphire Point Overlook in Dillon on our way to the airport. (10 minutes from Frisco and Breck). It has a beautiful overlook of Lake Dillon and a short trail to walk and take in the beauty. Easily accessible and worth visiting in all seasons!
- Walking/Shopping/Eating in Vail and Breckenridge! We love the feel of a mountain town and enjoyed walking the streets and grabbing hot chocolate to go or a pizza by an outdoor fire.
Our five-day trip was so perfect but there’s never enough time when you visit the mountains! We hope this helps you plan a fun little getaway trip (February is the best time to ski and just around the corner 😉). Let us know if you have any tips to add and your best recommendations to share!
-Abi & Ally