Breckenridge Ski Trip Planning and Preparation

by | Oct 27, 2023 | Winter

Insider Tips for the Best Breckenridge Ski Trip, 2023-2024 Season

Everyone wants their Breckenridge ski trip to be perfect! If you’re a new visitor to Breckenridge or taking a first-time ski trip, the more you know, the better time you will have. We’ve got the most helpful tips so you can focus on the magical parts of your ski vacation and minimize the hassles. Everything you need to know to have the best time with the least amount of stress for your Breckenridge ski trip planning and preparation is right here in one place.  

Book Activities and Restaurant Reservations Early: 

If you’ll be visiting Breckenridge during the peak holidays, spring break or prime weekends, the most popular restaurants and winter activities in Breckenridge might book up months in advance. Book early!  

Discounts on Breckenridge Lift Tickets:  

Lift tickets for Breckenridge (and all Vail Resorts including Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek, etc.) can only be purchased directly through the resort website or Active Military is honored with the very lowest pass prices! 

The lowest prices are at least 7 days in advance, purchased online. There are some other less costly alternatives you may not know about and are not advertised online or even at the ticket office (blog coming soon, but ask us and we’ll fill you in!). 

Prepare for the High Altitude:  

Don’t let altitude sickness spoil your ski trip fun! You can prevent and alleviate the symptoms by taking prevention tips seriously. Start increasing your water intake a day or two before you arrive. Drink water, fluids primarily containing water, and eat foods with high water content with every meal and throughout the day. We know you don’t want to hear it, but alcohol will tremendously increase the odds and severity of altitude sickness. The effects of alcohol are much stronger at high altitudes, so if you must imbibe, start with just one drink and see how feel the next day before adding another drink. Oxygen concentrators are available to rent in Summit County. Sleeping with oxygen via nasal cannula or wearing during downtime in your vacation rental will greatly decrease symptoms of altitude sickness. 

Traction, Traction, Traction:  

You are headed to a high alpine environment where ice and snow are part of winter life in the high country. The biggest impact is on the roadways. Know about the Colorado Traction Law. You MUST be prepared, not only for your safety and the safety of those around you, but to drive legally on highways, you have to be in compliance with the Traction Law. The Traction Law requires either 4WD/AWD, chains, or snow tires with adequate tread (note: snow tires are not the same as all-season). Don’t be that person who closes down I-70 because your spinning tires are blocking traffic or you caused an accident due to lack of proper traction. A closure on I-70 can have a detrimental effect on thousands of travels. Being stranded is not the way to spend your Breckenridge ski trip, so please take heed and be prepared. I-70 conditions and closures can be checked online.  

Your feet need traction as well! A simple walk anywhere ice exists on the ground can result in a painful fall. Learn to walk like a penguin or pick up a pair of Yaktrax or other slip-on shoe traction devices. 

If your lodging is within walking distance to town or on a free bus route, you might want to consider taking a shuttle and going carless while in Breckenridge.

Pre-Arrival Stop:  

Summit County has a store for everything you need for your Breckenridge ski trip. However, on the holidays or busy weekends, the Breckenridge City Market grocery store tends to get overcrowded resulting in a very hectic grocery shopping experience. It’s not uncommon to find items like eggs, bread, bananas, or pain relivers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen completely sold out. If you’re traveling to Breckenridge from Denver, make your purchases before you leave the city. Our favorite stops are the Applewood Shopping Center just off I-70 on the west side of Denver or the Walmart Supercenter in Evergreen, just off I-70, exit 252. If you’re driving up from the south, make a stop at the Walmart Supercenter in Pueblo. You’ll find larger selections and plenty of shopping bags at no cost.   

Ski/Snowboard Rentals:  

We all want to save money, but please trust us when we tell you that going cheap with ski rentals is not a good idea. Improperly fitted or low-quality ski boots and bindings can ruin your day on the mountain. Bindings not set correctly can result in injury. And typically, cheap gear will only save you $20-30/person. Our guests receive a 20% discount on ski rentals through Alpine Sports. Alpine Sports on North Park Avenue is hassle free with easy parking right outside their store and an extremely knowledgeable staff. You can easily replace equipment that gets lost or make a swap should you decide to try a different type of gear.  

More tips about Ski/Snowboard Equipment:  

If you have your own equipment and want to ship rather than pay fees for checking it, we offer an option to have it shipped to us and delivered to your vacation home. Please note that your vacation home cannot receive any packages aside from Fedex and only when there are not other guests in the home.    

If you hate lugging ski/ride equipment, Breckenridge Ski Resort offers different types storage at the bases of Peaks 8 and 9. Carry your boots back and forth to keep them warm and only store the skis (for a fee, of course). 

Ski-Day Savings: 

Don’t forget that your Epic Pass gives you 20% off food and beverage purchases (up to $150, alcohol excluded) at most on-mountain dining spots. 

To save even more, pack your own lunch and snacks. It can be stored in a locker at the base or carried in a backpack. Locker prices start at $10 which is still less than the cost of a burger on the mountain. Walking boots and extra layers can also be stored in the locker.  

Tips for First-Time or Beginner Skiers:  

We’ve got too many tips to cover in just one article, so read here for our best information including one of the best-kept secrets for beginner skiers in Breckenridge or Summit County.  


Knowing exactly where to park can be overwhelming in any town where you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs. All in-town skier parking is pay parking with the exception of the Ice Rink parking lot or the Airport Road lot. Both require short shuttle rides to skier drop-off points. Before you get out of your car, take a photo of your license plate so that you don’t have to run back if paying at the kiosk. The easiest way to pay is with the Passport parking app on your smart phone.

When possible, always use the Breck Free Ride or Summit Shuttle. Why? Because even if you drive in and park in the Gondola lot or parking garage, you will have still have to walk several hundred yards to get to the Gondola, on top of the parking fee. The shuttle drops you closer to the Gondola than you can get from any parking spots.   

There are some employee parking lots in the downtown core that are often mistaken for free parking. Never displace an employee! This will result in a parking ticket and public scorn. Read all parking lot signage to ensure you are in a public zone and then be prepared to pay at the kiosk or on the mobile app.   

Non-Skiing Activities:  

Maybe not everyone in your group wants to hit the slopes or maybe one day of your ski vacation entails weather or snow conditions that aren’t ideal for the best experience. There are countless other things to do in the winter in Breckenridge, both indoor and outdoor.  An entire blog on this subject will be posted soon- please check back!

Fast & Easy Meals Out:   

There are dozens of delicious and fun places to eat in Breckenridge, but if you’re super tired at the end of a ski day and don’t want to cook a meal in your vacation home, a quick and easy restaurant stop without the crowds and parking hassle might be the way to go. The City Market shopping center on Park Avenue offers 3 choices with easy and free parking: The City Market Deli, Soupz On, or Windy City Pizza & Pub (not just pizza, their menu includes a wide variety of salads, wraps, sandwiches and pasta dishes). On Airport Road, you’ll find Coa Cantina and Breckenridge Distillery, both with on-site parking. All yummy and rated thumbs up by our staff.   

Grocery Delivery:  

Instacart is an option, but not always available and you must be willing to place a very large order and offer a generous tip (keep in mind your shopper has to travel and carry your items through the snow and ice). There are also some private services in town such as At Your Breck & Call. 

Re-Usable Bags:  

Bags are not free in Breckenridge. We provide one free Breck Mountain Rentals re-usable bag to all of our guests.  

General Tips:

Here are some of our favorite random ski trip tips not covered in the topics above to help you make the most of your time and help you have the very best Breckenridge ski vacation. 

  • Wear a thin pair of liners under ski gloves or mittens: This makes taking photos easy as well as preventing your hands from freezing if you have to remove gloves to adjust goggles or mask. Snip the tips off the right thumb and forefinger of the liners if they don’t have a touch-screen feature.  
  • Dress in layers: On a sunny day, you may sweat, then the sun can go behind the clouds for awhile and you’ll be freezing on the lift. Layers will allow you to adjust to stay most comfortable.  
  • Pick one or two peaks that suit your skill level and stay there for the day. Don’t waste time traversing from peak to peak. We promise you are not missing out by not experiencing Peaks 10 or 6 where the terrain is more difficult for advanced-intermediate to expert skiers.
  • Always pack some tissue in a pocket.  
  • Hydrate and wear sunscreen.  
  • Flasks don’t have to be limited to hard liquor! Fill one with water. They fit great into coat pockets and provide the opportunity for a little hydration without having to stop in at the lodge.  

We are as excited to offer you a fabulous vacation home for your Breckenridge ski trip as you are about coming here for a winter vacation. There isn’t such a thing as a dumb question, so please ask if there is anything you need to know not answered above. You’ll be visiting one of North America’s most popular ski resorts. Combine that with our tips and you’ll have the best Breckenridge ski trip.