Snow Secrets from Across The Globe

We have been thinking on how to help you save time, reduce costs and take the stress out of planning your next ski trip anywhere in the world. The best holidays are always the ones where you get the inside knowledge or secret scoops before you go. The Sponars database is full of snow-minded individuals that hold a plethora of ski holidaying knowledge, so this is an opportunity to share those secrets.

This could include;

  • Best snow destination in a certain country?
  • Where to stay and how to book it?
  • Best local restaurants and bars?
  • How to get hold of ski tickets and ski gear?
  • Any other quirky snow tips or tricks?

Make the most of this opportunity to join in on the ski secrets and feel the anticipation and excitement for your next overseas ski holiday.

How it works; we’ll choose different snowy countries around the world and you can email in any secrets or stories you may have from this area. We’ll then collate it all and present it back as a blog for everyone to enjoy and learn from. Those of you who have stayed with us in the past may liken it to the Sponars lounge; a fantastic place to meet new people and share ski stories.  This way when it is time to book your next snow experience you’ll know all the secrets. Secrets don’t always come at once so what the blog if we find more secrets we will add them to the blog.

How this benefits you? You’ll have a huge wealth of snow holiday information at your fingertips – so when you’re ready to travel overseas, booking and planning your trip will be a breeze. Do you think it’s important to have good information when booking holidays?  I do and some of my best adventures have been inspired by scoops that I have found out from fellow snow-chasers, just like you.

Email your snow secrets to info@sponars.com.au.  

And don’t forget pictures – we like them too!

US SNOW SECRETS

My TOP SECRET as follows – Epic pass is fantastic value – add ‘Home Exchange.com‘ to that and you have an affordable holiday anywhere in the world!  We hired a car and hit up every EPIC resort we could in 5 weeks.  Ski pass was paid for & accommodation  was free. Stayed in amazing private homes some with hot tubes! USA love their hot tubes! Yes, it takes a lot of planning but thats half the fun & you make friends for life.
Start with easy flight to LA then hire a car & drive up the coast sight seeing to San Francisco then easy drive to beautiful Lake Tahoe – Tahoe has 3 ski fields you can enjoy the best of the mountains & the lake view is amazing. Continue your drive to Utah & hit up Park City then go Colorado & try my favourite Beaver Creek – They serve free hot chocolate & cookies every afternoon.   Michelle

Best Snow Destination.

The current vote is;

  1. Big Sky, Montana
  2. Steamboat, Colorado
  3. Beaver Creek, Colorado

Where to stay.

There are several ways to book accomodation and we have tried them all to various degrees of success.  You can book with a travel agency here in Australia or one in the US or every field has an accommodation centre.  There is also direct bookings with a hotel.  Our best secret here is vrbo.com however there is a technique involved here.  We believe Ski in and ski out  important as you go all that way and want as many hours on the snow as possible, don’t you? Also it can save money on lunch if you can access your apartment easily. Decide if you want be close to restaurants and bars.  Use google maps to check out the ski resort and know which area you want to stay in.  Allocate a nightly budget as it’s easy to over spend then start looking at properties. VRBO puts you in contact with the owners of the accommodation, have a chat to them and work out if this is the place for you. This technique worked out really well in Big Sky, Montana and Park City, Utah.

Where to eat.

We like eating where to locals eat.  This may be a town nearby or usually a local what’s on guide for nighttime activities. It’s good to check on ahead where the local supermarket is if you are planning on cooking back at the apartment. Check out how the locals get around most places have a bus service. My best secret here is a Cobb Salad, relatively healthy food to power if your action packed days. The other hint I have is to order 1 meal between 2 people as the serving sizes are enormous. The 4 of us would normally order just 2 mains or called Entres in America.

How to get hold of ski tickets and ski gear?

Best ski ticket deal around is obviously your Epic pass. Second best deal is an Ikon pass. However if the field you choose has neither Epic or Ikon check out Liftopia.com.  You can load your details into the website to get an alert when the tickets you want come on sale. Ski gear we have always done the maths and found it’s cheaper and easier to take your own. Most airports have lockers if you need to stow them for a non-skiing adventure.

Other quirky snow tips or tricks?

  • Flights, who knows what will happen in the future but we have 2 tips here.  Jetstar was offering very cheap tickets into Hawaii. Once inside the US airline tickets are generally cheaper to other US destinations. ( check if baggage costs are included).  The second tip is around mid January Sydney to US snow field airline tickets drop in price from high season to low season. Check the date and book the first flight out after that date.
  • Transfers are expensive and hiring a car is relatively cheap.  The other nifty thing in the states is that you don’t get hugely penalised if you return the car somewhere else. One year we hired a car in Denver and returned it to Snowmass Village. Then at the end of the holiday hired a car from Snowmass Village to Denver. Cost was two days car hire. Another trip we hired a car in Bozman, Montana and returned the car in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This gave us the chance to explore Yellowstone National Park en route.

Steamboat Tips

  • Look out for “Billy Kid” an ex Olympian and we saw the naked ski team on the slopes.
  • Strawberry Springs- take a day off and visit the natural hot springs Scott
  • Saddleback Ranch- a bit touristy but loads of fun going to have dinner at a local cowboy ranch on a horse and cart Scott and Rosemary
  • Ski hire- Black Tie Ski Rentals. Scott

Big Sky Tips

  • Check out Running Bear Road on VRBO as it is ski in ski out and short walk to village. We stayed at BigHorn#40.
  • Transfers are expensive but local bus is $5.
  • Lunch at the Shedhorn Grill which is an on slope lunch yurt with a view.

Beaver Creek Tips

  • The snow fields were luxurious, so massive and plenty of snow. We had a group lesson that was memorable, taken by an amazing instructor who took us all around the mountain. Catherine
  • One caution is to remember you travel all day from Sydney then onto Denver and Beaver Creek which has an altitude of 2463 metres. From 0 altitude to 2463 metres in one day is enough to give you a headache and dehydration! Take it easy when you arrive or acclimatise in Denver which is 1673 metres. Epic pass is accepted. Catherine

Thanks Graham, Cath, Michelle, Scott and Jeremy for your input so far.

Coming soon Canada

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