Helpful and Stress-Free Breckenridge Ski Vacation Tips

L et's face it. While we live for our vacations, they can also come with a bit of stress. Add in ice, freezing temps, and a high-maintenance sport like skiing and the stress levels can rise. We've got the best 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 most fun and least stress for your Breckenridge, Colorado ski trip is right here in one place.

Book Activities and Restaurant Reservations Early:

Especially for holiday ski vacations and even weekend trips, the most popular restaurants and winter activities in Breckenridge like tubing and dog sledding might book up months in advance. Book early!

Discounts on Lift Tickets:

If you plan to spend more than 4 full days on the mountain during your ski vacation, an Epic Local Pass or Summit Value Pass is the least expensive option, but prices go up Oct 7 and the pass sales end altogether on Thanksgiving Day. Breckenridge guarantees the lowest prices are 7 days advance purchase online. Note, however, there are other less costly alternatives you may not know about and are not advertised online or even at the ticket office.

Prepare for the High Altitude:

Don’t let altitude sickness spoil the first few days or, worst case, your entire ski vacation. You can prevent and alleviate the symptoms!

Traction, Traction, Traction:

You are headed to a high alpine environment where ice and snow are a regular part of daily winter life in the high country. The biggest impact is on the roadways. Know about the Chain Law. You MUST be prepared, not only for your safety, but to be on the roads legally with either a 4WD vehicle, chains, or snow tires (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. One person without proper traction can have a detrimental effect on thousands of others traveling behind them on I-70. You will not only ruin your own ski vacation but hundreds more as well. I-70 conditions and closures can be checked online.

Your feet need traction as well! A simple walk anywhere ice exists can result in a painful fall. Learn to walk like a penguin or pick up a pair of Yaktrax.

Pre-Arrival Stop:

Summit County has a store for everything you need for a ski vacation, items you forgot to pack or items you didn’t know you wanted or needed until after you’ve gotten here. On the holidays or busy weekends, however, the Breckenridge City Market grocery store tends to get overcrowded resulting in a very hectic grocery shopping experience. During the busiest of times, some popular items will sell out until the next day’s delivery. If you’re traveling down I-70 into Breckenridge, take a slight 1 mile detour and stop at the City Market in Dillon instead. You’ll find a much larger selection and shopping bags at no cost.  For an even bigger selection for pre-arrival into Summit County, we’ve got more insider tips on where to stop in advance and avoid starting off your stay with this major headache.

Ski Gear/Grocery Delivery:

Grocery delivery: Skip the lines and the crowds and let someone else do the work for you!  Let Ski Butlers deliver and pick up your skis and receive your Book Breck 20% discount at the same time! You can also receive rented ski jackets, pants, gloves, etc through a kit delivery service.

Ski/Ride Rentals:

Our discount partner, Christy Sports, has the closest locations in town to the gondola and Peak 9. We highly recommend renting good quality skis and boots (which our partner has). Ill-fitting boots resulting in painful feet are not worth saving a few dollars. Renting locally also has the benefit of being able to exchange skis or boots that just don’t work well for you and the ability to store gear overnight instead of hauling it back and forth from the mountain to your vacation home.

More on Ski/Ride Equipment:

You might own your own equipment, and it’s understandable if you have a great pair of comfortable boots you’d want to bring them along, but with cost soaring for checking over-sized bags, it might be more beneficial to leave your skis/board behind and rent while in town. You can also check costs on shipping rather than checking them on a flight. If you visit often, look into storing your gear here in town.

Ski-Day Savings:

Pack a lunch and snacks and store it in a locker at the base (locker prices start at $10, not much more than the cost of one burger at a base restaurant). Walking boots and extra layers can also be stored in the locker.

Ski Base Storage:

There is no easy way to carry skis and poles! Overnight ski storage is available at the bases of Peak 8 and Peak 9. Take your boots back and forth to keep them warm, but store the skis (for a fee, of course) to save yourself some of the awkwardness of carrying skis and poles.

First-Time or Beginner Skiers:

We’ve got a best-kept-secret for first-time or beginner skiers, click here.


A great deal of town parking is paid parking. Know your license plate number so you don’t have to run back to your car when paying at the kiosk. We recommend downloading the Passport parking app on your smart phone. When possible, always use the Breck Free Ride or Summit Shuttle. Even if you drive to and park in one of the gondola lots, you will not only have to pay for parking, but the walk to the gondola can be a long one whereas the free shuttle will drop you just 50 yards from the gondola. There are some employee parking lots in the downtown core that are often mistaken for free parking. Please do not displace employees and park in their spots, which will result in a parking ticket and public scorn. Look for and read all parking lot signage to ensure you are in a public zone and then be prepared to pay at the kiosk on on the mobile app. For free transport up and down Main Street, listen for the ding-ding and hop on the blue trolley.

Non-skiing activities:

Maybe not everyone in your group wants to hit the slopes or perhaps 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 even in the winter in Breckenridge. Want to stay indoors for a day? We’ve got you covered. Want to broaden your winter horizons and try something different? There are numerous winter activities you might not know even exist here at our snowy playground.

Fast & Easy Meals Out:

There are dozens of delicious and fun places to eat on Main Street, 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 (not just pizza, they also have a $5 breakfast and other menu items later in the day). All yummy and rated thumbs up by our staff. The Mugshot Cafe, Breck Fast, The Hangar, Waves, and Breckenridge Distillery on Airport Road are also out-of-the-way spots with free/easy parking.

Re-usable Bags: 

Bags cost 10 cents everywhere in the town of Breckenridge. Our Book Breck homes are stocked with re-usable bags, but pack some extra for easier grocery shopping.

Bonus Tips:

What to pack for your ski trip: A quick packing check list.

Our Book Breck staff frequents the mountain on a regular basis all season. Our goal is to help our guests feel like they have friends in town. Here are our favorite tips and tricks to make the most of your time and help you have the very best Breckenridge ski vacation.

Imane: Buffs are the best thing to happen to skiing because they’re so versatile. I can have it around my neck for minimal warmth, pull it up over my face when the wind kicks up, and use it as an headband during lunch when I take my helmet off. They’re also thin enough that I rarely overheat in one, and can fold it up to fit in a pocket if needed. Best of all, when I do wear it as a mask, I can breathe through it more easily than a typical ski mask.

Kristi:  I like to wear a pair of thin liners under my gloves. This makes taking photos easy as well as preventing my hands from freezing if I have to remove gloves to adjust goggles or face mask. Additionally, I snipped the tips off my right thumb and forefinger liner. And speaking of gloves, don’t skimp on quality- get some good ones! I prefer the Hestra brand. Get a professional photo of your group at the top of Peak 8 or Peak 7 from Epic Pix.

Robin: I like to dress in layers so if I get too warm, I can take a layer off and be more comfortable. My balaclava is my favorite ski wear accessory because it doubles as head/ear cover as well as face mask.

Lindsay: Pick one or two peaks that you suit your skill level and interest and stick to them to try not to waste your whole day traversing. Rent your equipment the night/day before you hit the slopes. Purchase your ski pass in advance. DON’T park in lots marked employees only 😉 hehe.

Marissa: We always have one person in our group carry a backpack with food and water. It prevents a lot of unnecessary stops! Then, when we’re ready for lunch, we grab a table at whichever lodge is most convenient. You can eat your own meals at any of them and it saves a ton of money to not get restaurant food on the mountain. Also: ALWAYS pack tissues in your pockets. A runny nose is inevitable in the cold.

Tips we all agree on: Drink water and wear sunscreen!!! And most importantly, book your vacation home through Book Breck. You can rest assured your vacation rental will be clean, well appointed, and well maintained with the best customer service in Breckenridge.

Book Breck by 360 Blue is an award-winning vacation rental company located in Breckenridge, Colorado.

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