Goggles and helmet. Check. Pants and jacket. Check. Boots, skis and socks. Check. You’ve even got your Liftopia voucher in hand. You’re walking out the door ready to shred…. oh yeah, you don’t have a CAR! It happens to the best of us. Maybe you’re in school barely scraping by, maybe you just don’t have 4WD and it’s storming, maybe you didn’t make enough in tips waiting tables last night to afford to fill up the tank. Any whichever way it happens, you’re stranded with no transportation and the mountains are calling your name! But, you don’t have to cry about it. Here are 4 easy ways to get to the mountain without a car.
1. Facebook. If you’re a skier, chances are you have friends that ski. 95% of the time (in no way is that a valid stat whatsoever) your friends have friends that are headed to the hill. It’s your job to track them down and jump in! Update your status, let people know you’re looking for a ride.
Some tips for making a ride post more effective on the ole FB:
a. Tag your friends that are already there. It sounds counterintuitive, but they’ll usually know who else is planning to head up and can help you coordinate.
b. Get creative. Offer to split gas, pay for gas, buy the driver’s ticket, buy the driver beer. Heck, maybe all the driver wants is a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies! Whatever you have to do, it’s gonna be worth the turns.
2. Zimride. If you’re still using Craigslist’s, ditch the creepers and update your rideshare arsenal. Zimride is the best tool I’ve found for saving money and meeting people heading your way (okay, so I might have taken that phrase right off their website). But Zimride is seriously great. I’ve used it quite a few times for rides up to Tahoe, but rides are available all over North America. All you have to do is make a post (free) or contact people with existing posts and pay online (the money isn’t transfered until after you get the ride) to book your seat!
3. Public Transpiration / Shuttle. Taking a shuttle or bus to the mountain might seem like a bad idea at first, but they’re actually a lot of fun, especially in mountain towns where people tend to be friendly! It’s a close tie between Steamboat and Squaw for my favorite shuttle experience… Both experiences fell somewhere between après and going out. Simply search for the ski area you’re looking to go to along with “shuttle bus” and you’ll likely find at least a handful of results.
4. Rent a Car. If you live close to or will be flying into an airport, sometimes renting a car is your best bet. Plus, splitting a car rental will be even cheaper if you split the cost with friends. Just remember you are headed towards a ski resort, so plan accordingly for snow and ice so you don’t end up like these guys.
Hope you’ve figured out some new ways to get to the slopes! Feel free to share your own secrets on hitching a ride in the comments below.
Rent your car from ANY rental place other than an airport and save all the extra taxes and fees. You can save a LOT by avoiding the airport!