Tips on Traveling to Colorado This Winter During the Coronavirus Pandemic
With the world the way it is this year, one thing we can still get excited about is the upcoming 2020-2021 ski season here in Colorado. It’s a great time to start planning your winter vacation to the Rocky Mountains in the upcoming months. There are a lot of questions about how to safely proceed with your plans, and we’re trying to lay out all of the answers that we currently have to make this a seamless process. Here are tips on how to travel to Colorado this winter during the coronavirus pandemic.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Know the Travel Restrictions in Place
- Colorado’s Travel Restrictions
- How to Find the Most Up-to-Date Pandemic Travel Restrictions in Colorado
- Common Questions for Pandemic Travel
- Your State’s Current Travel Restrictions
- Travel Restrictions Whether You’re Flying or Driving to Colorado
- Driving to Colorado During the Pandemic
- Flying to Colorado During the Pandemic
- Colorado’s Travel Restrictions
- Schedule Everything Ahead of Time
- Ski Equipment
- Restaurant Reservations
- Lift Tickets
- Shuttles & Transportation
- How Peak 1 Express is Operating for the 2020-2021 Season
- What Precautions We Are Taking
- What We Need in Return from Our Guests
- How to Stay Safe While Skiing in Colorado this Winter
- How Colorado Ski Resorts Have Responded to the Pandemic
- Epic Mountains
- Ikon Mountains
- Local Mountains
- What Precautions You Can Take When Skiing
- Staying Close to the Ski Slopes Eliminates Unnecessary Travel
- How Colorado Ski Resorts Have Responded to the Pandemic
- Questions to Ask When Booking
- What to Prepare Before You Travel
- Purchase Travel Insurance
- Credit Card Limits
- Have Your Reservation Numbers and Trip Itinerary Organized
- Packing the Essentials
- Keep Your Circle Small on Vacation
- Best Lodging During a Pandemic
- For Small Groups or Single Families
- For Large Groups or Multiple Families
- Book Small Group Adventures
- Snowmobile Tours
- Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
- Fat Tire Biking
- Best Lodging During a Pandemic
- Here’s How You Can Prepare for a 2020-2021 Shuttle Service with Peak 1 Express
- Common Questions About Pandemic Travel with Peak 1 Express
Know The Travel Restrictions In Place
The current travel restrictions vary between every state in the U.S. along with some federal limitations for international travels. Knowing the most current restrictions is important for your vacation to safely and efficiently get from point A to point B with minimal hiccups.
Colorado’s Travel Restrictions
*** Last Updated on 09/12/2020 at 10:57 AM ***
How to Find the Most Up-to-Date Pandemic Travel Restrictions in Colorado
Colorado’s government webpage does a great job at outlining any current restrictions and everything you need to know on a county to county basis in the state. Here are some great resources to refer to:
Common Questions for Pandemic Travel
Q: Will I need to quarantine when coming to Colorado?
A: At this time, Colorado does not require a quarantine when traveling from out of the state into the state. There are also no city or county specific quarantine measures in place at this time.
Q: Where are masks required?
A: By Colorado state mandate, masks are currently required to wear in any public indoor spaces and on any public transportation services. Masks are also required outdoors when 6 feet of social distancing between yourself and others is not attainable. When indoors, there are certain instances where you will be able to remove your mask. For example, when dining at a restaurant you are allowed to take your mask off while seated at your table.
Q: Are there any consequences for not wearing a mask while in Colorado?
A: Due to this mandate being an executive order, you can be penalized for not wearing a mask where it is required.
Q: How old do children have to be to wear a mask?
A: In Colorado, children 10 years old and younger are not required to wear a mask. Children under the age of 3 should not wear a facial covering for safety reasons. When heading to a restaurant or a public place of business, we suggest having a mask handy for all children between 3 and 10 years old in case it is required to enter the building.
Your State’s Current Travel Restrictions
Knowing your home state’s travel restrictions at the time of your vacation is also important, as those regulations may be different than Colorado travel restrictions. Make sure you have a resource to check these restrictions periodically weeks out before your vacation.
Travel Restrictions Whether You’re Flying or Driving to Colorado
Driving to Colorado During the Pandemic
If you’re driving to Colorado this winter, be sure to check travel restrictions in all of the states you will be passing through on your way here. Other ways you can prepare for your road trip are:
- Mapping out gas stations and rest stops along the way
- Making as few stops as possible
- Keeping disposable gloves in your vehicle to use at fuel pumps
- Having a bottle of hand sanitizer accessible in your vehicle
- Packing snacks instead of stopping at restaurants along the way
- Minimizing as much person-to-person contact
Flying to Colorado During the Pandemic
Booking a flight is a quicker option than making the drive, but it can make social distancing more difficult. The Transportation Security Administration has been taking extra safety measures this year, which you can learn more about here. Some notable changes that you should take into consideration are the following:
- You are allowed to bring a bottle of hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces in your carry-on bag at the airport. The exception is only for hand sanitizers and only allows one 12 oz bottle per passenger.
- Due to the added precautionary steps in every aspect of airport travel, giving yourself extra time during your check-in process is smart to avoid being late for your flight.
- Preparing everything you can digitally prior to your day of travel can make your day a bit smoother. Remember to check in for your flight online and have everything organized beforehand.
Schedule Everything Ahead of Time
One thing we do know about this winter is reserving everything you can is essential. Restaurants are operating at a smaller capacity which will make reservations more difficult to obtain during the busy season. Hotels and lodging in general during ski season are usually booked months out. Even ski lift tickets this year are on a reservation system. Here’s how we would break down this planning process of your trip.
No matter the type of lodging you’re looking for, it’s one of the first things you should look at when planning your trip. We believe most hotels in Colorado are running at a normal capacity still, but with restrictions on the amenities within their facility. For example, spa appointments may be less available and you may need to make a reservation for the hot tub at your hotel.
FYI: Planning those hot tub time slots on the evenings you’ll be skiing is highly recommended… thank us later.
There are plenty of options for ski rentals during your stay in Colorado. Booking your equipment in advance just means better deals, more options, and less time figuring it all out when you get there. Some ski shops include transportation from their ski shop to the slopes or even your lodge, as well as picking the equipment back up at the end of your stay for a small fee. If you’re staying near Breckenridge, Breckenridge Ski & Sport is a great option for visitors looking for a wide variety of gear at a great price.
Restrictions on capacity indoors and outdoor seating during the winter months will make dining out on your vacation a headache if you wait until you’re in town. Make your reservations when you know where you’re headed, and allow for extra time when you go due to the drastic changes the food industry has had to make in their day-to-day procedures due to COVID-19.
We’ll get into more detail here shortly, but the main thing to note is that during the 2020-2021 ski season here in Colorado, you will not be able to walk up to a ticket window to purchase a day pass for whichever mountain you’re heading to. Booking and scheduling your ski days in advance this year is not only a smart move, but also required.
SHUTTLES & TRANSPORTATION
If you’re flying into the Denver or Eagle airport in Colorado, or just need transportation around the ski town you’re staying at, you will have to deal with some COVID restrictions this winter. Buses are currently running at 50% capacity in Summit County and the Vail Valley. Keeping that in mind, booking your lodge closer to the ski slopes is much more important this year. Shuttle systems from the airport to destinations in the Colorado Rockies are also running at a lower capacity which means there will be less availability on those transportation options this winter.
How Peak 1 Express is Operating for the 2020-2021 Season
We may not have all the answers to how everyone else is handling the pandemic, but we can tell you that Peak 1 Express is taking as many preventative measures as possible to keep the health of our guests as well as our employees and drivers at the forefront of our mind. We’ve implemented extra steps in every facet of our business in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but we can’t do it alone! Here’s everything we are doing and what we expect in return from those who use our services.
|US, YOUR DRIVER||YOU, OUR GUEST|
How to Stay Safe While Skiing in Colorado this Winter
How Colorado’s Ski Resorts Have Responded to the Pandemic
Most ski resorts here in Colorado have released information recently as to how they will be operating for the 2020-2021 season. The biggest impact skiers and snowboarders will see is the food and beverage services that are on-mountain will be different, as well as the reservation system for ski days and pre-purchasing lift tickets. Find your location below to get the most recent update on how your Colorado ski destination is responding to the pandemic.
|EPIC MOUNTAINS||IKON MOUNTAINS||LOCAL MOUNTAINS|
What Precautions You Can Take When Skiing
Aside from the obvious “stay home if you’re sick”, here are a couple pointers that will help you and your crew stay healthy and still have fun on the ski slopes this winter.
- Wear a mask at all times. The good thing about this one, is most wear buffs while skiing or snowboarding anyway, so this is an easy way to keep you and others safe.
- Ski with your close circle of friends or family. Gondolas and some lifts will most likely operate by just allowing one group on board at a time. If you ski with just a few others, you’re eliminating your exposure to a multitude of different people as well as making it easier on lift operations during these times.
- Pack some snacks in your car and take a midday break. Not only will this save you a decent amount of money, but you can avoid standing in line for food at the on-resort locations. We know that food and beverage options will be limited – avoiding the crowds waiting for a bite to eat will help you keep a good distance from others.
- Throw a travel hand sanitizer into your coat pocket. Hand sanitizer bottles come in all shapes and sizes nowadays. Those from all across the country and the world travel to Colorado every winter to ski the world-class slopes. Better to be safe than sorry and sanitize up after you enter or exit a building, after riding the gondola, etc.
Staying Closer to the Ski Slopes Eliminates Unnecessary Travel
Choosing lodging at the base of any ski resort tends to result in a bit more pricey bill at the end of your stay, but doing so could benefit you more during the coronavirus pandemic. Buses in ski towns are currently at half capacity when full capacity is barely enough in the heart of ski season. Daily shuttles will also be less available and may be limited due to restrictions. If you stay close to the slopes, you’ll get the luxury of hopping on one of those first chairs every morning versus waiting at a crowded bus stop to get there.
Questions to Ask When Booking
- What precautions are everyone taking? I.e. hotels or restaurants.
- How can you better prepare for every aspect of your trip? Making the check-in process easier, making dining out a simple event, etc.
- Are locations checking guests temperatures?
- Are there different precautions on private shuttle versus normal airport shuttle services if booking transportation?
- Can you book an entire shuttle for just one family, or are you going to be paired with another group?
- Are there room service or local food delivery options at your lodging?
- What happens if restaurants are booked up on reservations… what alternatives will you have?
- What will be different at your destination due to the pandemic?
- Is there anything you won’t be allowed to do?
- How will events be carried out?
What to Prepare Before You Travel
Purchase Travel Insurance
You can’t always forecast how every aspect on your vacation will pan out, so the best thing you can do is purchase travel insurance. Don’t let a random illness, delayed flights, traffic, or bad weather cost you a lot of money. Having a backup plan is always key, especially during an unpredictable Colorado winter.
Credit Card Limits
Keeping in mind that many places aren’t allowing cash transactions during the pandemic, you may have to rely on your debit or credit card on your vacation. Calling your bank ahead of time to let them know you’ll be traveling and making sure you have plenty of space on your cards for the time you’ll be in Colorado are two things that should be on your to-do list.
Have Your Reservation Numbers and Trip Itinerary Organized
By doing this, you may help expedite the process and avoid unnecessary face-to-face interaction. This makes it easy for you to know who to contact should you be in the unfortunate situation of getting ill less than 14 days from travel or if you have any delays on any leg of your travels. Earlier cancellations or changes will often leave you with more refund and rebooking flexibility as well.
Packing the Essentials
Load up on hand sanitizer and different types of face masks before you leave for vacation. The best part about Colorado winters is you’ll be wearing masks that double as your face mask in many situations; ski buffs, scarves, and neck warmers will all work great during your trip. Staying hydrated Purchasing a thermometer may also be a good call. Understanding your body’s healthy temperature level and checking daily while on vacation may put your mind at ease while traveling during a pandemic.
Keep Your Circle Small on Your Vacation
Families and friend groups are more important than ever now with all of the restrictions and simply just the way this year has developed. Booking activities and staying in close quarters with your party is the safest way to go about your Colorado ski vacation this year.
Best Lodging During a Pandemic
|FOR SMALL GROUPS /|
|FOR LARGE GROUPS /|
|Staying in a hotel can be a great option for those in smaller groups – you’ll be able to order contact-free room service easily, and resorts provide numerous amenities (spa, gym, hottub, etc.) that are conveniently located and will reduce travel around town.||When traveling with a larger group, consider booking an Airbnb or VRBO instead of multiple rooms at a hotel or lodge. You’ll have a little more space, be able to avoid public areas, and even plan meals and utilize the kitchen instead of eating out every night.|
Book Small Group Adventures
There are plenty of activities that make it easy to steer clear of large gatherings of people. The majority of travelers this winter will be heading to Colorado to ski… but what about the days you aren’t on the slopes? Check out these options for socially distanced small group adventures this winter in Colorado.
Why not do something with your group that would require you to wear a face mask anyway? Snowmobile tours are a popular way to venture through the Colorado mountains and you’ll be able to enjoy a less crowded atmosphere.
High Country Snowmobile Tours – Leadville, Colorado
Grand Adventures Snowmobile Tours – Winter Park, Colorado
Breckenridge Snowmobile Tours & Rentals – Breckenridge, Colorado
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
Bring this fairytale to life for the whole family and book a snowy sleigh ride. Cozy up with just you and your loved ones, no matter their ages!
Golden Horseshoe Sleigh Rides – Breckenridge, Colorado
Bearcat Stables – Edwards, Colorado
Aspen Carriage and Sleigh Rides – Aspen, Colorado
For a bit more activity, snowshoeing is a great way to head out on a hike in the Rockies over the winter. Whether you’re staying in Vail, Aspen, Steamboat Springs, or Breckenridge, snowshoes are highly recommended to make your hike a bit easier. You can do a guided tour or even just a day rental and head out yourself.
Breckenridge Nordic Center – Breckenridge, Colorado
Vail Nordic Center – Vail, Colorado
Winter Park Resort – Winter Park, Colorado
Fat Tire Biking
That’s right, we bike year round in Colorado. Fat tire biking becomes popular as the trails begin to pack with snow and the larger tires allow you to cruise along in most wintery weather. With that being said, definitely make your ski days the ones with fresh powder, and fat biking days should be saved until the trails are packed in a bit.
Rebel Sports – Frisco, Colorado
High Gear Cyclery – Avon, Colorado
Snow Mountain Ranch – Granby, Colorado
Here’s How You Can Prepare for a 2020-2021 Shuttle Service with Peak 1 Express
Aside from all the precautions we are taking on our end and following Colorado travel restrictions, we do need a bit of team work from our guests to make our shuttle services as safe as possible during pandemic travel. Keeping on top of you and your group’s health, being able to wear a mask when it is required, and abiding by the restrictions put in place at the time of your travels help us do our job even better.
Common Questions about Pandemic Travel with Peak 1 Express
Q: What happens if I have a medical issue that does not allow me to wear a mask?
A: If this is the case, we suggest inquiring about a private shuttle service. These private shuttles tend to not be available for last minute bookings, so planning ahead is important as well as knowing where you can and cannot go when you get to your destination.
Q: What happens if I get sick before a trip with Peak 1 Express?
A: We ask that all of our guests be as up front as possible on their state of health leading up to, and on the day of, a shuttle service with Peak 1 Express. With the pandemic, we are trying to be as understanding and flexible as possible if anyone happens to fall ill and has to cancel their trip with us. We currently offer a full refund outside of 24 hours before your trip time with us in this event.
Q: Will I be contacted if someone on my shuttle ends up getting COVID-19?
A: We are keeping on top of our guest and employee health, and we will contact guests if we have any reason to believe they’ve been in an elevated risk for contracting coronavirus.
Peak 1 Express is currently taking reservations for the 2020-2021 winter season. Whether you’re wanting to book a private vehicle or a shared shuttle, know that we are taking all precautions to abide by CDC regulations as best we can and doing our part to attempt to slow the spread. Contact us today to get your transportation solidified. We’ll see you on the slopes!