The Equipment Enigma: Rent, Ship or Schlep?

It may seem like a toss up when deciding to rent, ship or schlep, but the following regularly occurring ski country circumstances make the case for renting with Ski Butlers.

It snows two feet halfway through your ski vacation.

This, of course, is a good problem to have. However, if you thought you’d be skiing groomers and brought your carving skis, the narrow platform that arcs so well on corduroy will sink in powder, leading to fatigue and frustration. You’ll enjoy powder exponentially more with a wider-waisted ski and a tip that floats on top of the fluff. Ski Butlers allows you to change out your skis when the conditions change and the Ski Butlers delivery technician will come to you to switch out your gear anytime that is convenient for you.

You got a great deal on your flight, but the carrier has à la carte pricing or high baggage fees.

You might feel like you got a good deal by getting a cheap ticket, but just as the house always wins in a casino, so too does the airline win if you need to check luggage, skis and boots. Airlines typically count skis and a boot bag as one, but you’ll get charged for overweight baggage if either exceeds 50 pounds. Some airlines count your ski bag as oversized luggage and may charge more. Standard baggage charges range between $25-$75 (per leg of travel), with prices climbing substantially per extra bag. When flying to Europe, you typically get the first bag free, but the second and third bag can coast anywhere between $25-$200. Renting from Ski Butlers cuts out the baggage fees. You’ll order online and can utilize the site’s price calculator plus, look for discounts if you rent for 6 consecutive days or more.

You’re flying to Europe to ski in the Alps and will be taking multiple trains with tight connection times to get to your destination.

Many trains in Europe run with the precision of a Swiss clock. That’s great for being on time, but what about if you’re running down a train platform schlepping your luggage and ski equipment behind you? Be prepared to carry your luggage when traveling abroad. Keep in mind that you need to collect your ski equipment at customs and can miss a connection if you’re waiting on a slow-arriving ski bag. It’s much easier to have your equipment delivered — and picked up — at your quaint European ski lodge instead of having to muscle it from trains, planes and automobiles.

You plan on renting an economy car in ski country — and a storm is coming.

Rental car companies may offer good deals on 2 – 4 door economy cars, but more often than not, economy cars do not have snow tires. If you want better traction in the snow, you need to rent a larger, more expensive car. Rental car companies also often charge for extras like ski racks, which is a necessity if you have the same amount of passengers as seats and can’t place bulky ski bags inside the vehicle. Keep in mind it’s usually a long trek from the baggage carousel to the car rental agency, so you need to be able to carry all of your gear — and probably your kid’s gear too. Ground transportation can typically accommodate ski bags, but van companies charge per person, which can run up the bill with multiple passengers. The most hassle-free way of traveling to ski country is to arrive without having to lug your luggage to a rental car or van and greet the Ski Butler’s delivery technician at your location of choice.

Your friend wants to ship all the ski equipment for your vacation.

Shipping your gear means that you have to box it up (and hope it doesn’t break) a week before you leave for a trip in order to get the best rate. A sample fee for shipping one pair of skis (must be 25 pounds or under) from Boston to Denver is $79 (which will take 5 business days). Priority (or 2‑day shipping) could cost $169 per pair of skis. Now double that price because you need to ship your gear back. What happens if you want to ski at home on your gear but it’s in transit to your vacation location? Renting skis from Ski Butlers could cost between $30-$71 per day, depending on the ski, board or boot — and the gear is hand-delivered to your door. No packing necessary.

You bought new gear for your kids last season for your vacation, and they’ve already grown out of their boots, skis and boards.

Nothing ruins a vacation faster than a kid complaining about sore feet because their boots are too small, or if they’re having trouble riding or skiing because their equipment isn’t the right size. Kids continually outgrow their equipment. When you rent from Ski Butlers, you have the help of a technician to fit your child to the correct size. Plus, Ski Butler’s equipment comes from the latest fleet of Rossignol skis, boots and snowboards, so you know your child gets to try the most current gear.

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