Family Ski Trip to Colorado

travel hacking Jul 22, 2022

Last year, because we had accumulated so many travel rewards, I gave each of our daughters the opportunity to plan a trip anywhere in the US. My youngest daughter chose Southern California & I wrote about that trip in the blog — How I Booked a Free 9-Night Trip to California.

My oldest daughter wanted to go skiing.

Our family loves staying in Hyatt hotels, so we looked for a Hyatt near good ski slopes. We found a Park Hyatt, one of our favorite Hyatt brands, in Beaver Creek, Colorado. My wife and I grew up skiing in Colorado but neither of us had been to Beaver Creek. What we loved about this Park Hyatt was that it was a ski-in/ski-out resort. Meaning, you could basically ski up to the hotel. Often on the ski trips my wife & I took growing up, you’d have to drive 45 minutes down the mountain to where you were staying after you finished skiing for the day. We thought it would be fun to get to stay right on the slopes.

We booked the trip for this upcoming December, right around my oldest daughter’s birthday.

Here are the details:

  • While we typically fly Southwest since we have the Companion Pass & many Rapid Rewards points, we chose to fly American on this trip. The reason is because American can fly to an airport much closer to the ski resort. We could’ve flown Southwest to Denver, but we would’ve had a 2+ hour drive to the slopes. American allowed us to fly into the Vail airport which is only about 30 minutes from the slopes.
    • We had 124,000 AA points from two Citi cards we were approved for plus some other points we had earned from travel in the past.
    • We got both the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Personal card and the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Business card. The Personal card had a welcome bonus of 50,000 points & the Business card had a welcome bonus of 65,000 points.
    • We didn’t apply for either of these cards, though, until we hit the 5/24 rule with Chase. You can read more about that here. I’d suggest you not get a non-Chase card until you’ve maxed out on Chase cards due to their stricter rules.
    • The cost of the 4 tickets was 132,000 points, so I was about 8,000 points short. I paid $255.85 for those extra points. I could’ve done some additional point transfers to make up for the points, but the redemption with AA isn’t that great, so I didn’t want to waste them.
    • The cost for 4 of us to fly AA to Colorado if I had paid cash was right around $3,200.
  • As I mentioned earlier, we booked the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort.
    • The point cost was 25,000 points per night. We booked 5 nights for a total of 125,000 points.
    • We tried to book this hotel before but it was too last minute. You have to book months out to get this point rate.
    • The cost for 5 nights at this hotel if I had paid cash would’ve been right around $10,000.

Our travel costs to go on a 5-night skip trip as a family will only be a few hundred bucks (would’ve been over $13,000 paying cash). We will have some additional costs in transportation, food, ski equipment, and slope fees, but overall the trip should be fairly inexpensive since the travel was mostly covered.

I hope this encourages you that vacations with your family are possible, even if you don’t have a big budget for them! 


Tentmaking Tips Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address to subscribe.