Getting to your Ski Resort Job
Because very few ski resorts provide transportation to the area, you’ll need to figure out how you are going to get there. Traveling across the country can be expensive, but some planning can make your trip more affordable. Following are some suggestions for how to get to your job.
Probably the most common way for seasonal resort workers to get to their jobs is by car. Auto travel is relatively inexpensive and it allows you to set your own route and pace. You might use the opportunity to visit friends or landmarks along the way, arriving at the ski resort in time to find housing and a job for the winter. If you don’t have a car of your own, there are alternatives.
Many people use auto driveaway companies, which transport cars over long distances for owners who don’t have the time to make the trip themselves. These services can be found in the yellow pages and are located in major cities across the country. Car owners pay a fee to the company, which finds drivers willing to make the trip. If you sign on with a driveaway company, the only charge to you will be the cost of gas for the trip, although you probably will be asked to leave a refundable deposit. Minimum age requirements vary, but typically you must be at least eighteen or twenty-one years of age. You will be expected to deliver the car within a certain time limit, and there may be mileage restrictions to limit the detours you take along the way.
If you plan to travel alone but would consider a companion, post a notice on CraigsList.com, check college bulletin boards for notices of those seeking a ride, or post your own. This is a great way to meet people and share the expenses of a long-distance trip.
Whether you drive your own car or someone else’s, make sure you are prepared. Winter road conditions can be treacherous, especially in mountainous areas. Gasoline can be expensive and it’s often a long way between service stations, so top off whenever you get the chance. Be sure to pack a spare tire, a set of chains, some antifreeze, and a flashlight. Certain stretches of some roads have posted signs requiring tire chains during winter months.
Taking to the skies is the quickest way to get to work. Though usually expensive, there are a few ways to minimize the cost of flying. One is to make your travel plans as far in advance as possible. If you can purchase your tickets two weeks or more before your trip, your savings could be considerable.
Another option is to buy tickets with a credit card. It is usually easy for students to acquire credit cards, and often bank companies offer travel-related incentives to new customers. These usually take the form of travel vouchers that enable you to purchase a plane ticket to any U.S. destination at a discounted fare, perhaps $250 or so. Of course, you will have to buy the ticket using the new card, so pay close attention to your level of debt and don’t fall behind in your payments.
Train or Bus
Most people don’t consider trains as an option for long-distance travel, but Amtrak service comes closer than airlines to many of the nation’s ski resorts. Trains get you where you want to go as fast as buses, but usually with more comfort. They offer roomier seats, better views, and amenities like dining cars to attract passengers, so getting there can be half the fun. Amtrak divides the country into three zones and charges according to how many zones you cross on your trip. Thus, coast-to-coast travel costs the same regardless of the point of departure or arrival. Be sure to get your tickets early. Because of the holiday rush, travel in November and December might need to be booked six months in advance. Train fare is generally somewhat cheaper than plane fare but more expensive than bus fare.
Greyhound buses are usually the cheapest way to travel and allow you to meet others, sightsee, and relax. Buses go almost anywhere, so they are a good option if you’re trying to reach an out-of-the-way destination. Greyhound periodically offers fare specials as well as fourteen-day advance purchase discounts.