How to Plan Your Perfect Colorado Vacation.
Look, we know it can be exhausting to find the perfect cabin to rent in Colorado. Don’t let the sheer volume of cabins, homes, and condos on vacation rental sites overwhelm you; first, you need to decide what type of getaway you want to have.
We'll help you develop a vacation blueprint that will guide you to the ideal rental type. With this plan in hand, you can begin your lodging search in the right place, with a quick and easy way to narrow down the choices. Stay tuned - because we've also got a few insider tips to share along the way.
Step 1: Pick Your Top 3 Vacation Activities
Coloridians are no strangers to the outdoors and they fully embrace their adventurous side. This is good for the vacationer because you’ll be able to find things to do regardless of the region where you choose to stay. But be forewarned; hours can turn into days when you’re researching activities, visiting websites, checking reviews and comparing pricing.
So here’s what we recommend - prioritize your outdoor activities. Pick the top three must-see, must-do things. These will be the larger endeavors like hiking a fourteener, white water rafting, zip lining, fly fishing, skiing, snowboarding, mountain climbing, horseback riding, going to the hot springs, off-roading and more.
Whichever vacation activity lands in the number one or two spot will be your starting point for finding the region of Colorado you want to visit. While all these activities are sprinkled throughout Colorado, there are premier spots for each one. Spend some time searching online for the best fly fishing rivers or most beautiful hot springs and you’ll get a better idea of where you want to be.
The Adventurous Colorado Side
A word to the wise: we weren’t kidding when we said Colorado natives embraced their adventurous side. Know that the “best” most likely means the most hair-raising, adventurous and thrilling. Keep in mind what level of adventure is appropriate for your trip when you’re scouting out a zip lining course for the family or looking for a place to float down a river in a tube.
The next step of your activity planning is to choose the “fillers.” You can spend two days hiking and camping in the mountains, or you can go for a walk on a mountain trail every morning before breakfast. Your fillers are going to be the local activities that you’ll look for in a cabin rental description. As long as the rental page says there are nearby mountain trails and a nice lake for fishing, it will be easy to fit these activities as leisurely options for guests to partake in without writing it into the plan.
Step 2: Think about the Vibe of Your Vacation
What kind of trip do you want? Do you need a relaxing ladies weekend, an adventurous weekend with your friends, or a laid-back trip with a few highlights for the family? Determine the overall tone of your trip and it will further narrow down where you want to vacation.
- A fun family getaway vibe may be easiest to achieve in a smaller town where kids can run and play, but there are still necessities nearby (like Lake City, Gunnison or Crested Butte).
- A partying group of friends might be better suited for a larger city, with a nightlife that’s built around a beautiful ski resort or attractions (like Breckenridge or Denver)
- An educational road trip with history-buffs and nature lovers might favor the Native American heritage at the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings near Durango or access to shopping and views in Estes Park near Rocky Mountain National Park.
- A relaxing fishing trip would go over well in Lake City with nearby Lake Fork of the Gunnison River and Lake San Cristobal.
Step 3: Decide on Hotel & Lodging
The Perks of a Hotel
Now that you’ve chosen your activities and set the tone for your trip - the lodging should seem straightforward. If the trip is in a larger city and you plan on going shopping, heading out at night for drinks and dinner - choose a hotel. You won’t be spending much time inside - so you won’t need the space. You’ll also probably want the amenities; room service anyone? Morning spa session?
The Benefits of Renting a Cabin
If there is family involved, especially little ones - you’re going to want to opt for the rental. Rentals give you outdoor space that’s safe and can help tire out the children. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of separate bedrooms for a more restful night.
If there is extended family involved, search for rentals that have divided living space. For example, our cabin in Lake City, Colorado has a separate upstairs and downstairs so the in-laws can retire to their half and you can escape to yours. But be careful - make sure the cabin owner does not rent out the different parts of the home to separate parties. At our cabin - we’ll never impose on a vacation by lodging two complete strangers at the same time. If you don’t need both spaces, the downstairs condo will remain vacant.
Step 4: Talk to the Cabin Owner
Make sure your comfortable and ask questions. A lot of third party OTA (Online Travel Agent) sites don’t encourage conversation between the renter and owner, but it can make all the difference in the world. They can answer detailed questions that a website can’t, and it will help settle any nervousness if you’ve never rented a vacation home before.
Insider Tip: When you talk to the owner, ask if they’d prefer you book directly with them. One of the downfalls of major OTA vacation sites like VRBO, HomeAway, and Airbnb is that they charge the Traveler an 8%-15% "Guest Charge" and additionally charge the Home Owner a "Listing Fee". If you book directly with us on our website you’ll save money, we don’t have an 8%-15% Guest Charge.
Step 5: Book Vacation Rentals Early - Prices Aren’t Going to Drop
Let’s be clear - rental availability isn’t like airline tickets. The prices don’t fluctuate rapidly based on the demand, so don’t wait until the last minute to book. This will also help ensure you don’t miss out on your planned activities. Purchase tickets in advance and reserve your spots early. You don’t want to end up missing out on one of your top three activities because you procrastinated on planning - especially around holidays.
Step 6: Book With Us in Lake City, Colorado
We’d love to have you up to our property in Lake City. It’s a quaint town in the mountains surrounded by phenomenal views, mountains, rivers and lakes.