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I'm starting to price out a trip to Whistler/Blackcomb around the end of January. I've never been there and know next to jackshit about the area or the best (read: cheapest) ways to get there. I like lists so here we go:
1. Lodging Location. Trip would be a small (4-8) group of 24-28 year olds. Typically when I plan these trips we do condos with a kitchen that strike a nice balance between getting to the slopes and getting to any kind of village or nightlife around the area. Whistler's site lists all the "locations" you can get lodging at and I don't know anything about them. Can I get some summaries of some places to go to or avoid? While we're not looking for the penthouse of locations, we are not looking for the absolute cheapest deal...a really cool spot in the village or something may be worth more than saving money.
2. Transportation. I'm half tempted to fly to Seattle, rent vehicles, and drive it, since we'd be flying out of BWI (a major Southwest hub). I've ran prices on Expedia for routes to Vancouver and they're ugly. But the Whistler site is listing some possible deals through them that might make Vancouver more of an option. However, half those deals might make us drive a couple hours to get to the appropriate airport. I'm looking for any advice and personal experiences on going from the Baltimore-Washington area to Whistler, be it through Seattle and cars or Vancouver and shuttles.
3. Anything someone who is experienced planning domestic western trips wouldn't expect. I'm used to getting groups together to hit CO, UT, etc. This is definitely a step removed from that. Any kind of costs I wouldn't expect. I'm already aware that everyone will need a passport and will have to apply now.
Any other information is welcome, except for comments on the dates...the end of January thing is pretty inflexible given a number of work/school factors. Thanks!