Colorado Travel Guide
Business Services and Facilities
Several cities throughout Colorado have business services where you can print photographs, photocopy documents, send a fax, and check your email. The larger cities along the I–25 corridor have more selection and locations. A few are locally owned, but most are franchises of FedEx.
FedEx Office (www.fedex.com/us/office.)
Cameras and Photography
Photographers love the Rockies—and with good reason. The scenery is America's best, and every season offers a multitude of breathtaking images. When photographing wildlife, remember that chasing the animals stresses them unduly and diminishes the enjoyment of others who are viewing the wildlife, too. It is illegal to approach, feed, or pursue wildlife in all national parks. Keep a telephoto lens handy for wildlife shots.
Don't pack film or equipment in checked luggage, where it is much more susceptible to damage. X-ray machines used to view checked luggage are extremely powerful, and therefore likely to ruin your film. Try to ask for hand inspection of film, which becomes clouded after repeated exposure to airport X-ray machines, and keep videotapes and computer disks away from metal detectors. Always keep film, tape, and computer disks out of the sun. Carry an extra supply of batteries, and be prepared to turn on your camera, camcorder, or laptop to prove to airport security personnel that the device is real.
Children in Colorado
Colorado is tailor-made for family vacations, offering dude ranches, historic railroads, mining towns, rafting, and many outdoor activities.
Visitor centers and lodgings are often good at recommending places to spend time with children. The guides issued by the tourism office of Colorado have sections geared toward children. If you are renting a car, don't forget to arrange for a car seat when you reserve.
The free monthly magazine Colorado Parent is available online and in the lobbies of office buildings, hotels, and other businesses.
Colorado Parent (303/722–2330. www.coloradoparent.com.)
If your children are two or older, ask about children's airfares. As a general rule, infants under two not occupying a seat fly at greatly reduced fares or even for free. But if you want to guarantee a seat for an infant, you have to pay full fare. Consider flying during off-peak days and times; most airlines will grant an infant a seat without a ticket if there are available seats.
Experts agree that it's a good idea to use safety seats aloft for children weighing less than 40 pounds. Airlines set their own policies: if you use a safety seat, U.S. carriers usually require that the child be ticketed, even if he or she is young enough to ride free, because the seats must be strapped into regular seats. And even if you pay the full adult fare for the seat, it may be worth it, especially on longer trips. Do check your airline's policy about using safety seats during takeoff and landing. Safety seats are not allowed everywhere in the plane, so get your seat assignments as early as possible.
When reserving, request children's meals or a freestanding bassinet (not available at all airlines) if you need them. But note that bulkhead seats, where you must sit to use the bassinet, may lack an overhead bin or storage space on the floor.
Most hotels in Colorado allow children under a certain age to stay in their parents' room at no extra charge, but others charge for them as extra adults; be sure to find out the cutoff age for children's discounts. Some B&Bs and luxury inns do not allow young children. Inquire when making reservations.
Although most dude ranches are ideal for children of all ages, be sure you know not only the activities a ranch offers but also which are emphasized before booking your vacation. A few ranches may have age restrictions excluding very young children.
Sports and the Outdoors
Altitude can be even more taxing on small lungs than on adult lungs, so be conservative when evaluating what level of activity your child will enjoy.
Some trip organizers arrange backpacking outings for families with small children, especially for family groups of eight or more. Short half-day or full-day bike trips with plenty of flat riding are possible at many Colorado resorts. Among the better resorts for this sort of activity are Aspen and Steamboat Springs. Winter Park resort has good instructional programs.
It's not advisable to take children under seven on extended rafting trips, except those specifically geared to young children. Before taking an extended trip, you might want to test the waters with a half-day or one-day excursion. Trips aboard larger, motorized rafts are probably safest. Outfitters designate some trips as "adults only," the cutoff usually being 16 years old.