It’s not too late to plan for a ski trip! You don’t need to head to the Swiss Alps (you sure can if you want to), as the U.S. has many places available for you to enjoy the fresh powder and brilliant views. If you think it’s time for you and your family to take vacation, skip the beach and head to the mountains! Ski vacations offer a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and spend time with family. Check out our tips for planning a family ski vacation—you won’t regret it!
Decide on a Location
The first thing you need to do when planning any vacation is to figure out your destination. When it comes to ski vacations, you have a lot of different options. If you have the budget, you can always head out to Europe, but if this is your family’s first time on a ski trip, then you might want to save Europe for later.
The U.S. boasts many wonderful places to ski—Colorado, Montana, Oregon, New York, Vermont—so take your time to explore which state is right for you. Within those states, you’ll need to decide on a city or town. Ski resorts always work, but if that doesn’t seem too desirable, many towns don’t have ski resorts overtaking them. Do your research to figure out which spot seems best for you and your family.
Consider Bringing Close Friends and Family
Before or after deciding on the location, consider bringing close friends and family. If you want to avoid the constant back and forth on where to go, decide on your location before inviting so that they know this is the plan, and they can come if they so choose. Either way, bringing friends and family provides a great opportunity for fun!
Group trips are enjoyable for everyone, as kids will feel more comfortable playing without parents, and adults can try out the more challenging trails. It’s also the more economical choice, as you can book a beautiful place for everyone. For example, vacation rentals in Telluride, Colorado, come large enough that you could bring a few families!
Get Accommodations in Order
Speaking of vacation rentals, once you decide on how many people you’ll travel with, you need to figure out where you’ll stay. Lucky for you, ski towns offer various lodging options. You can book a stay at a resort, but if you choose to go this route, you won’t really want a big group with you. If you don’t mind splitting up, then that’s still a good option. If, however, you all want to stay close together, then vacation rental homes, cabins, and condos provide the best choice. This way you can cook some meals at home and have a comfortable place to unwind after a long day on the slopes.
Figure Out a Budget
For some people, deciding on a budget will happen once you figure out your location, and for others it will come after you figure out where to stay. We recommend sorting out your fixed prices (travel fees and accommodations) before you determine how much money you can spend on dining and shopping. If finances aren’t an issue, then skip this step, but if money concerns you, make sure you budget appropriately for everything. If a ski trip just isn’t in the cards for you this year, start saving and planning now for next year!
Gather Winter Gear and Clothing
Once you get all the details sorted out, you need to plan ahead for all the different clothing items and gear you’ll need. If you already own ski equipment, then you’re good to go on that front—unless you need to get updated equipment—and make sure to get your skis sharpened and waxed before you leave. If you’ve never been on a skip trip and don’t plan on becoming super attached to the sport, then you can rent skis, boots, poles, and helmets. Other than that, you’ll need to get your own clothing; we list the basic necessities below:
- Ski goggles
- Face mask
- Snow pants (one-piece suit for young kids)
- Ski jacket
- Long underwear
- Fleece tops
- Mittens and gloves
- Get a Package
Get a Package
Make sure you sign up for any locker rentals, lift passes, or class packages before you go, or do this on the first day you arrive. These passes or packages can mean that your kids will ski free or that you’ll have access to night skiing. Figuring out the right packages and passes for you can end up saving you loads of money, so try to do your research on which ones you need before you arrive.
Create an Itinerary
Next on your ski trip to-do list is creating an itinerary for your trip. To lessen your stress during the trip, you need to think ahead and plan out how your days will go. Get some coffee with other parents in your group, sit down, and figure out where you want to eat your meals, go to for evening activities, and if you want to ski every day. If you have kids in your group, keep in mind how they won’t want to ski all day every day!
Make Time for Relaxing Activities
A ski vacation doesn’t mean you need to ski every single day. In fact, we highly recommend making time for other activities in your itinerary—especially relaxing ones. Skiing will wear you out, so you’ll want to include a movie day or a day spent inside on your list. You don’t need to do it all—especially if you only plan to vacation for a short period of time. We recommend spa days for moms, brewery tours for dads, and indoor explorations for kids.
If you think a ski vacation is in the cards, turn to Exceptional Stays for all of your accommodation needs. Our properties in Telluride are perfect for families, big or small, and offer an array of luxurious amenities. If you want to make a trip abroad, head to our properties in Gstaad, Switzerland for glamourous walk-to-ski homes that will make you feel like royalty. No matter what you choose, you’ll surely have a vacation you and your family will remember forever—contact us now!