Family skiing vacations can be difficult on many different levels. They drain your pocket, make you pray for snow, and put your anxiety level on high alert when packing – so much stuff to take! So how do you deal with it? Prepare for the worst from the minute you start planning. With the right approach, you will make your trip a success no matter what.
Choose Your Skiing Destination Wisely
The most important ingredient of a successful ski vacation is, of course, snow. Consider global warming when choosing your destination. There are no guarantees, but in general you should be heading north to maximize your chance of having natural or at least artificial snow.
Check the stats of the resorts you are taking under consideration. Their opening and closing dates, average temperatures, amounts of snow – that should give you an idea about the chances of these patterns to be repeated. Even if you maximize your chances of skiing on natural snow, you need to remember that weather is unpredictable and you might not see snow at all or very little of it.
Then what? You need to have a plan B. Choose a destination that has more to offer than just skiing.
For the reasons above, my favorite ski destination is the Quebec province of Canada. With low winter temperatures, chances of having at least an artificial snow are high and with Montreal and Quebec City nearby, you can turn your vacation into a cultural experience. It is almost like visiting Europe without flying. How cool is it to have a hamburger au fromage instead just your ordinary cheeseburger?
Before Your Ski Trip
Make sure you have pictures of your skiing equipment, Unfortunately, things get stolen, so do not assume that is not going to happen to you. It is good to have pictures of your equipment in case you need to file a claim with your insurance.
Skiing Should Not Break Your Budget
Let’s not fool ourselves, skiing is expensive and there is no way around it, but with the right approach you might make your ski trip less harmful to your budget.
Find a deal
There is nothing like being right on the slopes, but these locations are extremely expensive. With some research, you can find a deal. The best way is to look for condo rentals by owner. Individual owners are usually much more motivated to rent their units for lower prices to keep their income flowing. Some are even open to negotiate the rate.
Try VRBO or Airbnb but also make sure to go the resort’s website and check their links to local real estate. Some owners prefer to list locally.
Rent a Ski House
In my opinion, if you are not on the slopes or within walking distance, it does not matter if you have to drive 5 minutes or 25 minutes to the lifts, you still have to pack and unpack. Farther from the slopes, you can get more bang for your buck.
Save on food
Renting a house or condo lets you save a lot on food. You can eat breakfast at your house and lunch at the slopes. Bring plenty of snacks to the mountain instead of buying there. You might even make sandwiches to take with you. For dinner, come back the house. You can bring some meals with you (if you are driving), or grab a take-out on your way back from the slopes.
Save on Beverages
Having a kitchen will help your drinking budget too. Forget the bars. Stock your fridge with your favorite beverage or heat up a cheap red wine with spices and sip it by the fire. It will warm you up, give you a cozy Christmas feeling, and save you a lot of money. Take your water or sodas with you to the mountain.
Enjoy Skiing with a Group
Remember a majority of resorts do not offer night skiing. They want you to keep their economy going by visiting their bars and restaurant. So what can do you at night other than fulfilling their wishes? Bring your “live entertainment” with you – your children’s friends and their parents, hopefully already your friends too, so everyone has company according to their age.
Being with a group is especially important for the skiing part of a trip. Sooner or later, you will need to admit that your child is a better skier than you, so do not try to keep up with him or her for your own good. Youngsters have much more fun skiing with each other that with their parents.
Do not count solely on cellular phones to communicate within the group. Before splitting, clearly announce when and where you are going to meet.
At night, play board games or do other fun activities as a group. Let your children sleep in a living areas so they have the excitement of sleeping over and you have a bedroom to yourself.
Bring Plenty of Extras
I have a tendency to pack too much, especially for ski trips. Mostly that is because of the way glove, hats and ski poles have a tendency to take off on you. For that reason, I always pack some extras.
I know for sure that other people are not are much into packing. On one of our ski trips, one boy came without his snow boots, one lady did not have a hat, and another boy lost his gloves. Thanks to my supplies, we were all able to go on a sleigh ride.
See another option for a value Family Skiing Trip: Tamarack Resort in Idaho
What are your tips for making the most of a ski trip? Share with us in the comment section below.