With the advent of winter, skiing enthusiasts from around the world begin making hectic preparations for their next ski holiday. Considering the fact that there are thousands of resorts to choose from, over 500 in the US alone, skiers have their task cut out.
A ski vacation can be an extremely expensive proposition, and it’s success depends on many factors, primarily upon level of snow. Another point which needs looking into is accommodation and slopes. Imagine the frustration, when arriving at your destination only to find out that neither of them conform to your standards. To ensure that everything takes place without any glitches, follow the guiding principles underlined below for the ultimate ski vacation.
Plan well in advance
The biggest mistake skiers make is to wait for plenty of snowfall. This will certainly result in you ending up paying far more than if you had booked in advance. All the good resorts tend to get fully booked by the end of October, so one needs to plan ahead.
In addition, many resorts offer great discounts to skiers who make the reservations well before the commencement of the season, at times up to 50% on lodging and ski lift costs. Hoteliers even attract customers with free upgrades, or free snowboard rentals etc for early birds. So, do a bit of research on sites like Ski Famille before heading to your next ski destination.
When to go
While enough snow at the designated resort is a vital issue, avoiding large crowds is the second most important factor to ponder on. No doubt trips, especially those with families, can only be scheduled during holidays or weekends, which means that the demand for rooms will be at their peak during this period. It is better to do some online research in this regard. Once this is done, narrow down your choice to one or two places, check costs and deals like valet and shuttle service in order to get more bang for your buck.
Just as you need to plan for your boarding and lodging, you need to decide how to get there in the first place. While driving has some benefits, like no issues of excess luggage and flexibility, taking a flight can get you almost anywhere speedily. It is for you to decide how much time and money you are willing to part with while in transit. If time is a major issue, as is normally is, look for resorts near airports. Do not hesitate to ask the airlines if your ski kit can fly for free, as some of them do offer this facility.
Gear and clothes
Leaving behind your skis and poles at home may sound silly, but in reality can make travelling hassle free for you. While carrying boots is recommended, other ski gear can take up lot of space in your car or cost a lot to fly. The best thing to do is to rent the gear you need from a rental delivery service online, so as to get everything sent to your room at your convenience. If you are traveling with kids, this service comes in handy as their skill levels and sizes change rapidly with passage of time. Investing in a good pair of boots is more important than the equipment itself as you are sure to enjoy walking on the trails better without sore feet.
Ski clothing supplies tend to dwindle with the onset of the season, so it is better to purchase them early, and in any case before you reach the resort. Though resorts have everything you may need, their cost is significantly higher. Top tip is to take advantage of the end season sales and grab the pricey accessories like goggles and sunglasses.
Research like a pro
A ski vacation is more like a lottery, as even the best laid plans can go awry, if Mother Nature intends to have her own way. Such is the nature of this exceedingly popular sport, that these factors are never seen as a deterrent. Even though there is no guarantee that any ski resort, regardless of location, will have natural snow when you arrive, sustained research can help you overcome this problem. This study will help you in identifying places where there is extensive artificial snowmaking, irrespective of the actual accumulation of powder from the sky. Resorts are these days adopting the use of massive snow guns to provide enough white powder to cover all the slopes.
Choice of accommodation is extremely important
Surprising as it may sound, not lodged into a proper resort can spell doom for your entire skiing trip. Skiers spend almost all their spare time within the confines of their rooms or resorts, which can be the major part of the day. Any resort which makes skiing and stay convenient is worth its weight in gold. This is possible in places where rooms are adjacent to the slopes. Imagine the enormous trouble and hassle which is avoided by this facility. You need not lug your equipment daily from the boot of your car to the slopes and simultaneously save on driving up and down everyday.
Next you have to ask yourself that how many mountains you want to visit? For example, would you like to hop from resort to resort or just stay in one place. The choice then lies into opting for a multi mountain destination or a remote and isolated ski town.
Ask about additional activities
You may be the most ardent skier, but the chances are not everyone in the family or group may have the same inclination. If children are tagging along then you need to know about services like childcare etc. Most resorts do have a dedicated program for the young ones, but only a few specialize in families. In fact there are many people who do not ski, but tag along to enjoy the experience. Even you may also require a change from the daily up and down swoosh from the slopes. It is therefore imperative to find out beforehand, what are the extra activities which can be availed off at the desired resort. Many resorts have things planned out that are bound to be of interest to even the non-skier. While some lodges earmark areas to rest and relax in warm pools, others offer dog sledding along scenic trails with wonderful views.
Check your skill level
Skiers come with different ability levels. While some are professionals in the game, others may be intermediate skiers or even beginners. This is one reason why all ski slopes are not created the same. Once you are aware of your ski level, you can opt for the area which suits your expertise most. For example, beginners would love wide and open trails, while advanced skiers would opt for deep moguls and steep slopes.
Planning for that perfect ski vacation may feel daunting at first, but once you have decided on the destination, things tend to easily fall in place. Just remember that if kids are coming too, carry some en-route entertainment for them, like a gaming device or activity books. Then just sit back and relax and look forward to having the time of your life.