How to Plan a Family Ski Trip
If you’re looking for snow this winter, you might have to head out of Arkansas. While the state is lucky to typically get a couple snow showers each season, it’s not often anything substantial or long-lasting.
So to make the most of a wintry wonderland, a family ski trip out to the mountains is what you need on your travel agenda this season. As you start to dream up your graceful glides down the slopes and the evenings spent sipping hot chocolate by a cozy fireplace, there are some big questions you’ll have to answer as you plan your family ski trip.
Here’s where to start.
1. Decide on a Budget
In addition to the typical transportation and lodging costs, a ski trip means you’ll be paying to rent gear and for lift tickets on the slopes. You may even want to invest in some ski classes for kids (or adults) who are beginners on the slope.
When you're trying to trim the expenses, Angela Sortor with Peacock Travel Group recommends working with a travel consultant and planning ahead.
“Talk to your travel consultant about finding the resort that matches your needs and your budget,” she said. “After that, the best way to save money is to have your consultant help you pre-book your activities. Many activities cost less with package pricing or when booked in advance.”
2. Pick a Location
Skiing means mountains, so you’re likely going to want to head west for a snowy trip like this. According to Sortor, Colorado is the first place that comes to mind for most people. She said some of the popular family resorts there are Beaver Creek and Keystone and she also recommends Winter Park, which is about two and a half hours from the Denver airport and features kid-friendly terrain.
She said other popular and kid-friendly areas are Deer Valley, Utah, which features a children’s center and adventure camp. And that Big Sky, Montana provides incredible views and smaller crowds.
3. Check Your Packing List
Some items are obvious — you’ll need the warm coats, hats, gloves and scarves to bundle up on the mountain. But one often forgotten item is sunscreen. With the higher altitude, skiing means you’re closer to the sun and often spending hours and hours outside. The altitude can be tricky for some people to adjust to, so keep that in mind.
“It may take a little time to acclimate, and the air is also drier, so it’s a good idea to have a lip balm, moisturizer, nasal spray or anything you might need to stay hydrated and moisturized,” says Sortor. “And don’t forget your swimsuits! There are many indoor spas and pools, some resorts even have and indoor water park!”
She also suggests packing board games, cards and books “for those cozy family moments by the fire.”
4. Consider Other Activities
Skiing can be exhausting! So if you’re planning for a longer stay out in the mountains, you’ll likely want to consider other activities that aren’t taking as much of a physical toll.
“There are more relaxing options like the various spas and indoor swimming pools; some resorts have game rooms, bowling alleys, or even movie theaters,” says Sortor.
And if you still want to stay outside and enjoy the winter weather, many ski villages offer activities such as snowshoeing, sleigh rides, snowmobiling and tubing, according to Sortor. Think about your kids’ ages and physical capabilities and make sure to find a resort that offers activities to match those needs.