Skiing is a wonderful sport you and your family can do it together. Fresh air, beautiful views, and great exercise all while creating memories that will bond your family for years to come. Are you ready to take your family on a ski trip? Can’t wait for a weekend of fun in the snow — despite the cost, the cold, and the logistics?
Planning a family ski vacation takes time and research and can seem a bit daunting at first. Admit it — traveling with the family on a ski vacation can be stressful because there’s so much that can go wrong. You’ll want to find ways to minimize that stress so you can focus on the fun. By planning and organizing your trip several weeks ahead, you’ll have more choices for accommodations, restaurants, ski lessons, and kids’ camp and — you might even save money.
But there are so many details to consider — your budget, the size of your group, how far you want to travel, what skill level everyone has, activity preferences (e.g. downhill, cross-country, snowboarding, ice skating, snow shoeing, etc.), alternatives for bad weather (or no snow), and when you want to travel — just to name a few. Here are a few more details you’ll want to plan:
Decide on your destination and book your stay. It’s important to choose a destination that’s geared towards families and you’ll want to book it early. If you’ve got very young children, look for mountains with a designated beginners' ski area with plenty of easy and wide-open terrain. And be sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast for snow conditions at your resort for the dates you choose.
Make childcare reservations ahead of time. Review the childcare options and make your reservations well ahead of time, as childcare tends to fill up quickly. Many resorts offer on-site childcare for your young ones and some will even arrange for a nanny to accompany your child throughout the day.
Rent or buy ski gear. While some families buy their own equipment, for kids it might make more sense to purchase a package from the resort that includes skis, poles, boots, and a helmet as young children's skill levels and sizes change so quickly. A new alternative to renting equipment at ski resorts is to book a reservation ahead of time online with a company that delivers equipment to your resort when you arrive.
Create an itinerary. Think ahead about where you’ll want to eat your meals, what you might like to do in the evenings, and what other activities your family might enjoy. Many family ski resorts also offer skating, tubing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and more. Making dinner and special activity reservations before you arrive is essential at the most popular ski resort areas. And you may need to plan for a few hours of adult-only time if you want to visit the spa or do some shopping!
Food stores and snacks. Kids are always hungry — they burn fuel fast. Find out what food stores are nearby so you can stock up on snacks. Put them in your kids’ pockets before they head out on the slopes. Lines can be really long at a resort’s food service areas (not to mention expensive). And if you’ve got kids who get really cranky because they’re starving, doing this can help you avoid meltdowns.
Local emergency numbers. Gather the phone numbers of all the different emergency services you may need and pre-program them into your smartphone. Think: ambulance, fire, hospital, auto tow truck, doctor, dentist, veterinarian (if you're bringing your pet), and your closest friends/relatives just in case. Some people include fast food places that deliver as an emergency. :-) (But we'll leave you to define "emergency.")
As always, it’s up to you, Mom, to cover all the bases and make sure your family ski vacation is well planned. The more organized you are, the easier planning will be and the more fun you’ll all have.
Lori and Stefanos Kostas' First Family Ski Vacation
Lori and her husband, Stefanos, are avid skiers and really enjoy the outdoors. They’ve been yearning for some fun in the snow. And now that they have a family, are planning their very first ski weekend with the kids.
Lori recently started using Samepage at work to manage her projects. When it came time to plan their ski vacation, she naturally turned to Samepage. Within minutes she had created a free account with all of the family's vacation planning details in one place. She even set up a photo album page where she’ll put vacation pics and videos and share them with friends and family. Samepage lets her put spreadsheets, documents, task lists, photos and videos all in one location. She quickly began organizing all the logistics and creating a task list for Stefanos and her.
Samepage helps keep them on track so they don’t forget anything. And with the Samepage app on their tablets and smartphones, they can keep each other updated from wherever they are.
Family vacation planning was a snap!!
Now they can sit back, relax, and get ready to enjoy a fabulous family ski weekend knowing that everything is under control!
Want to plan the perfect snow vacation weekend for your family? Start here.