When I was younger, packing up and hitting the road was an easy feat. That is, I didn’t have a few toddlers running circles around and blocking the path. Fast forward to years later and we’ve packed for our first family ski trip. The planning and preparations, even for an experienced snowboarder, did not come easy. We set out to do a long weekend trip over a holiday weekend (is this screaming ‘nightmare’ to you yet?). Our trip, with careful planning and a lot of flexibility went surprisingly well. Here are some tips I’d like to share, from my family to yours, to create a fun and memorable weekend.
Be flexible, above all other things. Although we were prepared and ready to hit the slopes on our last day there, the logistics just did not work in our favor. The kids were having a great time and by day three, they were really getting the hang of things. It was disappointing to pack up and not use the full day but having some flexibility about our plans made sure no one was utterly disappointed.
Check your itinerary, and then double check it again. We booked a 3-day rentals but only a 2 day lift ticket. User error? The lesson here is that checking and double checking your bookings will always work out in your favor. Although we strive for patience, this will be a good test when things don’t quite work out the way you planned. Improvise and refer to tip #1.
Plan ahead, especially when traveling with kids. We knew we wanted to go on a ski trip months before we went. Knowing this, we went ahead and purchased all the kid’s snow gear ahead of time and disbursed the expenses over several months. Then, when it came time to actually book the trip and gear, we weren’t scrambling the week of pulling out snow suits and gloves and blowing the monthly budget for last minute runs.
Don’t forget food, it is essential—especially in the middle of a pandemic. We packed and prepared all of our meals, which brings me to my subpoint here… book a stay that has a kitchen. We had just enough food to get us through the weekend and didn’t have to stop at any stores along the way that would’ve delayed our trip further. The first night we were on the mountain, the location released a statement that many restaurants were going to be shut down due to COVID and limited staff availability. Thank you cooler!
Carefully consider how many children you can help at once. My wife and I have three children, which you would be right in assuming we were outnumbered. This meant that everyone could not ski or snowboard at once. We decided that my wife would ultimately be on skis with the children while I was supervising or guiding at the bottom of the skidder slope. We did get rentals for our youngest skier (2 years old) and although she didn’t stay out long, the look on her face scooting down the slope or riding between mom’s skis were priceless. If you refer to tip #1, being flexible, this means that traveling with children means less time on the slopes for you. That’s why coming up with a plan of action is really important (and it gives me another excuse to go again). I mostly snowboarded at night to get my runs in.
Overall, our trip was very well worth it. I hope that this encourages your family to experience more and get out on the slopes, kids in tow.
See you on the slopes.