There are a lot of different factors that need to be considered when booking a ski vacation: flights, resorts, hotels, packing and so on. Sometimes things go overlooked that you will regret later, when it’s too late to do anything about them. Here are a few things to consider while putting together your ski vacation to ensure a pleasant experience.
1. Check to find out if the place you’re staying at has an on-site hot tub and/or pool. No good ski trip is complete without the hot tub at the end of the day.
2. Before booking , ask the resort how far of a walk is it to the closest lift or if there are shuttles to get you to the ski hill. Walking long distances in ski boots carrying skis, helmet, backpack etc. is a bad way to start a great day of skiing, especially when carrying gear for you and children or spouse.
3. Don’t forget to pre arrange transportation from the airport to the resort. It can be a madhouse at the airport and during busy times and you may have to wait a long time if you don’t pre book.
4. If you have any knee, foot or other issues that make stairs difficult, you might want to book a first floor room, or find out ahead of time if your lodging has an elevator. Believe it or not, some older condos in ski towns have 2, 3, or 4 levels with stair only access.
5. If possible, pre purchase the lift tickets to save money. At the resort if you just walk up to the ticket buy a lift ticket, you pay top dollar. Ask your travel agent or check out sites like liftopia.com for deals. Do a little research of the area as well. There is a chain of Colorado grocery stores called King Soopers that offers discounted lift tickets to many of the resorts.
6. Find out ahead of time if there is a good and convenient public transportation system or if you should rent a car. Free public transportation is available in most ski towns but it can be a big hassle waiting in the cold for a bus that may only pick up every 15 or 30 minutes or sometimes longer. Keep in mind that you want to check the public transportation to the ski hills and into town for après ski fun.
7. Make sure you pack everything you might need for your ski trip, including items often forgotten such as your bathing suit or camera. Use our Packing Checklist to help you remember. Nothing’s worse than starting off a ski trip by having to go to the store at the resort to buy things you left at home. Not only is it a hassle, but depending on the item, you could be spending more in a resort town.
8. Download a map of the resort (not the trail map) before you leave. Be sure you are aware of where the restaurants, bars, shopping, transportation, and other leisure activity facilities are. Don’t get stuck in the booneys.
9. If you are going with a group or family, don’t assume that the number of people your lodging accommodations claims to sleep is the number of beds in the condo or hotel. For example a 2 bedroom condo that says it sleeps 6 is usually just 2 queen beds and a sleeper sofa in the living room. If you have 3-4 teenage kids that don’t want to share beds that probably won’t work.
10. If you are looking to book a condo or vacation home, check out http://www.VRBO.com (Vacation Rental By Owner). This is where people who own vacation property list their units for short term rentals. Since you are renting directly from the owner you can save up to 50% from booking with a major chain or service. Not only will this save you accommodation fees, but you have the option to cook in which is great for large families or picky eaters. Another option is to book through a vacation company that specializes in ski trips. Recently, Skis.com has partnered with Ski.com to allow our customers to book a ski vacation right from the Skis.com site. Ready to book? Check out the link: http://www.skis.com/travel/stp,default,pg.html