Cerulean skies, white open hills, adrenaline rush, and bustling fun. These are the words that describe the perfect ski trip. But you still need to prepare for that in order to make everything perfect. So here’s our advice on how to do that:
1. Decide when and where you want to go
Each ski resort is different, but your experience is also influenced by the time when you’ll be traveling. The accommodation is chosen depending on your budget, some resorts are more expensive regardless of the time of year you want to go. But here’s when you can do it:
- December is great for family trips, most resorts focus on activities for kids. It’s also a great season for romance if you want a ski trip for two.
- January and February are amazing for holiday weekends, especially if you’re arriving on a Thursday, or if you prolong your stay to Monday. This is a great time for people who can only take one or two days off work, or for young people who love a crowd.
- March and April are traditionally spring break months, but not everyone likes to spend their spring break at the beach. That’s why these are perfect for people who appreciate some peace and quiet.
2. Make a list, and check it twice
All great plans start with a great checklist with all you need for this trip. We’re talking about:
- Booking your accommodation.
- Booking plane tickets.
- Things you’ll pack.
- What else you can do there besides the ski.
- Which rental shops you can find nearby.
It’s best to read detailed reviews of your accommodation and the area before going.
3. What to get
It’s important that you get the necessary gear, like:
- Ski pants
- Ski socks
- Snowboard boots
The most difficult to get right from this list are the boots because they need the proper sizing. And if you don’t get the right size, you might suffer the whole trip. That’s why you should read reviews on the gear you want to get, the most important ones being boots and ski helmets.
But what do you really need to wear on the slope? The truth is it’s not always freezing cold so you don’t really need to wear layers upon layers of fleece and wool, though insulating clothes are best. Depending on the season when you’ve booked your ski trip for, your outfit will look differently.
- For a cold, windy weather with temperatures below 20ᵒ: windproof jacket, insulating gloves, hat, and neck gaiter.
- No wind and warmer temperatures above 35ᵒ: a moisture-wicking base layer, a windproof jacket, and light gloves.
For both of these situations, you’ll need materials that don’t absorb moisture and clothes that fit, without restricting your movements. So say no to cotton, at least while you’re on the slope. Don’t wear jeans, and make sure you wear your helmet for extra protection. You might need some sunscreen too, you’d be surprised how strong the UV rays are.
4. Get your gear
Speaking of all this equipment, once you get to your resort, you can leave your skis in your car, with the valet, or in the locker, so you won’t have to carry them in your room. However, you shouldn’t leave your boots in the car.
You can also save some space if everyone’s gear is packed into one single bag, and you can wear your boots on the plane if you’re flying. It’s also a good idea not to bring the skis and the boards with you on the plane, there are plenty of renting opportunities in the resorts.
But if you’re renting, you should make sure you have enough time to do that before you actually want to start skiing. With some companies on the market, you can actually book the equipment you need in advance so they have it ready when you get there.
5. Prepare for what you can expect
There are many things you need to find out before your trip so you can plan it to perfection, such as:
There’s a rush hour, and you might want to avoid it
Most people arrive at about 9 – 10 in the morning at the ski area, so there’s a lot of traffic at these hours, not to mention few parking spots. So you can either be very early, say 8 a.m. and get a nice cup of coffee and breakfast at the ski area, or get there at noon when some people are leaving already.
It might all get really thrilling
You know the fight or flight thing, right? Well, if it’s your first time on the ski slope you might feel either like quitting after the first try, either like trying to ski everywhere in a day. Our advice is to get a trail map and pick a few beginner-friendly sections to start.
And if you feel like an unskilled newbie, just know that it’s normal to fall down a lot, though you can always take some lessons in advance. Of course, there are some resorts with personal trainers, so you might consider that too.
You’ll forget to eat
It’s because of all the effort you do and all the excitement. You might not feel hungry or thirsty at all, but that doesn’t mean your body can do without a break. So it’s best to stay hydrated, eat at least a granola bar and drink plenty of water.
Don’t forget to include a lunch break if you want to spend your whole day skiing. You can either pack your own lunch and rent a locker to store your sandwiches, or you can stop at a lodge and eat at a quaint restaurant.
The most important advice…
…is to have fun. Enjoy yourself and you’re ski trip will surely be amazing. And once you’re back home, come visit us again and tell us how it went. You might even have a tip or two for your fellow skiers.
Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favorite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for HikingMastery.com.