Cool Ideas

How to Plan Your Ski Trip

Planning a ski trip is, well, no day at the beach, but the thrill of racing down those slopes is well worth the effort. And since we think you deserve to enjoy your ski vacation to the maximum degree, we put together an easy list of things to cover when planning your trip. Follow these steps so you can relax, enjoy, and even save a little money.

Plan Ski Trip
  • Visit during the week: If your work schedule permits, it's always a good idea to take your ski vacation during the week, rather than over the weekend. Not only will it be less crowded—with more room on the slopes—you'll typically find better room rates and lift ticket rates.
  • Check the weather forecast: Weather will make all the difference in your ski trip! Make sure you choose a time of year when the conditions are typically good for skiing. Also check the specific ski conditions as close to planning the trip as possible.
  • Pick the right resort: Some resorts are geared toward experienced skiers, with fewer novice slopes, and vice versa. Check the available number of trails when you're selecting your resort, and make sure they accommodate everyone's level of expertise. Also keep in mind the location of the resort. Do you plan to take in some local attractions during your vacation? Do you want a resort that offers non-ski activities? Then choose a place that appeals to your interests.
  • Plan for your rental equipment: Always call ahead or visit the ski resort's Web site to ensure that the necessary ski or snowboarding equipment will be available for rental. Some smaller ski areas have a limited equipment rental supply, and even some large ski areas can have limited equipment availability on the weekends. You may even look into cheaper rental alternatives off the resort (provided you have transport). If you own your skis and plan to fly, make sure you can check them for a reasonable cost.
  • Reserve your ski lessons: Some ski resorts and ski areas require reservations for skiing or snowboarding lessons, so it's important to call ahead or check the ski area's Web site. This is especially important when planning private skiing or snowboarding lessons, or when planning lessons on a weekend, holiday or other busy times at the ski area.
  • Exercise: Skiing is a challenging sport, so make sure you're up for it! The awkward positioning of the knees can take its toll. If you don't do so already, try to exercise a month or two before your trip, with a focus on strengthening your leg muscles.