11 tips for parents to help plan your trip
Group travel is great for many reasons, one of them being the opportunity to travel with friends, or getting to know people whom you hadn’t known well before. For parents wanting to go on a group ski vacation, children can be a major concern. Do you leave your kids at home, or is it possible to bring them along? There are a variety of factors to consider before deciding whether or not to bring your children along on a ski trip. Be sure to research and prepare accordingly. Here are some things to think about:
- Does the mountain offer lessons for children? Chances are if your child is not able to stand on their skis or snowboard, they will not enjoy a ski trip. Most mountains offer lessons for beginners, which allows you to spend time with your group while your child learns the basics.
- Does the mountain offer beginner level and green runs? If your group is made up of experienced skiers, it is unlikely that your child will be able to keep up. To ensure that your child can enjoy themselves, be sure to check the mountain’s website for the percentage of green and blue runs.
- Consider the costs. Having an extra person in your group means additional costs. Some mountains like Deer Valley in Utah can be a budget-buster. Be sure that you are prepared to spend the extra cash on lodging and meals, as well as ski rentals if your child does not have equipment.
- Does the mountain have restaurants onsite? Do these menus offer kids menus? Most children prefer chicken fingers and fries to more adult style meals like scallops or pork chops. Be sure to check the area for nearby kid friendly restaurant options.
- Does the mountain offer accommodations? If not, are there family lodging options close by? Kids will typically be tired and cranky after a long day on the slopes. Being close to accommodations means a quicker warm-up and the possibility for a nap.
- Are there activities for kids when the slopes close? Unless the mountain offers night skiing, kids will not have many choices after the sun sets. Many ski areas offer kids night out so that parents or groups may enjoy their vacation time together. Places like Copper Mountain in Colorado provide a list of babysitters if you plan on getting out for some après ski.
- Depending on the age of your child, he or she may not be able to ski yet. If your child is between the ages of 2-6, check with the mountain for toddler daycare programs. This way you can enjoy your time on the slopes while your child stays safe and entertained.
- Does the mountain offer activities for the whole family to do together? After a long day skiing or snowboarding, some parents may not be up for a big night out. Some resorts offer fun family activities like bowling, mini golf and indoor water parks.
- What is the commute like to and from the mountain? Travelling in a group can be stressful, and travelling with kids can put an even bigger strain on things. Long bus rides, travelling by plane or a combination of both has the potential to create a stressful and unpleasant situation before your vacation even begins. Keep this in mind when deciding on a destination.
- How long are the runs? Longer runs mean fewer chairlift loadings and un-loadings. This way, you’ll be able to spend more time skiing down the mountain together, and less worrying about lines.
- What are the crowds like at the resort your group has chosen? Popular resorts like Vail are often packed on weekends. A large number of people on the slopes can be dangerous and may make children anxious.
If you’ve researched well enough, bringing your children along on a group ski trip shouldn’t be stressful. This way, a group vacation can also be a family vacation.