Skiing is one of the most popular outdoor activities during the winter. Its popularity is well deserved, too—renting some gear and hitting the slopes makes for the perfect day activity, weekend getaway, and even a longer vacation such as a week-long stay at a ski resort. What’s more, skiing is an activity that every member of the family can enjoy. While there definitely are challenging slopes that only expert skiers are recommended to explore, skiing really is as difficult or easy as you want it to be. If you have small children, you can stick to the smaller hills until they feel more comfortable. If you will be skiing with elderly people, pregnant women, or people with bad joints, cross-country skiing is a perfect alternative that will provide everybody with a great time and a great workout.
While skiing is a great activity, it does take some planning and preparation. Having the right gear is essential for enjoying a day on the mountain. Conversely, having the wrong gear or not planning ahead can turn a ski day into a disaster and make it memorable for all the wrong reasons. Nobody wants to spoil their family’s memories of skiing or give their children a bad first impression of one of winter sports lovers’ favorite pastimes, so in an effort to help you be prepared for a ski day with your loved ones, here’s a quick guide on how to plan your kids’ first ski trip.
Not only will booking ahead save you the hassle of scrambling to organize everything at the last minute, but it will also save you quite a bit of money. Almost every ski and snowboard resort offers discounted pass prices for people who order ahead of time and taking advantage of those deals can save you 50% or more when you compare the price to the price of buying a day pass when you arrive.
If you’ll be spending the night at a hotel, you’ll want to book that ahead of time, too. While hotels don’t offer as many early bird specials, it is still important to plan ahead because rooms fill up quickly, especially during the busy season.
Get the Right Gear
When you are skiing, having the right gear is very important. As I mentioned above, the gear you bring to the mountain will make or break your experience. So yes, having high-quality ski equipment matters and you’ll find it to be well worth the investment if you decide to get some good gear for your day on the slopes.
Gear is another thing you’ll want to book ahead of time. Rental equipment does get reserved quickly, so it might be difficult to find a rental store with high-quality gear available at the last minute. And again, like the resort disounts, gear rental stores often offer discounts for reserving ahead of time. When you’re getting gear, here are some of the things you’ll make sure to get:
- Skiis, of course (or snowboards, if you’re into that)
- Bindings. Many skis come as a bundle with bindings, but if you’re not familiar with ski equipment, you’ll want to double check.
- Boots. Having the right boots is important for personal comfort and functionality. The boots you wear do affect the level of control you have over your skis, so make sure you get boots that fit well.
- Goggles. No matter who you are, you’ll want some goggles for when you ski. It’s never a good idea to “tough it out” because if you do, you’ll be subjecting your eyes to damaging conditions such as cold temperatures, bright lights, high winds, and loose snow.
- Helmet. Safety first! Helmets are strongly recommended for beginners and professionals alike. Due to the extreme nature of skiing, it can be very dangerous and it only takes one accident to cause some serious injuries.
- General winter gear. This includes everything you’ll need to keep you warm: coats, scarves, gloves, snow pants, etc.
Comfort and Protection
There’s no worse way to end a ski trip than being forced to because of a personal comfort or safety concern. If the dry climate dries your skin out, you get a sunburn, you get too hungry, or (again) don’t have gear that fits comfortably, it might cause you to call it a day well before you otherwise would have for the sake of personal comfort. Don’t let that happen to you! Be sure to prepare for comfort and pack some essentials such as lotion, sunscreen, lip balm, extra clothes, and a few snacks.