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A Beginner’s Guide to Planning the Ultimate Ski Trip

The arrival of winter might mean a halt in certain outdoor activities, but for others, it means the arrival of one of the best sports: skiing. Winter is the season for carving through the freshly laid powder, drinking a cup of steaming hot chocolate after a day in the cold and enjoying the views from the chairlift.

Do you have yet to experience the exhilaration that comes from skiing? We have everything you need to plan the ultimate vacation if you are preparing for your first trip.

Plan Your Ultimate Ski Trip

The first step for your ski trip is choosing where you want to go. From there, all the other steps follow. The location will likely be somewhere close by for your first trip, but there are plenty of exotic resorts you can add to your ski bucket list.

In America, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana and California have some incredible ski resorts. There are ski resorts in almost every state, at least 40 out of the 50. That means, no matter where you are, you have some excellent options.

Organize Your Lodging

Once you have selected your ski location, start preparing the logistics of your trip. Of course, skiing is the exciting part of your trip. But, unfortunately, that means it can be easy to forget what you are going to do after you finish skiing.

The lodging for your trip is one of the most important things to consider after the trip’s location. If you go anywhere longer than a two-hour drive, you will be driving longer than you will be skiing. You are likely better off spending the night in this case.

Ski resorts tend to be incredibly expensive, and any hotel room or Airbnb in the vicinity will be snatched up far in advance. You can also camp in the winter if you can find open campsites.

As long as you intend to stay the night, you should book your lodging immediately. Are you going with a large group? Then, you might want to consider renting a mountain home or condo since it will have a full kitchen for cooking and spaces to relax after your day on the mountain.

If you find lodging close to the resort, you should look into shuttling to the resort. For primary lodging close to the resort, there will often be a shuttle that goes around the area to prevent traffic around the resort.

Plan Your Route

Due to the remote nature of many ski resorts, it can be challenging to get to them using any other method than driving your car. It allows you to have a more flexible schedule and also makes transporting gear much easier.

The downside of bringing a car is the traffic. During popular times in the winter, the roads are likely to be packed and more dangerous due to increased ice and snow. On times like weekends and holidays, make sure to get going earlier than you normally would to get plenty of time on the slopes.

Planning your route is often relatively straightforward. There are often not too many ways you can get to most ski resorts. Be careful on mountain roads as they will likely be slicker than they will in cities.

Flying to larger resorts is another excellent option. There are plenty of big resorts that are close to an airport. Shuttles take you directly from the airport to your accommodation. You don’t even need to worry about bringing along bulky gear since Ski Butlers can bring it right to your lodging. 

Pack for Your Ski Trip

Packing for the ski trip requires plenty of gear and layers to stay warm. It is easy to overlook something or not consider it even on your dozenth trip. Here is our list of things to bring for clothing and accessories:

  • Goggles
  • Helmet
  • Multiple top layers
    • Fleece
    • Moisture-wicking tops
    • Thermal underwear
    • T‑shirt
    • Outer jacket
  • Gloves/​mittens
  • Bottom inner layers like leggings or thermal underwear
  • Outer pants
  • Ski socks

Once you have all your clothing and accessories, you need to get your gear packed. Whether you have your own or decide to rent, it is covered in the next section.

Renting vs. Owning Your Gear

Renting your gear is the most common option for those that have just started skiing. Although ski resorts do have rental equipment available, we recommend using Ski Butler’s services. You skip the lines by having your ski rentals delivered to your accommodation. Instead, once you arrive, you can get straight on the slopes.

Owning your gear does give you some advantages. You will get to choose the kind of gear that best suits your tastes. Having your own also makes future trips much more convenient and less expensive. It is especially helpful to have your own boots if you have an unusual foot shape or haven’t had luck with rental boots in the past. Buying and bringing your boots can make it easier to combine with a pair of rental skis. 

Once you have everything assembled for the skiing part of your trip, you might consider what you will do après-ski. For example, if your lodging has a hot tub, you should pack a bathing suit. That way, you get to enjoy every part of the trip thoroughly.

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