Planning a family ski trip is an exciting time. You get to engage in an adventurous activity out in the elements as a group, which makes it an excellent opportunity to bond and create new and lasting memories. That being said, it does come with its own set of challenges, especially when some members of your family have never been on the slopes before.
Picking out equipment, finding the best family-friendly resorts, educating the newbies on what to wear–the success of your journey lies in the details. To help you out, here are a few tips on how to have a smooth experience:
Rent Your Ski Equipment Ahead of Time If Possible
If it’s your first family ski trip, you probably don’t want to shell out the cash and invest in equipment for the entire family. It helps to test out gear first to ensure you like a specific brand before buying it, and on another note, one of your kids may decide they love skiing while another could decide it’s not for them. By renting first, you won’t end up buying something that won’t be put to good use.
Almost all major ski hubs have locations where you can rent ski equipment. Most of the time getting the right size and fit won’t be a problem, but if you’re planning a trip during the ski season’s busiest times (such as during Christmas, New Year’s, or Spring Break), it’s a good idea to reserve your rentals and lodging ahead of time to ensure that your bases are covered.
Fit Is Key
Ensuring the right fit is extremely important when it comes to skiing. If a boot is too snug or the skis are too long, it could make it more difficult for the more inexperienced members of your family to catch onto the basics. Poor fit can also increase the chances of accidents, so take your time when picking out gear for the family.
The best thing to do is to ask the professionals at your ski rental shop for their advice. They work with the equipment from season to season and should be able to educate you on how the boots should feel, what a well-fitting helmet feels like, how to determine how long or short the skis should be for each person, and which type of skis would be best for beginners. To truly help your kids discover if they love the snow sport, it’s crucial to work with the best-fitting equipment.
Seek Out Available Discounts and Ways to Save Money
When you factor in resorts, travel expenses, ski rentals, ski lessons, meals, etc., your vacation budget can quickly deplete. The good news is that it’s easy to find discounts. Websites like Fooba.com are designed to help you get the best deals by comparing rates from several shops (think of it as the Expedia.com of ski rental deals!), but you can find many by browsing locally as well. Here are a few search terms to look into to help you save a few dollars (always include your state and city in your search query):
- Ski rental discounts for kids–Some shops give a major discount to children under a certain age, whereas others allow kids to rent completely free.
- Ski rental online discount–Many companies offer a certain percentage off of your rental cost if you reserve online.
- Discounted lift tickets/discount ski resort–Many discounts are available if you book a certain amount of days in advance, or if you buy them at a grocery store customer service desk. Some offer a discount if you book for several days at a time instead of buying one ticket per day.
- Senior ski discounts or student ski discounts–Whether it’s your resort, ski rentals, or lift tickets, there are many money-saving deals out there for seniors and college students.
Keep in mind that you’re bound to find the best deals when it’s not peak season or a holiday, and you can also save more money by going to smaller, less popular resorts.
Find an Experienced Instructor
If you’re taking your children skiing for the first time (or anyone for that matter), an experienced instructor can help show them the ropes, and most resorts offer lessons for new skiers on-site. An instructor who is experienced working with newbies and children can help speed up the progress, as they most likely know tricks and tips on how to get the techniques to click.
Learning to ski can be a taxing experience, and although it’s an extremely worthwhile and proud moment once you see your kids start to get the hang of it, it doesn’t mean there won’t be feelings of frustration involved. To prevent this from dampening your family ski trip, try to enroll your kids in a few lessons before you attempt to go as a group. That way, you and your spouse can hit the slopes while the kids learn the basics. Keep in mind that it’s best to research in advance when instructors offer beginners’ courses, and check to see if reservations are required.
Very few people become masters of skiing in a short period of time. It’s truly a sport that requires commitment, enthusiasm, and most of all, practice. That being said, there are bound to be good days and bad days for those family members who are just learning, so try to be patient and encouraging throughout all of the ebbs and flows.
If you’re trying to get someone, especially children, to enjoy a new activity, it’s important to be understanding of their level of experience, meaning you don’t want to push them past their limit. If they want to take a break, let them take a break. If they need to try again another time, come back the next day. The point is to let their skill develop slowly and steadily. Besides, trying to get someone to advance at a level that doesn’t come naturally to them won’t just damage their love of the sport; it can also be dangerous and lead to accidents.
Make Your List and Check It Twice
You don’t want to get all of the way to your destination and realize that you left something important behind. Checklists can make your trip go so much smoother, so make a list and double check that everything is packed before you get in the car and hit the road. Here are some important items to help you start your list:
- Long johns
- Waterproof pants
- Waterproof socks
- Sunglasses/goggles (Sunlight reflecting off of the snow can hurt your eyes.)
- Proper layers (When it comes to dressing for the snow, fabric matters–look for “wicking” fabrics!)
- Water (Hydration is important!)
Diversity Your Activities
Kids get bored easily if they are focused on the same thing for too long, so look for resorts that have quick access to other activities as well. Whether it’s a museum or a playground, the point is to just diversity the vacation enough so that everyone has a fun time and feels enthusiastic on the slopes instead of burned-out.
Reserve Your Steamboat Springs Ski Rentals With Fleischer Sport
Hopefully this advice gives you some ideas on how to create a family ski adventure that is fun and obstacle-free. Have fun at your next adventure, and always remember that when you’re in the beautiful Steamboat Springs area, the team at Fleischer Sport will be happy to help you find the best gear in town!