News Flash, folks: ski season is here. And if you've been caught up in the daily grind for the past couple months, you likely have a lot to do to be racer ready for the season. Luckily, we remembered everything for you, and we've also been working to compile the best ski vacation deals around so you can scroll, click, and get on your way. But first check out these ten tips on how to prepare for ski season so you can make it your best one yet.
1. Research Resorts
Maybe you've been skiing at the same resort for ten years, and that's just fine with you. Maybe you're looking for a change, and could be surprised by the varied offerings right in your back yard. Maybe you have no idea what the eff you're getting yourself into, and in that case, you should definitely start researching cool resorts that will cater to your interests! There are a lot of factors that go into crafting the perfect ski vacations and weekend holidays, and picking a place the piques your interest is key. It will give you a blueprint for the entire season.
2. Find Your Place
If you're planning more than just one skiing getaway this season, think about what kind of digs you'd like. Hotel? Condo? Private House? Bed & Breakfast? There are more options out there than you can imagine, and planning your place now will ensure you get it booked for specific dates. If you're planning on several weekends in the mountains, a seasonal rental may be the cheapest option!
3. Get Your Gear
Gear deals are everywhere at the start of the season whether you're buying new, renting, or browsing the bargain shops for pre-used equipment. Good quality gear goes fast, so start looking for your ideal seasonal setup now. It may take longer than you think to get equipped with gear that fits and suits your interests and ability level, especially if you're looking for a bargain. If you have kids, consider full season rental packages rather than buying – they'll likely grow out of it by next year!
4. Score Some Miles
We've now entered holiday season 2015, which means there will be plenty of gifts to buy and travel to fund. Putting all your expenses on a credit card will rack up points for future spending, and even enough miles to score you free flights for a mid-season ski vacation. If you don't have an airline affiliated card yet, check out promotional deals that offer thousands of free miles for spending a certain amount within the first few months of activation.
5. Book A Ski Vacation
Obviously, I know. But I also know that we tend to sit back twiddling our thumbs and daydreaming without getting into the nitty-gritty logistics and just booking already. If you feel overwhelmed by the details, we can connect you to professionals that can help. The longer you wait, the fewer flights and lodging options are available, and prices spike. Plus, we at Snowpak already amassed the best ski package deals available for you, so all you have to do is pick one!
6. Make Reservations
We always think about the "big" booking stuff (flights and lodging) for ski vacations, but can't forget about the other stuff too – like dinner reservations, special activities and events, and babysitting services. There will always restaurants and activities to choose from, of course, but the most popular places book up weeks in advance, especially during prime vacation periods. If there's something specific you have in mind, book it now. If that something specific requires the kids stay at the hotel, book a babysitter through a service too.
7. Get Fit
You might have been saving this for your New Years Resolution, but by then you could also be huffing and puffing your way down the slopes, wishing you'd put in some effort before your epic Christmas Ski Vacation. It doesn't take pumping iron 5 days a week or bagging peaks every day to get into good skiing shape. Simply take an honest look at how you feel now, and how you might feel if you hit the slopes now too. Adjust accordingly, and get active.
8. Call Your Ski Instructor
Seasoned ski vacation veterans, this you know. Newbies, this you need to know. When planning your ski vacation and getting all revved up for an epic week with that awesome instructor you had last year, be sure to actually contact the ski school or the instructor to officially book the lessons. If they were that awesome, chances are there are other clients who are going to request, so be sure you are the first to do so. If you plan to book a new instructor but have specific ideas in mind (i.e. fun young female! or experienced local!) about what type you'd like, call the ski school and tell them so that they can find a good match.
9. Find Lift Ticket Deals
Lift ticket deals often go hand-in-hand with lodging deals, so if you book a vacation like that, you're all set. If not, I guarantee you can find resorts that are offering some sort of promotion or discount so that you won't have to pay full price. Do kids ski free? Are there multi-day packages available? Are there beginner only passes? Find lift ticket deals well in advance so that you don't have to show up the morning of and wait in line at the window only to pay full price.
10. Plan A Weekend Getaway
You've already booked your week-long ski vacation for late February? Great. Now it's time to plan a weekend for January. You can't afford to take time off work for an all-out excursion to the French Alps? Bummer, but that's what ski weekends are for. Planning a 2-3 day ski trip is a great way to get out on the slopes whatever the time of season, and you should book it now. It may be short, but planned well, you'll score big with the quality-over-quantity adage.
It's not too late to get started on these ten tips and head into the ski season goggles down, tips up, and ready to hit the slopes. And when it comes to booking that ski vacation, we can definitely help.