If you're playing with the idea of a family ski vacation, we know it's a big decision - for one thing, it's not exactly a low dollar adventure! Not to mention, unless you live within a couple hours of a ski area the nuts & bolts of coordinating transportation lodging and lift tickets can be daunting. All that aside we still believe that a family ski trip is an important & valuable experience to strengthen your family and provide an experience that can be enjoyed for years to come. After all, as our family is fond of saying, the family that skis together stays together.
5 Reasons a Family Ski Trip is Well Worth the Investment
1. You'll Find Much Needed Time to Bond & Reconnect – Being stranded on a mountain top will certainly force families to pull together! When you’re away from screens, traffic and other distractions all you need to focus on is the best line to take down a run. Chairlift rides & group lunches provide hours of uninterrupted quality time with those closest to you so much so that you'll likely come out of the vacation knowing more than you bargained for about your partner & your children.
2. Make Memories as a Family - Wiping out under the lift line, racing down a new run, snowball fights across the mountain, even a favorite spot to grab a hot cocoa & warm up all can leave lasting memories that will provide comfort & entertainment for years to come.
3. Learn to Overcome Obstacles – Skiing or riding is a great opportunity to teach (and to re-learn) the importance of perseverance & positive thinking. Whether it's the first time on the hill or you've been riding for years you'll no doubt encounter moments of frustration and panic at various points along your ski journey. Embracing and overcoming these obstacles with grace & determination is an invaluable life lessons for kiddos & parents.,
4. Enjoy Time in the Outdoors – Besides being physically active, taking in some sunlight & fresh air are beneficial for both physical & emotional wellbeing. Get your heart pumping & your spirit soaring by soaking up some time outside – just be sure to dress appropriately.
5. Build New Skills – Kids (big or small) will gain confidence & independence as they venture into this new sport & grow their ability. Skiing perhaps more then other spots teaches the value of self-reliance, self-control, determination & trust in your own judgement. all skills that you will come to rely on & appreciate in every aspect of your own life.
Tips to Overcome Common Barriers:
- Cut the Cost - Book lift tickets well in advance – the best deals are often promoted during the Summer. You can often pick up multi-day lift passes for under the cost of a 1 day pass at walk up prices. Pack your own lunch & snacks, buying food on mountain carries a hefty price tag. Look into Ski Granby Ranch, a smaller & more affordable ski resort located about 20 minutes from Winter Park.
- Transportation – Think about the ski train which runs from Downtown Denver to Winter Park. If you must drive, travel during off days or hours when possible. Ski traffic typically backs up Friday night & early Saturday morning then again on Sunday afternoon. Once you’re in town take the shuttle to & from the resort when you can & you won’t need to worry about finding parking at the base. If you’re hauling lots of gear & little kids keep an eye out for a wagon (free to use) at the resort base then pile everything in to make it a little easier to get around. You can also hop aboard the Willy Cab which picks up at the bus circle just outside of balcony house & drops off up top of the village by the cabriolet.
- Book Lodging Early. Try to lock down your lodging during the off-season (April-early June & late September – Mid November) when companies offer discounted rates on overnight stays. If you're coming with other family look into renting a larger house with a kitchen where you can prep your meals together at home.
- Spring for Ski Lessons - If this is a first-time experience a lesson is really the way to go. You’ll learn the proper technique right off the bat & be paired with peers at similar ability levels. Not to mention you’ll have a patient & knowledgeable instructor guiding you along the way. If you do end up going with lessons look for deals that pair lessons with lift tickets to get more bang for your buck.