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January 8, 2016

5 Tips to Plan the Perfect Ski / Snowboard Trip

When it comes to planning your perfect ski or snowboard trip across the country (or globe) it can be intimidating knowing where to start. With the different mountain ranges, resorts, snow reports, etc., where do you begin? That’s where Ken and I come in. We love to plan snowboard retreats and hope we can be your guides to your perfect mountain getaway.

Here is our list of the 5 Best Tips for Planning your Perfect Ski / Snowboard Retreat:

1. Identify the experience you’re looking for: Are you looking for a 5 star experience with chalets and grand old log cabins or are you looking for a more rugged experience where the locals frequent? Or maybe you’re looking for something in between. There is no wrong answer and no bad option. By identifying the experience you are looking for, you are on the right path toward success. 

2. Choose your resort: The resort you choose to buy your lift tickets will truly guide your experience. Are you looking for a place with perfectly groomed runs, the highest vertical, a place for beginners, or maybe a place the whole family can enjoy? Make sure you discuss this, along with the abilities of those who you are traveling with in order to find a resort that will accommodate your group.

So how do you determine the experience you’re going to have based on websites of the resorts?

Check the resorts social media to get a better feel of who they are. Visit their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts to get a better understanding of the type of tourists / locals they attract. Look at their accommodations, pricing and other events happening at that location.

Once you choose your resort, the hard part is over and you get to plan the fun details of your trip.

3. What’s your time frame? Growing up in Michigan, I assumed the ski / snowboard season for the resorts out West were very similar, December - February’ish. However, this is not the case. Spring skiing / snowboarding is a lovely time to get out and break free from the chaos and crowds. We have gone to Utah and the French Alps in April to go snowboarding, it’s possible!

*A huge tip to save yourself from crowds and over spending is to avoid the holidays and holiday weekends. Get the best experience possible by planning your trip when there are less people present. This is another reason why spring season is the way to go.

4. Decide where to stay: When it comes to choosing where to stay, remember, you don’t always have to pay top dollar for the lodge associated with the resort. This has a tendency to break the bank and likely (due to convenience) will hold you captive most of your trip. The best tip I can give you is to search on VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) to be sure to find the most organic experience while in the mountains. There are small A-frame’s, log cabins, tiny houses and more unique lodging options available. By using VRBO you will save money and have a more ‘local’ experience.

5. What else can you do? Don’t limit yourself to just skiing or snowboarding when you travel since there is typically much more you can do while in the mountains. For example, see if your resort or rental has snowshoes or cross-country skis available. If not, is there a place nearby for your to rent equipment? Or check for a local bike shop in the town to see if they have fat bikes you can rent. This will really spice up your travels! Another one of my favorite things to do in a new town is to find local restaurants, bars and breweries to enhance your experience and get to know more about the culture of the town. 

If you ever have questions on places we have been, stayed, or recommendations on resorts, please don’t hesitate to email us. We love to help and ensure you have the best experience possible.