Wintertime is around the corner and you’d like to take your family to a nearby ski lodge for a great, memorable winter wonderland vacation like you remember from your childhood. But how do you do what mom and dad did for you in today’s economy. Here are some pointers to help out:
Where You Can Go
You should definitely go to a local ski area versus a premium resort. These types of local places are better to frequent because you will be supporting the local economy. Try a smaller ski area, and support the community. Get a vacation brochure and do some research regarding festivals, specials, shoulder-season timing. Compare prices and be a smart consumer. Remember to be inventive when you plan an itinerary, especially if your family are beginner skiers. You can call it a ski vacation, but pack it full of other free winter activities that make the whole experience more rounded and memorable. A ski run lasts only a few minutes, so plan to fill your days up with other fun things.
How Costs Can Be Cut
Air tickets, gas and ski tickets are what will cost you the most money. Some good ideas for going on a frugal ski vacation include local ski areas. For example, a family in the good idea of where to go for a family in the north Midwest might be Wilmot Mountain in Wilmot, Wisconsin instead of Stowe, Vermont or Colorado or British Columbia. A weekday ticket in the daytime for an adult costs $33. If you were to go to a premium resort like Vail in Colorado, an adult ticket for one day would cost $73 the opening week. Children always have to have a ticket at a premium resort. In this case, at Vail, on opening day, it would be $45. Children under six years of age, at Wilmot, can ski free of charge on any given day. Of course, these prices are fixed. Depending upon the week you are going to the premium resort, the prices change based upon demand. Therefore, skiing is more costly during the holidays. An adult ticket at Vail would cost $105 for one day. You can purchase some used ski equipment and save money that way versus renting ski equipment–which can get expensive. Also, you should pack a lunch if you’re worried about saving money. Make sure you don’t skimp on essentials such as warm clothing and essential equipment–hats, gloves, and goggles. A cold, wet unhappy child won’t make for a fun vacation so prepare and bundle!
Another thing to consider is that the off-brand resorts are perfectly fine for repeat, routine visits for the once-a-year family vacation where you rent a lodge for a week. But once your family’s skills have outgrown the more basic offerings, consider once-in-a-while splurges to a Breckinridge or Squaw Valley or the larger resort mountains to test Dad’s skiing skills and see if he can really ski as well as he claims.
Some Must-Dos For Vacationers
Armed with travel information and regional vacation brochures, Trip Advisor recommendations, and handheld apps, plan the experiences that you want to have. Perhaps you’d like to try shopping locally and in your rental condo, prepare a traditional dish you can re-make every year, making a memory with your family instead of the same old burgers and shakes in the resort cafeteria. Take some pictures before you go up the mountain. Remember, above all, to enjoy the company of each other.
Just remember that the key is to have fun doing this as a family. Your children won’t know that corners have been cut, your spouse will be grateful for the savings and the whole family will be grateful for the shared experience to remember and look forward to every year