Back to Ski week 2013 is drawing to a close, but I hope that like me you’re now excited about the upcoming winter season. The reason I decided to write about skiing in September is simple: I believe that family ski vacations are more than worth the time, trouble, and cost because they bring so much joy.
But I also believe that planning is essential to enjoying a great family ski vacation. Thinking about where you want to go, choosing a resort that’s right for your family, finding the right lessons for your kids, and getting your gear assembled early will save you money and also make your trip fun as opposed to stressful.
I’ve been so lucky this week to be joined by other skiing parents who believe like I do that ski vacations are worth a bit of extra effort. With posts both helpful and inspiring, they’ve spent the past week giving you the information you need to start preparing for winter.
Great skiing tips
Saving money on ski trips is a goal I think we can all get behind. Amie O’Shaughnessy of Ciao Bambino has skied in both the U.S. and Europe with her family and she brings her savvy know-how to bear in her post on ways to save money on a family ski vacation.
And lest you think that we’re only serious here about skiing, Amber Johnson of The Mile High Mama offers funny tips about how and why you should get ready for ski season with your kids.
Skiing with toddler
My younger son Teddy learned to ski when he was three, and although I knew at the time that it was a good idea to start him early because it would give him mad skiing skills, he didn’t always agree. I’ll never forget when the head of the ski school at Mad River Glen gently suggested that we sign him up for private lessons because he pretty much refused to participate in the group lessons we had him in.
Keryn Means of Walking On Travels was smarter than I was and signed her preschool son up for a private lesson on his first day. Read about her experience (and enjoy the adorable photos) in her post about teaching toddlers to ski.
Skiing with teens
Toddlers aren’t the only children who need some special consideration on family ski trips; older kids need encouragement and activities that are just for them. Mary Turner of Travel with Teens and Tweens has great tips to help you think ahead and successfully plan a ski vacation with your older kids.
And Amy Whitley of Pit Stops for Kids shares why she thinks Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Vermont is tops for a ski vacation with teens.
Learning to ski
Are you a newbie skier? Planning a ski vacation can be an intimidating prospect for families that have never done so. That’s why I love the honest tips in Carol Cain’s post on Girl Gone Travel – I mean really, who enjoys putting on a pair of ski boots? She’ll reassure you that skiing is fun, even for beginners.
Jen Close of Two Kids and a Map talks movingly and honestly about how learning to ski with her children turned the tables – for the first time they were zooming ahead of her. I loved reading about how her entire family found joy skiing together.
Debbie Abrams Kaplan of Jersey Kids shares her family’s skiing story (she learned to ski in Arizona – I’m not sure I even realized you could do that!) and urges us all to try skiing with our kids if we haven’t yet.
And Jodi Grundig also reminds us that it’s never too late to learn to ski (a fact my family knows only too well, as my husband Matt was 40 before he ever put on a pair of ski boots).
Finally, if you’ve got a family member (maybe it’s you) who likes to spend time on the mountain but doesn’t want to ski exclusively, check out Kara Williams’ post on The Vacation Gals about all the things beyond the slopes that you can do on a family ski vacation.
Fabulous skiing destinations
Once you start going on skiing vacations with your family, you’ll quickly find that certain mountains or resorts are perfect for you. Maybe it’s the terrain or the instructors in the ski school; perhaps you just like the view from the top. We had writers this week making the case for family-friendly ski resorts.
Shannon Entin writes on Boston Mamas about how much she loves the skiing town of Breckenridge, Colorado, not least because her entire family tried dogsledding there.
Claudia LaRoye of The Travelling Mom is a big fan of Whistler and talks about why you should plan a family ski trip there.
And of course, I shared my dream of returning to Keystone, Colorado, one of my family’s happy places for downhill skiing and a lot more.
Why should you ski with your kids?
Sandra Foyt of Albany Kid has ten excellent reasons why you should ski with your kids – my favorite may be the freedom it offers your children. My own children started riding the ski lift without an adult this past year and the confidence and joy this simple act gave both of them is very important to me.
I also have written about why I love skiing with my family. There are very few things that all of us enjoy so completely. I hope that the posts here and the conversation we’ve been having all week on the #backtoski hashtag have inspired you to get your family out on the slopes this weekend.