Planning ski trips can be a difficult process. Finding affordable options and making the trip fit your schedule can make the effort straight up unruly.
So how do you avoid wasting money on ski trips when the weather gods are far from cooperative? Here are some simple tips to consider that will leave you feeling confident while booking your next ski holiday.
Be weather flexible
The biggest key to ensuring a memorable ski trip is to be as weather flexible as possible. Just because you plan your trip to Utah in January doesn’t mean you’ll get interlodged with 24″ of fresh @Snowbird.
The closer to winter you can book your trip the better, avoid finicky areas for snow, look to overall seasonal weather trends (NOAA: El Niño Forecast / Outlook For Winter 2018 – 2019) when booking airfare in advance.
The best advice is to plans trips based solely on storms in the 10 day forecast. If your local season is going slow in Utah, maybe consider taking next week off to road trip and chase the epic storm headed for Tahoe!
Never leave gaps in transportation
Mountain roads are no place to be in a 2-wheel drive scenario. When good winter storms present themselves, don’t miss out on potential powder because you didn’t properly connect the dots on your transportation itinerary.
It’s always worth ponying up the extra dough for a reliable 4-wheel drive vehicle or a more efficient shuttle system to get to the ski hill (*possibly even Uber?).
Not surprisingly, some of skiing’s best destinations are difficult to get to. The commute from Bellingham to Mt. Baker is a 3 hour perilous odyssey spent on one of the most dangerous, closure prone highways in America. Always make sure you’re adequately prepared to make the journey.
Although you had planned on a sunny spring ski trip wearing, MATHER NATURE might have other plans for your vacation. If temperatures drop and the snow gets DEEP, don’t miss out because you only brought warm layers and skinny skis. Vice versa it’s a real bummer to wear a heavy winter jacket during the surprise warm day in the middle of February.
The airlines may try to tax you for bringing hefty amounts of gear, so plan smart and as always in skiing; layers are your best friend.
Give time for rest days and elevation acclamation
Just because you squeezed 5 days off from work for your trip to Alta, it doesn’t mean its a great idea to buy lift tickets for every day of the vacation. Coming from a lower elevations than your destination or skiing for the first time of the season, most vacation bods are not ready to charge. Taking a simple down day on a marginal condition day might just give you that bell-2-bell energy you need when it’s POW.
With lift ticket costs through the roof at most “destination” ski areas, it’s a bummer to be caught holding extra days you can’t use on your vacation. And remember, you can always add more days later.
Switch up the annual ski trip destination
Everyone loves the big name resorts, but just because Sun Valley is one of skiing’s most famed resorts does not mean it is the only place worth skiing in the state of Idaho. If you get stuck in the rut of traveling to the same ski area each winter, consider making a new destination your goal. Even if the new ski area you visit isn’t everything you’d hoped for, your old standby will still be their next winter and you will have a new experience to share with your buddies.