Planning a family vacation of any kind requires organization and foresight. Between choosing a location, purchasing tickets, and struggling to fit everything into a few tiny suitcases, it can quickly become overwhelming. To help make the planning process a little easier, we compiled quick guide for how to plan the perfect family ski vacation. A family ski vacation offers a great way to reconnect with each other while you reconnect with nature at the same time. As you plan your family’s next great adventure, this guide to how to plan the perfect family ski vacation will provide you with helpful tips regarding where to stay, what to pack, and what to do.
Located just outside Seattle, Snoqualmie gives new meaning to the term winter wonderland. Home to the popular ski resort, The Summit at Snoqualmie, this destination provides the perfect paradise for skiers and snowboarders alike. The resorts hosts an abundance of ski trails, from bunny hills to black diamond slopes, for a variety of skill levels. In addition to daily downhill skiing passes, The Summit at Snoqualmie also offers snow tubing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing trails. For families seeking to take their vacation to the next level, Snoqualmie also offers night skiing. In fact, The Summit at Snoqualmie boasts the largest expanse of night skiing in the United States, as it offers nearly 600 acres of nighttime ski trails.
Listed by National Geographic as one of the top 25 ski towns in the world, Whitefish is the perfect place for a relaxing, yet invigorating, ski trip. Whitefish is a relatively small town located near the Rocky Mountains of Glacier National Park. Affectionately nicknamed “Stumptown” by its residents, this quaint and quiet town is a snow-lover’s paradise. Whitefish Mountain Resort welcomes visitors year-round to take part in its stimulating slopes and intriguing trails. The resort offers ski and snowboarding lessons, night skiing, and ambassador tours. Whitefish Mountain Resort is very large, and these ambassador tours pair you with a skilled guide to ensure you see and explore the resort fully. This resort also houses a terrain park with courses for various skill levels, so anyone can try their hand at freestyle skiing.
Don’t let this potentially active volcano scare you away! Mount Hood, also the tallest mountain in Oregon, is one of the most prominent summits in the United States. Additionally, Mount Hood is one of the only peaks in the United States to offer lift-served skiing throughout the whole year. Rising over 11,000 feet above sea level, Mount Hood hosts six different ski areas for multiple skill levels. With so many ski trails available, you’ll easily discover something new with each visit. Younger kids can test the slopes at the Summit Ski Area, which offers one green and one blue trail, as well as a sledding area. They can also work their way up toward the Mount Hood Meadows, which features a wider range of slopes. Meanwhile, more adventurous kids can take a crack at the Skibowl slopes, which feature longer and steeper hills for those at a more advanced skill level.
The best way to stay comfortable when skiing is to dress in layers. You may feel a chill up on the ski lift, but once you start skiing, you’ll start to work up a sweat quite quickly. You want to make sure you pack outdoor apparel that will keep you warm during your trek to the mountain and you can easily remove during the course of the day. You’ll also want to pack waterproof or water-resistant jackets and pants. No ski vacation would be complete without a few tumbles in the snow, but dressing in water-resistant clothing will keep you warm and dry no matter how many times you fall. At Escape Outdoors, we offer a wide selection of outdoor lifestyle clothing brands to keep you and you family warm during every aspect of your ski vacation.
Depending on if your chosen ski resort offers ski and pole rentals or not, you may need to pack your own ski equipment. This can be a bit tricky, especially if you will travel a great distance for your vacation, so try to limit your packing to just the basics. Pack your skis, poles, and any protective equipment, such as ski goggles or a helmet.
Unfortunately, not every ski resort will be open all year, so you’ll need to plan the dates for your ski vacation well in advance. While a typical ski season generally runs from late October to early June, some resorts may have a longer or shorter season depending on their specific location and climate. When planning a ski vacation, you may also want to consider which months are busiest for a particular resort. Planning a ski vacation during the winter may be a bit chillier, but you may find the resort less busy and the slopes a bit quieter.
While skiing will be the main event for your family’s vacation, you’ll also want to look into other activities to partake in between skiing. Skiing is quite a physically demanding activity, so it may be in your best interest to plan a rest day between your skiing adventures. Taking a break to embark on an invigorating hike or do a bit of window shopping in a nearby town will give your body a chance to recuperate, and it will reenergize you to hit the slopes again the next day. Staying at a ski resort that offers additional outdoor activities, such as sledding or hiking, allows you to easily take a break without straying too far from the slopes.
Not everyone has Olympic-level skiing skills the first time they hit the slopes. When choosing a destination for your family ski trip, carefully consider the skill levels of each member of your family. For young children, or those who have never skied before, find a ski resort that offers ski lessons or hills with a very minimal slope. This will help your kids find their footing and learn the basics so that they can feel more comfortable and confident on their first trip down the hill.
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