Whether beginner or expert, skiing is for the whole family!

I don’t know about you but for us, September not only marks the end of summer – but also a time for planning our winter vacation!

Unlike many sports – skiing is one of the few where age doesn’t matter. It’s a vacation the whole family can enjoy – together!

With more and more mountains gearing their focus on family, many resorts are turning into real life winter wonderlands for kids!

So in honor of summer’s end – here are a few quick tips when planning your first family ski holiday. (The earlier you look into it – the chances are the less it will cost, don’t wait until the last minute! Many resorts reward folks with better pricing for early booking.)

Where to GO

Make sure the resort is kid friendly. Many mountains are now accommodating the whole family – from infant daycare right up to teen clubs and activities. Be sure and book your resort close to the lifts.  The last thing you want is a mile long hike to the ski school, where your kids end up more exhausted before even starting. Check into the ski schools, don’t be afraid to call the resort with a list of questions you may have for each age and class you’re thinking about enrolling. Also, look into what else there is to do around the mountain. Are there other activities, Tubing, Indoor Swimming Pools, game rooms etc?

Daycare for younger children is a plus- but often has a limited availability- another reason to book early.

@ProducerGirl enjoying a hill

When to GO

School is a priority, but if there is a resort close to your home means an extended weekend is perfect. Monday holidays are crowded, so book early.  Late in the season avoids the very cold weather especially for younger children.  Spring break will always be crowded, so you may want to think about booking a long weekend instead.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

When we travel, if we need to rent a vehicle – a mini-van provides the most room for all of us. Some ski areas provide transportation to and from the airport – this will save you time and money. Most airlines will have sales – so get on the email list but don’t wait until the last minute. Book your flight as early as possible for the best rate. If a flight goes on sale, the airlines will often credit you with the difference.

Where to STAY

Proximity to the slopes and activities is a plus. Condos and apartments usually have the most space and you want room for everyone and their gear. Apartments are cheaper but may be located further from the slopes. Some resorts will even place lifts in the midst of condos and hotels if you’re not located at the bottom of the hill. Again, check online or call the mountain if you’re unsure about your location proximity.

We like to find a place that has a kitchen so that we can cook when we ski- it costs less than eating out, and often the food is healthier. Some of the resort supermarkets can be expensive, so we have a list made up ahead of time and shop on the way. Even if you don’t cook- having a kitchen stocked with snacks, cereal, and your favorite blend of coffee will still save you some money.

@ProducerGirl 'mummy' and JJ on the Gondola in Park City

Things to PACK

Helmets are recommended – make that REQUIRED- not only for younger children, but adults. Goggles should be able to fit over the helmet. A one-piece ski suit is the most convenient but at least with a two-piece the child can wear the jacket when not on the slopes. Children get cold much more rapidly, so having gloves or mittens, hats, and other outwear is a necessity.
 A vest and cotton polo neck underneath should be sufficient except on very cold days and long underwear may be needed. Sunglasses or goggles that are rated for 100% UVA and UVB should be worn even on cloudy days.  Sunscreen should be reapplied often, as even waterproof will wear off.  Again, sunscreen should have 100% UVA and UVB blocking and should be worn on cloudy days as well.


Altitude, dry air, and activity means you and your children need to drink more liquids than normal. If you become even mildly dehydrated you will have an increase in fatigue leading to potential injury. Drinking alcohol facilitates dehydration- so if you had a few drinks the night before, make certain you are well hydrated the next day.  Contrary to popular thinking, coffee and cola do not cause you to become more dehydrated. We like the camel-packs that allow you to always have some water with you, even on the slopes.

@TerrySimpson on the slopes for the 1st time in decades!

So folks,  Get ready for the season- book early for not only your choice of flights, but accommodations, daycare, equipment rental, lift tickets, and reservations to your favorite restaurant.