Getting ready for the ski season
It’s November and in parts of North America the snow has already started flying. But even if some ski areas are already open you’ve still got plenty of time to plan a fantastic ski season for your entire family.
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Thinking about the season in advance and doing some preparation now will maximize your time on the slopes because you’ll be ready to go as soon as there is snow on the ground.
So what are some things you can do to prepare for your family’s ski season?
Go through the ski gear
Now is the time to get out the ski clothing. Check for holes, missing mittens, and cracked goggles. If anything smells musty, toss it in the washer.
Have your children try on everything from long underwear to snow pants and ski jackets. Make a list of what you need to replace. And don’t forget the snow boots – you’ll want to make sure your kids have warm footgear that fits them the first time you head for the mountains.
Get cold feet? Order hand and feet warmers by the case and save money.
If this is your family’s first season skiing, check out this ski gear list to see what you’ll need to buy.
Buy or lease equipment
Fall is a great time to get your hands on equipment for the entire family. Some ski shops offer swap sales where you can trade equipment your children have outgrown for a bigger size. Or take advantage of seasonal lease programs that let you rent equipment for the entire season, with the option to exchange ski boots if your children’s feet grow.
If you buy any second-hand equipment make sure you take it into a ski shop where professionals can check and tune it.
Check for preseason deals
Buy a seasons pass now and you may find the resort you love will give you free passes for your children or day tickets to share with friends. Or if you’re not interested in seasons passes, many resorts offer discount cards that offer a variety of benefits. Check blackout dates and restrictions carefully – you don’t want to get stuck having to pay full price during a holiday week because you didn’t read the fine print.
And if your kids are interested in season-long programs, like racing or freestyle teams, now is the time to sign them up and connect with the coaches to talk about what’s expected.
Book your lodging
Consult your children’s school calendar and plan when you’ll need mountainside place to stay. Making reservations early means you’ll have your choice of condos and can stay in the area of the resort that is most convenient for you (and since getting out the door with your children and all their gear is a pretty big challenge, you’ll be grateful to avoid any kind of commute).
Looking for package deals is another way to save money. Pay one lower price for accommodations, lift tickets, and equipment rental.
Is it a risk to book in advance? In some ways, but if your kids have limited vacation time you will want to make sure you have a place to stay no matter what the weather does. And resorts like Northstar in California have lots of fun non-skiing activities from roller skating to bungee trampolines, so you’re sure to have a good time.