It’s no secret that we’re a little ski-obsessed here at VacationRoost, but there’s something extra-special about hitting up the mountain after a huge storm dumps down layer after layer of fresh powder. Here’s a (short) list of the many things we love about POW days to get you pumped for the upcoming season. Bring on the POW!
High fives in the tram line
Tallboys on the tram deck
Watching a buddy slay a line he’s never skied
Getting lost and finding a new pow stash you never knew about
That first chair feeling
Like riding on a cloud
Silence thru the trees then loud hoots from the lifts
Big cliff drops
Yahooing in the trees
Being excited to wake up EARLY
Getting out in terrain I wouldn’t do without a cushion of powder
Carving first tracks in fresh pow
Breaking out the snorkel
Taking a sick day
Skipping work for a “dentist appointment”
The buzz in a ski town on the way in
Looking down 2000 feet of untracked vertical before you get it
Skiing pitches you can’t usually ski
The bumps and steeps
The woo hoo’s heard across the resort
Crashing and rolling down steep slopes without the bumps and bruises
Catching a rope drop
The sound of guns in the morning
- See you at the bottom
- Letting the mountain lead the dance & enjoying fresh powder
- The hot tub after a day on the slopes
- Sipping Whiskey on the chair to warm up
- Watching everyone else enjoy it
- Posting pics and knowing your friends will be jealous
Summer’s over, school has started, and before you know it the snow will be flying (at least let’s hope it does). September is a great time to turn your mind to winter vacation planning. Not only are there preseason deals to be found, you have lots of time to think about when and where you might want to ski with your family this winter.
There’s no question that when you’re skiing with kids, a vacation rental is the way to go, giving you space for all your gear and a place to cook some of your meals. But not all ski vacation rentals are created equally. So what should you look for? The best ski rentals offer:
A great location. Getting out the door when you’re skiing with kids can be a monumental undertaking; between getting everyone dressed and making sure that no one is missing a pole or a ski boot it’s hard to move quickly. Staying close to the slopes will help you maximize your time on the mountain and means that a forgotten pair of mittens doesn’t involve a long drive to retrieve them.
If you’ve got younger kids, a mountainside stay is also a good idea because you can easily return to your home base for naps.
A cozy spot to hang out. Choose a vacation rental that has some communal space where everyone can stretch out spend time together at the end of the day. My family’s favorite ski rentals have always had a gas fireplace and comfy sofas. We always pack a game or two and enjoy our family time after a long day outdoors.
I’ve often chosen ski rentals with more communal space than bedrooms – my kids can easily share a bedroom and sometimes they even sleep on a pullout couch in the living room if a one-bedroom rental is what fits with my budget.
Equipment storage. You don’t want your skis, poles, and boards dripping all over or cluttering the entryway. Condos with dedicated lockers keep your equipment organized and out of the way.
A washing machine and dryer. I’m always amazed at how easily my kids seem to find mud, even in the dead of winter. Often their ski pants are filthy by the end of the day. And a dryer is key for taking care of damp long underwear, hats, mittens, and ski jackets. I prefer ski vacation rentals that have these appliances right in the condo so that I don’t have to leave to visit a separate laundry room – it’s more convenient and lets me have more time to hang out with my kids in the evening.
Amenities kids love. When we take a ski trip, we generally spend most of our time either on the mountain, eating, or asleep. But sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate and we need something other than the great outdoors to entertain us. Ski vacation rentals with access to indoor pools, fitness centers with climbing walls, and game rooms help make rainy or excessively cold days fun.
Once you’ve chosen a vacation rental, get tips on how to feed your family while you’re there.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, new travel buzzwords are always popping up. Where do they come from? Copywriters and marketers think up new ways to describe travel trends and products. Travelers share their experiences in real time, creating hashtag-worthy hybrids. Anyone can make a travel buzzword — just add a trip theme in front of the suffix -cation, fuse two words together, or make a bad pun.
Here’s a glossary of the most awesome and awful (awfsome?) travel buzzwords, illustrated by their usage in a sentence.
Babymoon noun. A honeymoon-style trip taken before or during pregnancy, as one last “grown-ups only” travel hurrah before baby arrives.
Lisa is going to pop in December, so she and Jim are going on a babymoon to the Dominican Republic for some relaxation before her bump gets too big to board a plane.
Digital detox noun. Withdrawal from digital and internet technologies for a length of time, often in the form of a vacation to somewhere remote.
Kim: At the digital detox yoga retreat in Costa Rica, I met this instructor who isn’t on Facebook.
Laura: OMG. Was he, like, enlightened?
Flightmare noun. An especially bad experience with airplane travel, such as turbulence, over-booking, overnight layovers, delays, cancellations, bad service, lost luggage, surcharges, jet lag, etc.
Stuck between a fiending cigarette smoker and a crying baby on Ryanair. Worst. Flightmare. Ever.
Glamping noun, verb. Glamorous camping. Camping trips for urban indoorsy types that involve on-the-trail amenities like chef-prepared meals, spa treatment, wine, full air mattresses, and upgraded tents and equipment.
Antonyms: roughing it, slumming it, brokepacking
On her glamping trip along the Inca Trail, Jen woke up to a cup of local coca tea and a hot towel waiting for her outside her tent door. “I asked for fresh coffee,” she grumbled.
Mancation noun. A guys-only getaway centered around male-favored pastimes like fishing, four-wheeling, hunting, or Vegas-style debauchery, often preceding a wedding.
Antonyms: girls’ vacay, bachelorettaway
The guys’ mancation took a turn for the worse when Ryan flew head-first off his mountain bike, but he toured the breweries with his bros despite the concussion.
Travelgasm noun. A climactic, explosively pleasurable travel moment.
Antonyms: tripfail, travelsty
On the coast of Uruguay watching a dramatic sunset. Just as the sun vanished, everyone burst into applause! #travelgasm
Travel hack verb. To manipulate loyalty programs in order to gain free flights, hotel stays, upgrades and elite status.
“I don’t spend a nickel, If I can help it, unless it somehow profits my mileage account.” George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, travel hacker in the film Up in the Air.
Togethering verb. Vacationing together as an extended family or larger group of several families, so as to pool resources on lodging and enjoy some quality time with each other.
Antonyms: solo traveling, going on a metreat
Travel agent: This 6-room vacation rental in Cancun is just perfect for togethering families!
Client: If you use the word ‘togethering’ ever again, I will replace you with the internet.
Vacationaire noun. A person who spends money in flashy or frivolous ways while traveling.
Antonym: Travel frugalmiser
Mom, I can’t believe you just paid 60 euros for a snow globe of Athens. It doesn’t even snow here. You’re being a total vacationaire.
Voluntourist noun. A tourist who engages in volunteer work while traveling.
Still in the early stages of his DIY home improvement project, Dan mixed cement with the zeal of a Habitat for Humanity voluntourist in Guatemala.
Just an hour north of Boston, Massachusetts there are a series of towns known as the Seacoast. The major towns that make up this area are Dover, Portsmouth, Rochester, and Hampton. Here are my suggestions for what to do if you wind up in this area:
1) Walk around Portsmouth
On a sunny day, I think Portsmouth is one of the most fun cities to walk around. There are tons of boutique shops, cupcake stores, coffee places, and restaurants to eat at. As locals to help you find Gilleys, it’s a small diner-type restaurant known for it’s cheap food and late hours it stays open. Take a walk to the park and make sure to get a classic photo of yourself sitting on the whale.
2) Spend a day at Hampton Beach
This is really only good for the summer, but it’s a great place to spend time. Hampton Beach has arcades, laser tag, ice cream, and a small concert venue that often has big names playing fairly cheap shows.
3) Apple picking
In the fall, this area is absolutely surrounded by apple orchards where you can take your family, friends, or significant other for a fun day of picking your own apples. Many of these places also have home-pressed cider and apple-doughnuts. If the place you go has them, I highly recommend buying some!
4) Enjoy the architecture of Dover
Dover is the first town that was settled in New Hampshire, established in 1623. The downtown area doesn’t have a whole lot going on, but if you’re a fan of old buildings it’s definitely interesting to look around. Stop by La Festa and grab a slice of delicious pizza, spend some time reading in Henry Law Park, or head to Harveys Bakery and grab some cake.
5) See a play
The Seacoast has several amateur playhouses that put on professional grade shows. Seacoast Repertory Theater has shows very often, The Players Ring does A Christmas Carol every winter, and Hackmatack Playhouse has wonderful shows as well. If you’re there in the summer there’s a show that goes on in The Park.
To find out what is timeless about a place, look no farther than its vintage tourism campaigns. It’s always fun to see how landmarks were portrayed in graphics from the early days of leisure travel. What has changed? What has stayed the same?
Here’s a collection of throwback travel imagery from colorful Colorado’s best-loved attractions, plus some facts from then and now.
Denver – Red Rocks Amphitheater
Then: The red boulder walls of today’s Red Rocks Amphitheater were discovered for their naturally brilliant acoustics in the early 1900s. Denver acquired the space in 1928, construction of the theater began in 1936, and it opened to the public in 1941. Music giants like The Beatles, U2 and the Grateful Dead have given legendary shows here.
Now: In 2012, mega-popular folk rock artists Mumford and Sons chose Red Rocks to film their official video for the song “I Will Wait.” In 2013, Rolling Stone Magazine named Red Rocks the best outdoor amphitheater in the United States
Rocky Mountain National Park
Then: Rocky Mountain National Park was declared a national park in 1915. During the Great Depression, public works projects boosted the park’s development. The Civilian Conservation Corps tackled major builds like Trail Ridge Road in 1933.
Now: A wildfire burned over 1,500 acres of the park on June 24, 2010. Lightning is believed to have caused the fire. In 2013, two climbers fell to their deaths while attempting to summit the park’s highest mountain, Longs Peak.
Then: In 1893, Katharine Lee Bates wrote the song “America the Beautiful” after having been inspired by the view from on top of Pikes Peak. A plaque on the summit still commemorates her words. In 1915, Pikes Peak Highway was constructed, making it one of only two Colorado peaks above 14,000 feet that can be reached by car.
Now: Portions of the Pikes Peak Highway were closed to visitors on Sept 5 – 6 of 2013 for the filming of Fast and the Furious 7.
Mesa Verde National Park
Then: Mesa Verde is home to stunningly well-preserved cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Indians, built between 900 and 1300 A.D. Theodore Roosevelt declared the area a national park in 1906 (the first and only cultural national park in the United States). In 1978 it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Now: This fall 2013, rangers of Mesa Verde will be opening up parts of the park to backcountry hiking for the first time. They’ll be leading challenging excursions to Upper Navajo Canyon, Wetherill Mesa, and Spring House. Tickets are limited and can be purchased at www.recreation.gov
Discovering none of your gear fits after you are already on your ski vacation is a major disaster. Although you can always buy new gear, and in fact, might enjoy doing so, there are a few simple things you can do to avoid that expense. By taking a bit of time to prepare, you can insure that your entire ski season goes smoothly.
One bit of advice I always have is to start out slowly. If you’ve spent your summer tied to your desk and not working out, don’t just jump into strenuous activity and go full tilt. Not only will it hurt, but you probably won’t stick with it or end up pulling a muscle. Don’t be macho. Scale your workouts to a comfortable level then really dig in and make the most of your workout time. If you have been active, take it up a notch early and be in even better shape for the slopes by adding in a few ski-specific strength exercises.
If you want to be successful, then like anything else in life, always start with a goal in mind. If your goal is to ski at a higher level, make sure that you train for that goal. If your goal is to make it through the season without as much soreness in year’s past, then you might have an easier task. Even for those who only ski a few times a year, starting with a goal such as being in shape enough to enjoy the day after skiing pain free, can be enough to inspire you. A close friend once started pre-ski season training with the goal of not having to rest after carrying her skis to the slopes. That’s a great place to start.
Consistency is the key to anything, so do what you need to keep it going. This always seems easier than it is, but will be key to your success and one I’m very familiar with in my life. I start out strong and motivated and after a few weeks find life interfering with exercise. You need that consistency to meet your goals. Try to do something every day, even if it is something as minimal as walking for 20 minutes.
On the other hand, don’t feel guilty if you do miss a day and just do what you can. Everyone is busy, so get over it. Find a way to work things in, even if it means bringing a change of clothes to the office, taking the stairs or going for a walk during lunch.
If all else fails, I recommend hiring an expert to harass you. Sometimes it just takes an expert to get you moving. Or have a friend be the one that pushes you. Working out with a friend can be a great motivator. You can both bond through sharing a daily workout and telling each other how awesome you each are. As your body changes and gets more in shape, most likely your significant other or spouse will tell you how good you look. That’s great motivation too.
Once you hit the slopes you’ll be so glad you took the time to get in shape for ski season. You’ll look great and feel better, making for the best ski vacation!
Maile Keone is an entrepreneur, writer and traveler. She currently works in the vacation rental industry helping people stay in cool places.
Connect with Maile via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn
Recently, we had one of our top clients give us a real challenge.
Larry, the patriarch of a large family, was celebrating his 70th birthday party, and he wanted to celebrate with his extended family in style. This was not going to be an ordinary family reunion. He wanted a unique vacation exciting enough to entice attendance from his whole family, spread across the entire United States, and he wanted it to be special enough to create memories that would last for a lifetime. Since Larry is my father-in-law, I was lucky enough to come along!
The client’s most important goal for the trip was to have his extended family all under one roof. Larry shared, “Our best vacations have been when we have found a nice vacation rental where we can all share stories and special times over meals or during cocktail hour in our private residence, or enjoy being together at the pool or beach in front of the home. It’s just not the same in a hotel, where everyone retreats to their separate rooms, and we only see each other at dinner.”
In addition to the search for a private home that would sleep 17 family members ranging in ages from 4 to 70, we were tasked with finding a home that was part of a Luxury Resort that would feature privacy and an all-inclusive meal and activity plan. We also had to find a vacation rental that would be on an attractive beach, have a sparkling pool, and would have plenty of exciting water and land activities for the extended group to enjoy.
After an exhausting search from Hawaii to Mexico and throughout the Caribbean we found what our client described as the “Perfect Fit” in the Ty Molineux Estate Home at the Jumby Bay Resort.
Jumby Bay is a luxury resort on a private island 2 miles off the coast of mainland Antigua, nestled deep in the Caribbean. The resort features 44 suites, 14 villas and 15 estate homes, all of which have access to the resort’s three restaurants and bar. It boasts incredibly manicured beaches and an extensive activity menu featuring water skiing, wake boarding, sailing , stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, snorkeling and even a kid’s camp. There are no cars allowed on the island so guests are provided with golf carts and bicycles with which to explore the various beaches, restaurants and attractions. Larry shared: “It was such a wonderful thing to know that all of our kids could safely roam the island and we didn’t have to worry about them getting into traffic or any danger. I also loved the fact that we paid one price, and everything was included. With 17 people, everyone wants to do something different, and they could all do whatever they wanted without worrying about separate bills, etc…”
The luxury vacation rental home, of course, was an attraction unto itself.
Ty Molineux is an expansive 25,000 square feet colonial-style luxury villa that sits on eight beautifully manicured acres and features eight bedrooms, a private gym, media room, tennis court, croquet court, game room and an expansive pool that extends out from the home towards the property’s private sandy beach. “The home had everything you could imagine. Even with 17 people, we never felt on top of each other, and there were so many things to do right there on the grounds. I’ve been in many resorts where the public pool wasn’t nearly as big or as nice as the private pool we enjoyed at Ty Molineux…and the staff was terrific- such great service!” Our client was referring to Ty Molineux’s staff of 8 that included chefs, butlers, maids and groundskeepers, all of whom went out of their way to make our guests’ vacation perfect. The final touch for this special celebration was Larry’s Big Birthday Celebration.
“VacationRoost worked with the resort and my wife to arrange such an incredible party, I will never forget it” shared Larry. To make the final evening special we arranged for a private dinner party on the beach, complete with a lush Caribbean BBQ, bonfire, tiki torches and calypso steel drum band. Once the meal and birthday cake was enjoyed, a special performance was arranged with a limbo artist and fire eater that amazed the adults and captivated the young ones.
“I am so grateful to VacationRoost for finding such a perfect vacation home for our celebration.
They met every one of my criteria, and I really can’t imagine a better resort or home for what we were looking for. This has to be one of the most special vacation spots in the world!” concluded our client. This was music to our ears, as nothing pleases us more than helping our clients find the perfect vacation rental for their vacations, big or small. At VacationRoost, that is the goal we strive to reach every dayl
If you’d like some help finding the perfect vacation rental for your next vacation, visit us at www.vacationroost.com, or call 1-888-337-6678 to speak with a Destination Expert who will be your personal shopper for your next perfect vacation!
Destination Expert, Julian