7 Essential Steps for Planning a Ski Trip

planning a ski trip

Everything you need to know for an epic vacay on the slopes

What happens when wanderlust and frigid temps collide? Two words: ski vacation. Fresh white powder followed by a post-ski beer (or two, we’re not judging!) is a winter must.

But planning a ski trip can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. No worries, you guys; we’ve got the inside scoop on how to have an amazing ski vacay.

  • Pick your crew

    First things first: who are you going to invite? Are you inviting friends from college? Making it a girls trip? Or maybe taking your kids out for their first time on skis? Everything from your budget to a location to extra activities will depend on who’s along for the (snowy) ride.

    And while a mix of personalities is fun, it’ll be a lot easier to plan if you all enjoy more or less the same activities. So give it some thought before sending out that group text!

  • Stick to a budget

    If you’re traveling with friends, not everyone is going to have the same amount of cash sitting around, and skiing isn’t exactly inexpensive. Be sensitive to everyone’s financial situation when you’re planning a ski trip and try to keep costs on the lower side.

    Pro Tip: you guys can get some sweet deals on lift tickets if you buy them ahead of time!

  • Choose a resort

    When you’re planning a ski trip, check out all the “extras” that the resorts provide. Gondolas and trams, outdoor ice skating rinks, and, of course, the après ski amenities. Decide on your must-haves and take it from there.

    Also, who’re you traveling with? Any first-timers or kids? Make sure that the ski resort you choose can accommodate everyone’s needs and skill levels.

    And don’t forget your budget. Are you willing to splash out for Vail? Or would you rather keep it real at a more budget location?

  • Sign up for lessons

    If there are any rookies in your group, or if it’s just been a while since your last snowy vacay, ski lessons are a must. You’ll learn all the basics, plus extras such as how to load and unload at the lifts. And knowing what you’re doing won’t just make your trip safer, it’ll also make it more fun.

    Lessons are also handy if it’s your first time at that particular ski resort. Instructors can provide all sorts of insight into the local terrain and trails.

    Ski lessons can fill up quickly, so try to book them as soon as you’ve decided on where and when you’re going.

  • Pack the essentials

    There’s only one way to make sure that you don’t overheat or get chilly: layers, layers, and more layers. Opt for moisture-wicking fabric on your innermost layer to keep dry. Then look for waterproof fabric on your outer layers, because, well, it’s snow.

    Don’t forget to pack other ski essentials: ski socks, mittens or gloves, UV-rated goggles, a neck warmer or gaiter, snowboots, and a helmet. Helmets are pretty bulky, though, so if you don’t own one or prefer not to pack one, check to see if your resort has rentals.

    Pro Tip: most ski resorts have a hot tub, so don’t forget to pack your bathing suit!

  • Ship your skis

    Lugging skis to the airport? That’s a solid no from us! Save money and effort by shipping your skis straight to your hotel or Airbnb with LugLess. No hassles carrying your gear to and from the airport or chilling at baggage claim.

    And, bonus: without the added bulk of skis, you can skip the extra expense of an SUV rental. Hop on the resort shuttle and get ready to shred!

  • Have fun!

    Even if you’re an avid skier, your legs will be screaming for a break after a couple of days! Check out some of the other options at your ski resort: ice skating, snowshoeing, and snowboarding all make for a fun snow day.

    If you want to head off the mountain, most ski resorts are located near a base village or mountain town that cater to the ski crowd. Expect plenty of entertainment, from restaurants to shops to post-ski watering holes.

And there you have it: a step-by-step guide to planning a ski trip. So are you ready to slalom into an epic winter vacay? Have fun, stay safe, and drop us a postcard from the slopes.