Hit the Slopes: How to Plan Your Dream Ski Trip

As the temperature starts to drop, there’s likely one thing on your mind ahead of the first snowfall: planning that big ski trip. Whether you’re going solo, taking the kids, grabbing your partner, or hitting the slopes with your best friends, there’s never been a better time to plan your dream ski trip.

But with big possibilities comes a big to-do list – and in order to truly enjoy everything your ski trip has to offer, there are some necessary preparations to be made. Here’s our checklist of everything you need to plan the best ski getaway possible (with limited hassle and all the convenience).

Choose the right location

Obviously, picking your destination is the first (and often most fun) step. There are so many ski resorts to choose from that it’ll ultimately come down to location and the ski or snowboard experience level of those coming on the trip. If you’re a group of first-timers, a smaller resort might be your best bet since there will be fewer people on the slopes. If you’re traveling with a partner or a group of friends who are a mixture of experienced and new skiers, pick a resort with a variety of slopes so no one is bored.

Don’t forget to think about lodging too! Would you prefer to stay in a hotel room? A cabin that opens right out onto the hills? A lot of this likely depends on the number of people in your party and your plans, but as accommodations book up really quickly, it’s important to stay on top of what your group wants and what’s available.

Check the weather

Snow conditions are something to consider both when choosing your location and when you want to make the trek out. Looking up the snowfall predictions and current conditions for your top three locations – and calling the resorts and asking for their thoughts and forecasts as well – will go a long way to ensure you make the most of your trip.

Book lessons and tickets in advance

This is the time of year when most resorts are busiest, so don’t wait until you arrive to purchase ski lessons or lift tickets. If you’re planning on staying for a few days, look into multi-day passes or packages that might offer more opportunities for fun at a reduced price. If you’re renting or reserving gear like skis, boots, or poles, we also recommend reserving those as far in advance as possible to ensure the resort has your size on hand when you arrive.

If you’re traveling with the family, consider booking a skiing lesson for the whole family – especially if your kids are young. You’d be surprised how quickly the little ones can take to the slopes, and an age-appropriate lesson is a great way to bond as a family while learning a new skill and getting some exercise.

Don’t pack – ship bulky items ahead

Seasoned skiers know the anxiety that comes with checking skis and poles with an airline, and everyone who’s ever traveled understands the stress of potentially lost luggage. If you’re worried about oversized items getting damaged (especially expensive, custom ski gear) or your ability to fit your bulky snow gear into a carry-on to avoid checked luggage mishaps, why not ship your gear ahead to your destination using Luggage Forward? We have a partnership with Vail Resorts that makes it easier than ever to get your gear from your doorstep to their properties, saving you time at baggage claim so you can have more fun on the slopes.

Make other plans too

Just because this is your dream ski trip doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the other activities available at the resort and in the surrounding towns! From snowshoeing to sledding, inner tubing to ice skating, take advantage of the other outdoor snow and ice sports available this time of year. If you need a rest day, resorts can also offer recommendations for restaurants, bars, sightseeing, and shopping in the area – plus kid-friendly activities for the family if you’re bringing little ones along. 

Planning your dream ski trip can be as fun as the actual trip itself – selecting the location, shipping your gear so it’s there when you arrive, and planning to sightsee and sample the local cuisine are all part of the fun. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s something special about this time of year, and planning a ski trip is the perfect way to celebrate all winter has to offer!

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