Traveling with kids is one thing, but traveling with kids to a major ski resort like Breckenridge or Winter Park is a whole different ball game. Add in hitting the slopes with the little ones and your overall experience can be made or broken depending on how you handle the whole experience. The following are some tips on making your vacation more pleasant when going on a ski trip with the kiddos. Or better yet, buy a vacation property near the ski hill!
1. Lessons to be Learned
If they are up for it, get the kids in some lessons. Just make sure to arrive early to get rentals (better yet, reserve ahead) and grab your ski lift tickets before long lines start to form, and get the best prices. It is a good idea to reassure your children by letting them know where they are going and what will take place throughout the day.
2. Learn While Doing
If you are planning on teaching them on your own, keep in mind that repetition with coaching is the prescription for success. Kids learn differently than we do and generally just need the basic idea of what you would like them to do … then they need to go do it over and over again. With this method, they will ultimately be learning while doing and not realize that they are being taught at the same time.
3. Build it up
Get the kids excited about the trip before you embark. Talk about it, set expectations, show videos and talk about it a little more as the big day approaches. Have some friends that ski - get them together!
4. Protect Their Eyes & Skin
At high altitudes such as Breckenridge, Winter Park, and Vail, it is extremely important to protect your children’s eyes and skin with goggles, glasses and sunscreen. You don’t want them to learn the hard way do you?
5. Get them comfortable
Have the kids try on skis and walk around in boots beforehand so that the feeling becomes familiar before getting on the hill. Even learning how to get in and out of bindings in your family room is a great way to gain comfort with their equipment.
6. Make it Fun
If you are teaching your child to ski, make sure that you have solid skiing skills yourself so you can focus solely on them. Otherwise, get them into ski school pronto. Make the learning process more of a game than work … games like pizza/French fries and red light/green light are great methods of making learning to ski fun.
7. Dressing Well
Skiing is a cold weather sport, so you know that you need to dress your kids warmly. But, dressing them for comfort with layers is just as important. Layering makes things easier to remove if they become warm, and can keep them warm if it’s cold outside. Placing hand warmers in their pockets can also be beneficial on those frigid days.
Let the children learn at their own pace. If they get tired, stop and have some hot chocolate, build a snowman or make a snow cone. Just make sure not to rush their time to explore and learn. Make it fun!
9. Show and Tell
After your child’s lesson, keep them excited about the prospect of skiing by asking them to show you what they learned in class. Not only will they be super happy to show off what they learned, but you will be amazed at their newfound knowledge as well. And of course a couple great photos they can admire in the car on the way home reinforces the fun they just had.
10. Focus on your Kiddos
While it is tempting to ski where you would like to ski and drag the kids along for the ride, terrain and ability selection are critical if you want them to keep coming back for more. Ski where they can ski, not where you want to ski.
By Reid Tulley
Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties