Are you ready to take the family on your first ski vacation but not sure how to plan it? Or, you weren’t totally happy with the experience you had last winter. Here are some tips to stack the odds in favor of a trip your entire family will enjoy.
Start by choosing a family-friendly area, then check into the kids’ ski-school programs. Do you want to visit a resort for a week and put the children in a ski school they will enjoy? If so, choose a resort that has lots of play options. Smugglers Notch in Vermont, for example, developed specific programs for ages ranging from 3 year olds to teens that keep students entertained while learning to ski or snowboard. The resort even offers night school for boarding and jibbing. The ski school at Vail, Colo., has teachers who enjoy working with youngsters and take them to kid-friendly areas like Chaos Canyon. This ski school also offers private family lessons. (The instructor shows you how to continue helping your young children, too.)
Book early if you are going to ski country during a school holiday, to get first choice of lodging and ski packages, because other families will be planning trips. (Flight prices will escalate, too.) If your children are pre-school age, or you’re willing to take them out of school, consider going early or late ski season. Lodging costs less and some resorts have lower-priced lift tickets. Mid-January or around the February holiday weekend are other choices. Be aware that during the early season all of the slopes might not be covered with snow, and late in the season the snow may be disappearing.
Set a budget and stick to it. Besides the lodging, lift tickets and meals, do you want lessons and adventures off the slopes? Will you need a sitter for a parent’s night out? (Some resorts offer evening activities to keep children entertained while parents go out to dinner.)
Look at ski vacation packages then compare the ones that interest you. Some resorts, such as Keystone in Colorado, have Kids Ski Free packages. Other resorts offer packages that include ski school. If you don’t choose a package that includes lift tickets, check the resort’s website, because you may save big bucks buying lift passes before you go. Compare packages carefully, then add on expected extras to confirm the package you want still is the best deal.
Choose your lodging wisely, especially if the children are young and you are going to have to carry their equipment to the slopes. Slopeside or near slopeside lodging is expensive but has value when it’s an easy walk to the slopes. In large villages, there is usually free bus service and lodging near a bus stop is less expensive, so a good choice. Some properties provide a shuttle to and from the slopes. If looking at Airbnb properties pay attention to previous visitor comments to confirm the pictures and location are accurate. If the lodging property has a variety of units, call to discuss which unit would best fit the size of your family and the age of the children.
Save money staying in a condo and eating meals there. (Check local papers for restaurant deals.) If you’re going for a week, choose a condo with enough bedrooms, so there’s space to spread out. When choosing a hotel, check if there are kid’s programs, teen rooms or play rooms depending upon the age of your children.
Before leaving your hometown visit a local ski shop and outfit the children. Get helmets for everyone and a ski harness for young children so you can control their movements on the slopes. If flying, check with the resort’s central reservations office to find out where you arrange to rent equipment you can pick up (or have brought to your lodging).
What better setting for grandparents and granddaughters to connect and share than a fairy-tale château set beside a fabulous forest? The Gramping Getaway at Chateau Mcely Spa Hotel & Forest Retreat in Mcely, Czech Republic, offers a themed adventure centering around the charming story of the château’s Princess Nely and her magical cheetah friend Pralinka. The character of the princess is based on the children’s book Nely, the Princess of Chateau Mcely written by château owner Inez Cusumano.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
This October, take the whole family to London and take time to not only enjoy the classic sites but also these scary fun Halloween events and experiences. Whether it’s a spooky-filled trip to the London Zoo or a step into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, here are the three can’t-miss experiences:
It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Medellín, Colombia, with us.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Make your family trip to Orlando so much more than just visiting the theme parks. Thanks to new vacation bundles from luxury hotels in Orlando, available as of Sept. 1, you can enjoy exclusive boating experiences during your trip.