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Spring Break is right around the corner, and it is time to hit the slopes!  The United States is home to many famous ski destinations including Vail, Aspen, Jackson Hole, and Lake Tahoe.

Skiing is a timeless sport and the perfect activity for the whole family to try!  You don’t have to frequent the black diamonds to love skiing.  Here are a few things to consider when planning your next family ski trip:

Destination – Skiing is not a poor man’s sport.  Depending on whether you stay local or venture out to one of the more well-known skiing destinations, you could end up paying a lot for your weekend getaway.  Decide what you are looking for in a ski trip.  If you or your children are beginners, it might make more sense to save a few bucks and stay closer to home.

Learning to ski – If you are traveling with a lot of beginners, it is a good idea to look into skiing lessons or ski schools.  Skiing is not an easy sport, and you will fall down, especially if you are new to the sport.  Most resorts or lodges offer private or semi-private lessons with a trained instructor for a reasonable price.

Lodging – As easy as it may be to stay at the all-inclusive lodge, the best off-slope savings come from forgoing this luxury.  You can save a pretty penny simply by finding a less-expensive or chain hotel in a nearby village.  You also might want to save money on food, especially if you are planning an extended trip.  Rather than only dining in the lodge’s signature restaurant, head into the nearby village to find plenty of family-friendly diners and eateries.  Another option is to upgrade your room to have a kitchenette to prepare your own meals in.  Hot cocoa and mac and cheese galore!

Gear – Another really expensive aspect of skiing is the equipment.  If you are not a frequent skier or this is your first time on the slopes, it makes the most sense to rent the necessary gear.  It also saves you the hassle of hauling gear all the way from home.  Renting directly from the resort is often the easiest option, but sometimes you can save big money by renting from an outside ski outfitter.  Sometimes beginner packages even include ski equipment and gear rental.

Other activity – If you are traveling with young children or you know not everyone in your group is an avid skier, it is important that there is more to do at the lodge than just ski.  Many ski resorts offer a variety of other outdoor sports including snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, and even snowmobiling.  Some resorts also offer a lot of indoor activities like game rooms, fitness centers, or indoor pools.  More commercial resorts will often have planned activities for kids to do while their parents are out skiing.

What are things you consider when planning a family ski trip?  What are some of your favorite lodges?  Leave a comment below!

Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz is a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago, where she studies Linguistics and Computer Science. Jane plays trombone and lacrosse and is the biggest animal lover you'll meet!