Despite growing up in New England, I didn’t learn to ski as a kid. It wasn’t something that my family did, and when friends went, I didn’t want to tag along as a beginning (the one time I tried didn’t end up working out, as I got sick and had to head home early). My husband had skied a bit as a kid, but it wasn’t part of his regular winter plans either. Going on a family ski vacation wasn’t something that we automatically wanted to do.
But I really don’t like winter, so I thought it would be a much more appealing season if I had a fun hobby to look forward to. Once my kids got old enough to ski, we headed out on our first ski trip. Instead of hanging out in the warm ski lodge while my kids attended a fun kids’ ski camp, I took my own private lesson. It was a little awkward learning to ski at an older age (my kids progressed more in their lessons than I did!), but it was fun. Not only did I begin learning something that my whole family was enjoying – I also taught them that mom is brave and it’s never too late to learn something new.
Since then, we’ve been skiing as a family a few times, and my kids have gotten increasingly better – much better than their mom!
I’d encourage any family that is new to skiing to give it a try this winter. If you do, there are definitely a few tips to follow to make it a much better experience:
- Find a great kids’ programs. Many ski areas have excellent programs for children, with instructors that are highly qualified in teaching children. Visiting a ski resort with a good kids’ program is the best way to make sure you and your children enjoy your ski vacation.
- Sign up for lessons. While the kids are in ski school, you can either learn to ski, or improve your skills, especially if you haven’t skied in a while.
- Look into equipment rentals. If you aren’t skiing regularly, it’s probably best to save money and rent the equipment you’ll need rather than buy it. As a bonus, you also won’t have to transport it and store it on your vacation.
- Make sure there are other activities. Most ski resorts have lots of other activities for the non skiers in your family. If skiing is new to you, you may not want to ski every day, so find a resort with other things to do.
- Consider a small local mountain. The last thing you want to do is take a huge family ski vacation and find out that skiing isn’t for your family. Try starting out with a small, local mountain where you can save money and make sure that skiing is something your whole family can enjoy.
Do you ski? What tips would you offer for newbies?
This post is part of the Back to Ski campaign, which was founded by fellow blogger Mara Gorman. This week is Back to Ski week, and you can enter to win some fabulous ski prizes on the Back to Ski site! Thanks to sponsors Keystone Resort, Smugglers’ Notch, and Go Breck.