A snowboarder cuts across a snowy slope in the foreground while a skier dips over a ridge in the back.
Your choice of skiing or snowboarding can radically alter the rest of your ski trip.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

6 Ski Essentials You Absolutely Need To Plan For

Basics for Your Best Trip

The soft hush of falling snow. The pleasant bite of winter wind. The intense peed as you flash down a steep slope. There is no winter sport quite like skiing. It is easy to understand why travelers around the world flock to mountain resorts after the first snow fall.

Unfortunately, many vacationers find themselves less than fully prepared for a ski vacation. From ski equipment to personalized instruction, your selection of a mountain and thought of what you will do off the slopes, there is a lot to decide.

This is where we step in! Read on to review what you will need to do prior to beginning your skiing vacation.

Pick What You Will Do

The first step might sound a little odd, but the most essential thing for a successful ski trip is deciding what your prime activity will be. Will you ski or snowboard? You might think there is little difference between the two activities, but this is far from true.

In some ways, skiing is the easier of the two options. While snowboarding may seem cooler, learning the sport can feel physically counterintuitive and canting your body down the slope may prove challenging for beginners. Your selection of skiing or snowboarding can affect numerous other factors, such as your equipment and even your mountain choice.

A skier shreds powder from an umarked slope.Different mountains cater to different types of skier, and knowing what you want prior to booking your trip is essential.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Select Your Destination

The mountain you will pick is important too. Sure, if you want to shred the slopes, then you might consider Idaho’s Schweitzer Mountain or Breckenridge in Colorado or British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb. These are all great places for snowboarding.

Mammoth Mountain in California caters to hardcore snowboarders, but also boasts a bevy of beginner-friendly areas. Colorado’s Vail features some of the world’s most technical and challenging runs. It also has luxury dining options, microbreweries and distilleries, and unique glamping options. Sun Valley, Idaho, caters mostly to beginners and also has great options for Nordic (cross-country) skiing, snowmobiling and even sleighing.

You get the idea. Just like selecting your preferred activity, picking a mountain and resort will determine much of your trip’s character. Want some more help in making your decision? Ski.com’s resort finder does a great job of narrowing down your options.

You May Also Like:

Skis slotted into a wooden rack and standing in a neat lineWhile it makes sense to rent a lot of your equipment, there are some essentials you should purchase before your trip.Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kyryl Gorlov

Buy (or Rent) Your Gear

Jeans are not ideal during your ski trip, right? If you want to avoid looking gauche and being cold, then you will definitely want to purchase some ski gear essentials beforehand. Invest in a base layer (think ankle to neck thermal underwear coverage). You will need an outer layer too (ski socks, pants, a coat, gloves, goggles and a hat). Pundits debate whether or not you should buy your own helmet and that is where another option comes in: rentals.

Snow sports are notoriously pricey and if you are not an avid enthusiast, it makes sense to rent everything. While some helmets are almost as cheap to buy as they are to rent (hence the debate), consider renting more expensive items such as boots, skis, poles and snowboards. The only problem you will find in doing so will likely come from the overabundance of shops willing to rent to you near the mountain. Consider visiting My Skirent if you would like help sorting through all of the options.

Comments +