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6 Steps to Planning Your First Snowboarding Trip

Your first skiing or snowboarding trip should be unforgettable, and if you want to plan it properly, read our blog.

A ski or snowboarding trip provides beautiful scenery as well as a surge of adrenaline rush that will keep you hooked. Whether you want to visit the majestic snowy mountains or enjoy the thrill of riding slopes, your first ski trip should be a memorable one.

However, to make a memorable trip, you need a good plan. Thousands of ski resorts, packages, and activities are available there. Picking the best ones is challenging, to say the least.

We are here to guide you on how to plan the perfect ski or snowboarding trip this winter.

What to Expect?

Depending on your location, there are several things you need to consider, such as the weather, type of resort, terrains, activities, customs, and culture. All of these things can affect your ski trip.

Let’s break it down one by one. First, you will not be freezing all the time. Sure, destinations in Eastern Canada and New England are colder than many other snowboarding locations, but you can still find comfortable weather there.

As for the places like The Alps, Colorado, Alaska, and South America, you will find plenty of sunshine. If you are not comfortable in cold weather, plan your trip during March or April.

Next, almost every popular resort has different terrains for beginners, intermediaries, and experts. You will not be forced to ski down difficult terrain. You can easily find terrains that match your skill. Again, if you have experience under your belt, you can choose challenging routes.

Even the most well-thought-out plans can get ruined if Mother Nature does not cooperate. Just like many other natural events, snowstorms can not always be predicted. Some storms can even last for days. It’s always safe to have travel insurance in case of emergencies.

Lastly, you could suffer from altitude sickness if you are at a high enough elevation. To reduce the effects, you have to know your body’s limits, get a good amount of rest, and eat light. You can also choose lower-altitude resorts if you have serious problems.

Do You Need Ski Lessons?

Before your trip, it’s always a good idea to look at a few snowboarding or skiing classes. Otherwise, you won’t be able to explore the majority of each resort’s snowy terrain.

For beginners, lessons are even more crucial. You’ll need to learn how to use the lifts, how to utilize your equipment, how to stop and turn safely, and how to understand trail ratings.

Even for experienced snowboarders and skiers, a few warm-up lessons can act as a fresh reminder.

Planning the Perfect Trip in 6 Steps

Hopefully, the following eight steps should cover everything you need to consider when planning a great ski/snowboarding trip.

1. Plan Your Budget

Ski trips can be very expensive depending on your location and time of year. For creating your budget, write down costs related to the resort, transportation, and equipment.

Resorts typically cost more during peak season, so going during the week can be a budget-friendly option. The main differentiating factors will be ski lift costs and food costs. On average, you can plan a four-day trip within $2500-$3000, but luxury locations can cost $5000 or more.

2. Book Your Resort in Advance

Mid to the end of December is the peak season for skiing and snowboarding. Almost every resort gets crowded, and prices stay at an all-time high during this time. You will get better deals if you make a booking. You can also get a lot of last-minute deals for January. Resorts will be cheaper and less packed.

However, in some regions, February is the peak season. If you decide to go in March or April, you will not have much snow to show off your skills. No matter when you want to go, book your resort in advance.

As for the resort itself, to find the right one for you. Again you will have to consider your budget, type of terrain, altitude, and atmosphere. You can either go for an exclusive high-energy resort or a budget-friendly less premium spot with hundreds of acres of snowy land. The choice is yours.

3. Choose Your Preferred Lodging

The cost of lodging depends on the location and type of establishment. Most hotels are going to cost less than mountain homes or condos. However, condos come with their kitchen, jacuzzis, and other amenities. If you are going with a large group, the costs can be reduced by a large margin.

Accommodations closest to the resort are naturally going to cost more, but you will have convenient access to the slopes and lifts. You also won’t have to drive to the slopes. You can go for cheaper options in towns one or two hours away from the resorts where you can enjoy other activities like going to the bars, restaurants, movies, and even ice skating.

However, you will have to drive to your resort every time. Even if you’re not driving, you will be confined to the schedule of shuttles. Each option has its fair share of perks, so give it a little thought when choosing your preferred lodging.

4. Plan Your Transportation Route

There will always be multiple ways to reach your preferred resort. If it’s close to a station or airport, going by train or plane can be convenient. If not, a car ride is always a viable option.

Sometimes, it’s a bit more complex. If you are going by plane, think if you want to rent a car or hop on the local shuttles.

If you are driving, you have to consider driving in icy conditions, paid parking, gas costs, and a few other factors. Despite these, the most preferred method of transportation is by using a personal vehicle since you can also carry your skiing equipment.

5. Pack the Right Gears

Packing is essential for a ski trip, and we are here to remind you of the most important things needed for your trip. Winter packing usually takes more time, so be sure to make a list.

First, let’s talk about what you are going to wear.

Starting from the top, you will need a helmet, a pair of goggles, multiple top layers like long-sleeve tops, fleece, heavy jacket, gloves, thermal underwear, outer pants, and heavy socks.

Now for your gears. For skiing, you will need boots, skies, and poles. For snowboarding, you will still need boots and, of course, your snowboard.

Aside from the essentials, pack some snacks, hand-warmers, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and a utility knife in case of emergencies.

Owning vs. Renting

Most beginners wonder whether they should own or rent their equipment. This depends on your preference. The most obvious answer is that if you are going to use your skiing or snowboarding gear every year, then it’s best to own a set instead of renting it.

If you are not going to use them that often, stick to renting. You can either rent it from your local shop or the resort. Renting from the resort usually costs more, but it saves the hassle of transporting equipment from your home to the spot.

If you have your vehicle, decide where you want to rent gear from, but if you are going to your destination via plane, rent from the resort. You can even rent clothes. If you are from a more tropical or monsoon part of the globe, you won’t need heavy jumpers and boots even during the winter. In that case, renting them would be the right choice.

If you are hooked on skiing or snowboarding and love to enjoy your holidays riding white snowy slopes, then buy high-quality and durable gear because in the long run, having your gear will become cheaper than renting.

6. Understand the Different Trail Ratings

In most cases, an instructor will help decide which trail or route you should pick.

You are free to explore later on, but to make sure you stay safe and not go down a challenging trail; you have to know about trail ratings. Trail ratings rate how difficult or easy a trail is.

In different regions, they use different types of ratings. For instance, in North America, ski resorts use a color and shape rating system. You can even see the ratings on the trail maps and signs around the spot.

Instructors will talk about their ratings, and you should pay close attention because the ratings may differ from region to region. You can even ask them later whether a particular trail is appropriate for you or not.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are multiple factors to think about. However, if you want to get the most out of your ski trip, you’ll need to do some study and planning beforehand. There is still plenty of time before the ski season begins, so get ready now.

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