Girl time refreshes my soul. With ski season in full swing and International Women's Ski Day in the books, now is the time to plan a ski/riding vacation. Don't get me wrong, my guy is sweet and romantic, but there's something about hanging with girlfriends that can't be replaced. We especially like a good adventure.
As my mind wandered through all of the fun options and possibilities, I came up with some planning tips to share:
1) Define Priorities
Is your crew into steep skiing, building skills, relaxed pampering, or the pursuit of the perfect après? Or perhaps all of the above? Don't assume, ask. Booking a series of advanced lessons could lead to disappointment if most of the group had wine and massages in mind. Conversely, don't assume a ladies trip rules out hard-hitting ski days. Perhaps a heli-ski adventure would be just the ticket.
The good news - there's a perfect getaway for every taste.
2) Select a Location
The ideal destination depends on where you're traveling from and if your group is scattered across the country. If you live within driving distance, no worries! But if you have to fly, check your options before booking anything else.
- Travel time from the airport
- Number of flights available
If your group is traveling from opposite sides of the country, or if you have limited days to travel, you may want to pick a destination served by a hub airport. Denver and Salt Lake City are good examples of this. Both have dozens of non-stop flights daily.
3) Pick a Package or Create Your Own Adventure
There are a variety of packages available at ski resorts across the country. Some focus on making good skiers great, while others temp with gourmet dining and deluxe accommodations. Another decision you'll have to make is between woman only offerings or co-ed.
Even with all of the choices, you may find the nothing meets your needs. A creative option is to design your own "package" by hunting the perfect combination of lodging and activities for your group. Focus on the most important features first and then add the missing ingredients. For example, find the ideal woman's ski clinic, and then book a luxury room or ski-in/ski-out condo. The result might be better than any pre-defined package deal.
4) No Sitter, No Problem
Moms devote a large chunk of their life to raising kids, but that doesn't mean girls' getaways are out of the question. You just need to pick the right resort. Most offer some form of childcare, but some cater to kids better than others. Research the childcare center before booking.
For kids old enough to ski, I like combined childcare/ski lesson programs. You drop off your little one in the morning and they are escorted to their ski lesson and back during the day. If for some reason the lesson is a bust, he or she simply returns to the care center, without you getting called off the slope. I've met families who have been doing this for years at Alta Ski Area. One couple said it's their "alone time" vacation because the kids are having fun (all day) without them. This is an excellent solution for a ladies' ski escape.
5) Make Reservations
I suggest doing all of your research, then booking flights before committing to rooms, lessons etc. One tip for booking flights, do it during the week, such as Tuesday through Thursday. It's not uncommon for airlines to raise prices over the weekend when people are more likely to buy. Also, if you have the flexibility, consider traveling on those same days. This is a pretty sure way to save money
Some Fun Options:
Looking to build skills and enjoy camaraderie, après ski, plus some yoga? Check out the Alta Lodge Women's Ski Camp.
Want a luxury experience with epic views? Check out the packages at Robert Redford's Sundance Mountain Resort.
More clinics with good reputations:
Now is the time to begin planning. Please share your women's ski vacation ideas below in the comments!