Like thousands of other folks planning a ski vacation to Utah this year, you might be considering a wait-and-see approach to planning your trip. You might have questions about how much snow there will be and where you should go. Due to the disappointing lack of snow last year, many are wary about the 2012/2013 season. The recent snow is making a splash and everyone is getting excited and hoping for a good snow year. If you are considering waiting to plan your ski vacation, you may be making a big mistake to wait any longer. So far this year skiing has been amazing at the resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons.
According to Accuweather.com, there is above normal snow predicted for the 2012-2013 season. In addition, MTRiP, a provider of lodging performance benchmarking, reports 60% of winter reservations are already confirmed. This means that lodging is filling up and available options are shrinking.
Below are 6 things you should do right now to get ahead of folks rushing to book a Utah ski trip at the last minute as the snow piles up:
Decide what kind of trip you are taking
Do you go with buddies or girlfriends? How about a family ski vacation this year? Or maybe a few couples? Each of these scenarios requires different planning. I’ve been on all of these types of trips and each time I’ve stayed in different lodging, decided on lessons or no lessons and even changed up the restaurants on my hit list. With the girls, all that mattered was the nightlife. Ski trips with children require a location closer to the mountain to avoid schlepping gear and throwing out your back in the morning rush. Decide the type of vacation first, and then move on to planning.
Be Ready to Pull the Trigger
Planning a ski vacation can be complex. Do research and decide which type of lodging and location is best for you. Talking to someone who knows the local market is a good way to round out your online research. Ski vacations are typically one of your higher cost annual trips, so make sure you chat with someone who knows the town, places to visit, and can give you the inside scoop. This is essential, especially if it is somewhere you haven’t visited in the past. Expert advice can make the difference between a wonderful ski vacation and a mediocre one. The thing about good deals is that they don’t last, so knowing it when you see is important so you can jump on it.
Try something different
Check out vacation rentals as alternative to a hotel room. A growing number of people are finding that the space and amenities at vacation rentals make their ski vacation more enjoyable. It provides a place to stash things on a gear intensive trip like skiing. Children can have their own room and adults can have space to relax, be entertained, or get in a few hours of work in the case that you can’t completely unplug while on vacation. Most importantly, vacation rentals give you a place to spend time together, which is probably why you’re going on vacation with the group you are in the first place. If you normally stay in a hotel, it’s time you experienced how a vacation rental can enhance your entire vacation.
Prep your gear
Don’t wait until your vacation arrives to find, prep, or upgrade your gear. Start gathering those lost gloves, pants that might be too tight, and ski socks. Decide what gear to take and what to rent. A lot of my friends take all their gear, but there is a growing trend toward just taking ski or snowboard boots. Airline baggage fees for odd-sized or extra items like skis often make it more economical to rent gear. Services that deliver skis right to your hotel or vacation rental also make it easier to leave stuff at home. Local rental shops like Wasatch Powder House at the mouth of the Cottonwood Canyons can gear you up in style without any hassle.
Get in shape
I could opine on this all day, but suffice it to say that you’ll enjoy your ski vacation much more if you aren’t waddling around in pain every night from being out of shape. Run, walk, swim—do anything that will get you moving and in better shape. A lot of gyms have classes specifically designed to prep for ski season. Start now or you’ll regret it. Neither a hot tub nor Advil compensate for a lack of physical preparation.
Despite a dismal winter last year, things look to be booking out early. According to data from RRC and NSAA, the lack of early snow last year caused skier visitors to be the lowest in 20 years – but trends show that is highly unlikely to happen this year. Additional data shows that bookings for February and March are actually running ahead of last year – if you’re skiing then, you better hurry! Take advantage of deals and get what you want.