A ski vacation is one of the most fulfilling, fun and memorable experiences you can have, but getting all details in order can be a daunting experience. Worry not, the reservation team at Winter Park Lodging Company are here to help with their top ten tips to stretch your dollars, keep you smiling and make the most out of your next Winter Park ski vacation.
#1 Book Early
All seasoned skiers know that there is one golden rule when organizing a ski vacation…to get the best deal on lift tickets, equipment rentals and accommodation, you’ve got to book early. Sure, there’s a chance you might get lucky and find a last minute deal on lodging, but you’ll more than likely end up paying premium rates for your airplane flight, ski lift tickets & ski/snowboard rentals…and spend the better part of your first morning standing in a line for the privilege. When you book early, you don’t just get great deals, you can also move on from the booking process and start enjoying all the fun stuff: checking out local activities, events, restaurants, ski trail routes etc.
#2 make a list of your accommodation needs
The beauty of working with a local vacation rental company, is that you gain access to a vast pool of lodging options that can cater to most budgets and criteria of potential guests. Before you begin your search for accommodation in Winter Park, talk to all of your group members and write down a list of your needs and desires. Top of the bill is of course dates, location, occupancy/sleeping arrangements, type of home (condo/townhome/stand-alone); but don’t forget to write down your additional preferences: do you want a second living room, or den for the kids? would you like a pet friendly home? do you want a private hot tub, washer/dryer, sauna? how many cars do you need to fit in the garage/driveway? The bigger the list, the better your reservation specialist can help you find your perfect vacation home.
#3 get in shape before you go
Skiing at 10,000 ft + is no joke, so getting a little body conditioning under your belt before your trip will really help you make the most of your time on the Winter Park slopes. There are a lot of free a ski conditioning work outs available online, and committing to a few work outs a week, at least a month prior to your trip, will really make a difference to your balance, strength, and endurance on ‘the hill’.
#4 see if there is a free host guide service
Many ski resorts employ mountain hosts to be on hand to answer any questions, and even lead ski tours on the mountain. For example, Winter Park Resort offers free, 2 hour mountain orientation tours, departing daily at 10:30am and 1pm. Taking a tour with a mountain host isn’t just a great way to get a feel for the trail system, it’s also a chance to ask a local expert about the best restaurants, events, must see view points, and is well worth signing up for.
#5 Book a lesson
Whether you are a first time skier, need a refresher, or want to fine tune your established skills, a lesson is always a good idea. As ski equipment continues to evolve and develop, so too do ski techniques and styles. A quick lesson will set you on the right path for a successful ski vacation.
#6 Plan on taking a day away from the slopes
Yes, we know, you came to the mountains to ski. But a day away from the slopes will give your skiing muscles a well deserved day off, and let you discover more of the local area and the attractions it has to offer. Check out our list of discounted local activities and start planning that new snowy adventure.
#7 invest in a good layering system
Having the right layering system can make the difference between a fantastic day on the slopes and a terrible day on the slopes. Choosing ski specific under layers made of natural fibers (such as wool) will wick any moisture away from your body when you are working up a sweat, and provide warmth and comfort when the temps are dropping. A breathable mid-layer will provide wind resistance, and your outerwear will keep you dry. All manner of color, shapes and styles are out there to tempt you, but when you find your perfect layering system, you’ll never let it go.
#8 Pocket snacks
Mountain dining is pricey, and while we quite agree that having a burger at lunch is a wonderfully gratifying reward, keeping a stash of pocket snacks on hand will reduce your idle spending, and give you that little boost of energy throughout the day without breaking the bank. Some of our favorites are nuts, energy chews, dried fruit and…wait for it…beef jerky.
#9 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
The town of Winter park sits at 9,100 ft, and during your day on the mountain, you could regularly be whizzing up as high as 11,200 ft. Although most people only experience mild reactions to vacationing at this altitude (shortness of breath, blocked sinuses, mild head ache), some may experience a more severe reaction (High Altitude Sickness) which is a serious condition that requires medical attention. Our number one tip for acclimatizing to the Winter Park elevation is to DRINK LOTS OF WATER, limit caffeinated/alcoholic beverages, and take it easy on your first day on the slopes.
#10 don’t be afraid to ask
The beauty of working with a local company when booking your ski vacation, is that they tend to have all kinds of connections within the local community. Here at Winter Park Lodging Company, we have given suggestions for the perfect place to propose, provided a surprise birthday cake at an overseas relative’s request, loaned sleds to properties with ‘the perfect hill’, and a whole lot more. If you have queries or needs during your stay, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone; we’ll always do our best to try to help.