If you’re ready for fun on the slopes through the day followed by drink fueled nights with your college friends, then you need to go on a ski trip before you graduate. Here is everything you need to consider to have a great time.
Preparing for Your Ski Trip
First things first, you need to find out who is up for a ski trip. If you and your roommates have been throwing the idea around for a while, why not make the first move and start to plan the trip? Often at college we talk about plans that never happen – don’t let this be another! Once you have a list of everyone that is interested, you can begin to look at places to stay and travel arrangements. Sometimes you can get a student or group discount if there is a lot of you going at once.
If you don’t have the cash to be traveling too far, or you do not bode well on plane journeys, there are many ski resorts you can reach via other modes of transport. You don’t need to fly half way round the world to have an amazing ski trip; this great resort is located in New Mexico. This means if you go to college near Albuquerque, El Paso or Roswell, you and your college friends can pack up your cars and drive to the ski resort! Did someone say road trip? Once you’ve sorted the place, discuss who is taking what; if you’re all staying in the same room, there is no use filling the car to the brim with the same items four times over. Resorts often offer different room types, and sometimes for college students it costs less if quite a few of you share a room and choose self-catering. Don’t forget to decide who is sleeping where.
Learning to Ski
This is one of the most crucial parts of a ski trip but if you have never been skiing before, you best get some practice in before the trip. Although there are instructors out there who can help you, and your college friends can give you a hand too, never stepping foot on the snow in your skis before a ski trip isn’t a good idea.
Not having practice on a slope beforehand means while everyone else is off up the lifts ready for a day of fun, you will be left at the bottom still wondering how to stand up without falling flat on your face. There are many indoor ski slopes that provide beginners’ lessons and lift passes for when you feel ready to give it a go on your own. Some may even offer student discount rates and you can rent out anything you need for your lesson in the ski shop.
What to Pack
If you have never been on a ski trip before, it can be difficult to know how much to pack and how cold it really is going to be out there. One vital thing that many forget to pack is sunscreen. Yes, it may be freezing, but the ski slopes are one of the easiest places to get sunburnt. Often the resorts have the option of hiring out equipment if you do not have your own or do not have room in the car to bring equipment with you. You can usually see how much this will be beforehand, but items such as goggles are best brought with you.
Although skiing can get warm as it is a form of exercise, do not let this fool you. The mountains are freezing, and you need a number of appropriate layers on to ensure you keep warm and dry. If you don’t own ski clothes but any of your friends have some spare, it is worth asking to borrow them, unless you want to take up skiing full-time. College students often cannot afford a whole new wardrobe for the sake of one trip, so unless you are really serious about skiing, borrowing clothes is best. Don’t forget to ask family members to see if they have any ski jackets or goggles you can take with you. There is also the added option of looking for second-hand ski clothes on websites such as eBay. Don’t forget clothes for the evenings when you will be checking out the restaurants and pubs around the resort.
If you choose to travel by car, which can be the best way to travel with friends, then ensure you take turns driving so nobody becomes too tired. Packing enough water and sandwiches for everyone for the trip means that you will also save on the high prices at the gas stations. Take regular rest breaks when needed and get your iPod or iPhone ready with some great playlists for your pre- and post-ski trip car journeys. If there is enough of you planning to go, think about hiring a bus. This could work out less expensive than driving and also means nobody has to worry about being the designated driver.
If you do decide to venture out a little further, you need to ensure that you pack a little lighter, so you do not have to pay any extra baggage charges. You may also require other items to travel abroad to ski, including visa’s, so it’s best to check this before you go. Traveling further afield also means you will need to change your currency, so check exchange rates before you go to see when and where is best to get your money changed. Leaving this until the airport means you will not get the best exchange rate. Also, don’t forget travel insurance for you and your college friends on your trip.
Snowbound is a great resource for more ideas on group ski & snowboard vacations. Once you decide to plan your group ski trip, staying in ski lodges with your college friends really is a lot of fun, something you will remember for the rest of your life.