Have you ever returned home feeling like you needed a vacation to recover from your vacation? I sure have! As a young mom I traveled with three boys and a daughter. We didn’t “arrive” somewhere, we invaded! And the logistics involved would make most travelers weak in the knees. Add a delayed meal and the entire day would go to…
Since then, I’ve learned to plan ahead looking for any possible way to delegate or shed time-sucking tasks. I also realized the value of carving out dedicated adult time. These two changes, along with a lot of pocket snacks, made all the difference.
Convenience sometimes means spending a little more, so you’ll need to weigh your priorities to find the right balance. Here are nine tips and services that will simplify your ski vacation so you can enjoy the important things like time with family and relaxing.
Leave Your Skis/Snowboard at Home – One of my top tips for visitors flying in is, think twice before packing your own skis or board. Ask yourself, “Am I packing because I love my gear?” If the answer is yes, then load up. If the answer is no, then consider renting. The hassle and extra baggage fees will likely outweigh the cost of renting. One exception are boots. If your boots are fitted great, pack them rather than rent.
If you don’t have gear, or choose to leave it behind, I suggest calling Ski Butlers. Their reviews rank 4.5/5.0 and they make life much easier. Simply reserve your gear and they will deliver and fit you in your room! While skiing they will handle any issues and pick up the gear when you’re done. Super easy! There are also a few other ski delivery companies too, such as Ski 'N See Delivery and (Shortcode Error: Could not find service named u'aloha-ski-board-main-street' for tag [service name="aloha-ski-board-main-street"]Aloha Ski and Snowboard Rentals[/service]).
Grocery Delivery – Eating in while traveling is a great way to save money, but shopping can devour precious vacation time. It’s also a hassle if you arrive late or don’t have transportation. My tip is to pay a little extra and have the groceries waiting for you.
Grocery Girls in Park City has a great reputation and has pre-made shopping lists to speed the order process. Additionally, many vacation rental services offer delivery or you can Google “grocery delivery ” to find options in other areas as well. Pro Tip: don’t wait till the last minute to order or most services will charge an expedite fee.
Transportation – On a ski trip, transportation can be especially challenging due to snow and ice. All wheel drive or 4x4 rentals are an option, or you could save money and hassle by riding the Ski Bus or a shuttle. If you stay on mountain, there won’t be much reason to rent a car unless you like to resort hop.
Here are a few services to consider before reserving your own wheels:
Ride A Bus – This transport option deserves it’s own call out. The UTA Ski Bus wins on multiple fronts. First, it will get up the canyons when the roads demand 4-wheel drive. Second, It’s a cheap ride. At $4.50 each way from either your hotel, the park and ride, or the airport, you can’t beat it. You can even ride UTA from Salt Lake International Airport to Park City. Third, ski buses have custom gear racks to stow your board or skis safely. Forth, the buses are efficient and eco-friendly, protecting the environment we love to play in. Fifth, no parking hassles, you get dropped off and picked up right at the front door of the lodge.
Pre Buy Tickets – Save money and time by buying multi-day lift tickets in advance online. This way you’ll get the best prices and only need to stop by the ticket window to collect your pass.
Pack Lunch and Snacks – Remember my comment about pocket snacks? Save yourself time, money, and toddler-like meltdowns by having food on hand...always. Load up on bars, nuts, and prepared meals.
Insider’s Tip: Park City eatery Jafflz, is an awesome ski-day solution. They ship orders of 12 or more frozen pockets for free, meaning you could have a batch waiting for you at your room. They come in lots of flavors and are easy to eat with your hands.
Leverage Tech – Yes, vacations are for disconnecting, but some tech helps simply…really! For example, Deer Valley offers DV Text, guests can text a designated number (given out around the resort at lodging check-in, points of sale, ski school, etc) with any question!
For more ski tech ideas read my post: Ski Tech You Won’t Want to Miss
Get the Kids in Ski School – It was a bluebird powder day at Brighton when the couple riding the lift next to me started to make out. They finally looked over and apologized explaining that about the only couple time they get is when their kids are in ski school.
The awesome thing about ski school is that kids have a blast while parents get a break. For munchkins too tiny to shred, some resorts also have more traditional childcare. This post by my fellow blogger, Jodi, lists some of the best on mountain ski school options: Childcare on the Slopes! Keep in mind that ski school isn’t just for beginners, most schools have more advanced programs as well.
Ski/Riding Lessons = Shorter Lines – Kids aren’t the only ones who could benefit from lessons, adults can too. I regularly ski with an instructor just to up my game. An added plus, you get on the lifts faster, making even more of your day. This is awesome if you only have a half a day on the snow and want to make the most of it.
Baby-Sitting Services – For infants or in the evening, parents can carve out some couple time by hiring an in-room sitter. It may sound intimidating to hire a sitter you’ve never met, but the resorts have built long-term relationships to help parents enjoy their vacation.
Park City Sitters has an excellent reputation, plus you can inquire with the resort where you will be staying for referrals. Pro Tip: Schedule in advance so that you have time to interview the service and book the best sitter before he or she is snapped up.
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