For a ski vacation in Utah, the hardest part is deciding where to ski. With 15 resorts, there are so many choices.* Leaving that aside (for another article), here is your enhanced checklist with…ok, just about everything you need to make your Utah ski vacation simple and satisfying for everyone who loves it when you plan the trip.
Get the trip on the calendar (verify vacation dates, holidays, blackout dates and resort opening/closing dates).
Put it on your spouse’s/everyone’s calendar
Arrange for childcare and pet care
Request vacation from employer
Choose a ski resort or a base to access multiple Utah resorts** during your stay.*
Check for pre- and early-season deals at resorts, hotels and private rentals
Check points and redemptions for hotels and credit cards
Request cribs, rollaways or other items
Print out lodging confirmations or make sure they're saved in your email or hotel app.
Print out airline tickets, rental car and other confirmations or make sure they're saved In your Apple Wallet or respective apps.
Purchase lift tickets* in advance for the biggest discounts. Check blackout dates before purchase.
Multi-passes (Ikon, Epic, Mountain Collective, SLC SuperPass, Indy Pass, PowerPass, etc.) provide access — and discounts on lessons, gear and lodging! — to multiple U.S. resorts, and several provide access to multiple Utah resorts.
Season passes for individual Utah ski resorts. Depending on resort and purchase date, these often provide additional benefits, including days at other resorts and discounts.
Daily lift tickets can be purchased at a discount, online in advance at most Utah resorts’ websites and will save you a few bucks.
Book ski and/or snowboard lessons for the kids; highly recommended for lessons during holidays. (Tip: Don’t be a helicopter or snowplow parent.)
Book a lesson or clinic for adults. (Tip: There are plenty of reasons to book, even if you’re an experienced skier or snowboarder. Also, if you’re married or ever want to be, forgo any thoughts of teaching your spouse, girlfriend, or significant other how to ski or snowboard.)
Make dinner reservations (highly recommended during holidays and on weekend nights)
Divvy up meal prep between other family members and friends. (Yes, let the older kids make dinner one night! It’s hysterical and, most importantly, memorable)
Order groceries online, e.g., Whole Foods, Smith’s, Harmons, for pickup or delivery. (Tip: Stop at Costco, Wal-Mart, Trader Joe’s in Salt Lake City on the way to your lodging.) You can also use delivery services like The Grocery Girls or the concierges where you're staying.
Stop at DABS for wine and spirits or, as some parents call them, essentials.
Let everyone pick out their “jacket snacks” for maximum slopeside happiness. (Yes, everyone should have them stuffed into their coat pockets daily.)
Pack a deck of cards, games or other activities
Rent skis and equipment (or ship your own before you leave)
Check multi-pass or season passes for discounts on rentals.
Check local rental companies for discounts when reserving online, in advance.
If you somehow forgot (yes, it happens to the best), fret not! Every resort has same-day skis and/or snowboards, boots and poles to rent.
Pull out every item you intend to pack for every person going on the trip, try it on to make sure it fits, and, if you have teenagers, that they will actually wear it…in public…without whining. (Tip: Your pricey exercise shirts and leggings you already own or need an excuse to buy typically make great base layers for skiing.)
Bring a large tote bag or backpack for each person to put their ski/snowboard “stuff,” and attach a tag (like the one below; feel free to use/copy/steal) to check before/after each day. (Yes, I created these and have them laminated and attached with grosgrain ribbons to each child’s and my husband’s ski bag, and every parent/spouse is nodding approvingly.)
Ski clothes (see ski bag checklist)
Après ski clothes and shoes
Backpack or fanny pack
Pack ski/snowboard equipment. Most airlines, including Delta, allow packed ski equipment (ski or snowboard bag) to count as standard checked luggage. (Tip: Pack ski clothes tightly around skis to prevent damage and lighten the bulk in your suitcase.)
PACK YOUR LIFT TICKETS, PLANE TICKETS AND CONFIRMATIONS
Pack your electronics and chargers…or not. Cellular coverage is generally available at all Utah ski resorts.
Download resort and multipass apps (your lift tickets may be on them)
Download apps for maps to resorts.
Pack a toiletry kit with toothbrushes, medications, moisturizer and lip balm (very dry climate) and sunscreen.
You’ve arranged everything prior to arrival. So, enjoy your time here skiing, snowboarding and making memories here in Utah.
*Note that Deer Valley and Alta do not allow snowboarding. However, their respective neighbors, Park City Mountain and Snowbird, allow skiing and snowboarding.
**Ikon, depending on which pass is purchased, includes access to as many as six Utah ski resorts, all within an hour of Salt Lake City. Other multi-passes offer access to multiple Utah resorts (see multi-pass websites for details and blackout dates)
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