Girl time refreshes my soul. With ski season just starting and International Women’s Ski Day coming up on December 13th, now is the time to plan a ski/riding vacation. Don’t get me wrong, my guy is sweet and romantic, but there’s something about hanging with girlfriends that can’t be replaced. We especially like a good adventure.

Planning a Women’s Ski Vacation

PHOTO: Forest History Society, 1938

As my mind wandered through all of the fun options and possibilities, I came up with some planning tips to share:

1) Define Priorities

Is your crew into steep skiing, building skills, relaxed pampering, or the pursuit of the perfect après? Or perhaps all of the above? Don’t assume, ask. Booking a series of advanced lessons could lead to disappointment if most of the group had wine and massages in mind. Conversely, don’t assume a ladies trip rules out hard-hitting ski days. Perhaps a heli-ski adventure would be just the ticket.

The good news – there’s a perfect getaway for every taste.

2) Select a Location

The ideal destination depends on where you’re traveling from and if your group is scattered across the country. If you live within driving distance, no worries! But if you have to fly, check your options before booking anything else.

Consider:

  • Travel time from the airport
  • Number of flights available
  • Cost

If your group is traveling from opposite sides of the country, or if you have limited days to travel, you may want to pick a destination served by a hub airport. Denver and Salt Lake City are good examples of this. Both have dozens of non-stop flights daily.

3) Pick a Package or Create Your Own Adventure

There are a variety of packages available at ski resorts across the country. Some focus on making good skiers great, while others temp with gourmet dining and deluxe accommodations. Another decision you’ll have to make is between woman only offerings or co-ed.

Even with all of the choices, you may find the nothing meets your needs. A creative option is to design your own “package” by hunting the perfect combination of lodging and activities for your group. Focus on the most important features first and then add the missing ingredients. For example, find the ideal woman’s ski clinic, and then book a luxury room or ski-in/ski-out condo. The result might be better than any pre-defined package deal.

Planning a Women’s Ski Vacation

4) No Sitter, No Problem

Moms devote a large chunk of their life to raising kids, but that doesn’t mean girls’ getaways are out of the question. You just need to pick the right resort. Most offer some form of childcare, but some cater to kids better than others. Research the childcare center before booking.

For kids old enough to ski, I like combined childcare/ski lesson programs. You drop off your little one in the morning and they are escorted to their ski lesson and back during the day. If for some reason the lesson is a bust, he or she simply returns to the care center, without you getting called off the slope. I’ve met families who have been doing this for years at Alta Ski Area. One couple said it’s their “alone time” vacation because the kids are having fun (all day) without them. This is an excellent solution for a ladies’ ski escape.

5) Make Reservations

I suggest doing all of your research, then booking flights before committing to rooms, lessons etc. One tip for booking flights, do it during the week, such as Tuesday through Thursday. It’s not uncommon for airlines to raise prices over the weekend when people are more likely to buy. Also, if you have the flexibility, consider traveling on those same days. This is a pretty sure way to save money 

Planning a Women’s Ski Vacation

PHOTO: B Henak on Flickr

Some Fun Options:

Excited to celebrate International Women’s Ski Day on December 13th? Check out any of these clinics, which are being held at Winter Park, Killington, Stowe, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Stevens Pass, Big Sky, Jackson Hole, and many more!

Looking to build skills and enjoy camaraderie, après ski, plus some yoga? Check out the Alta Lodge Women’s Ski Camp.

Interested in skiing with a world-class female ski instructor? Check out Ski Divas Women’s Camps with Jessica Baker, or the Your Turn Ski Clinic at Holiday Valley with Lisa Densmore.

Want a luxury experience with epic views? Check out the packages at Robert Redford’s Sundance Mountain Resort.

More clinics with good reputations:

Now is the time to begin planning. Please share your women’s ski vacation ideas below in the comments!

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