Parents continue to write in with their tips and helpful advice on how to make it a successful ski vacation. There is no better expert than a mom or dad who has successfully gotten their kids to the slopes with happy smiling faces. Here's some tips from the dads.
Mike Harrelson, with Travel Montana, agrees with having snacks and maybe a thermos of hot chocolate handy. "Nothing will make little Billy or Suzy melt down faster than an empty tummy and a blood sugar crash."
Harrelson adds that mom and dad need to have some fun, too. "If traveling/skiing with younger kids, moms and dads can tag team the little ones and get out for solo bites of full-on shredding."
Bill Quigley, with New Hampshire's Gunstock Mountain Resort, says to relax in the morning. "Don't try to the get the kids up every day at 6 a.m. Yes, first tracks are fun, but who likes getting kids out of bed for school that early. Gunstock offers skiing and riding day and night. Our prime time ticket allows you to come when you want, and ski or ride till close. So come early, go back to the condo or hotel and swim, then come back and ski under the lights. Let them play video games late, sleep in late (what kid doesn't love that), then arrive at the mountain at 11a.m. and ski till 9 p.m. It is almost impossible to wear out our lift ticket."
Quigley says lunch can be fun on the side of the hill. "Pack a lunch and eat it on the snow. I fondly remember having cheese and crackers on the mountain with my parents as a kid. It's even better when you find a group of families that can do the same, sit out in the sun, and enjoy why you are in the mountains."
He says, "Don't be afraid to ask. Not just at your hotel but the ski areas. Guest services has a wealth of experience and they are mostly locals who know the best restaurants, places to play, and where to find that special experience for everyone."
Finally, Quigley, who is a father of three, says to be patient. "We see so many families rushing to get here, rushing to get there, being demanding of the kids, and wives or husbands. It's a vacation, plan your trip, make reservations for day care, discuss what you are doing for lunch or dinner, and take votes so everyone has a say."
Blair McNamara who used to live in Vail and now lives in Steamboat, has four skiing children, all elementary school age or younger. He says, "Don't ski to your ability. Ski to your kids' ability. If your thighs are burning because you're on a catwalk again, it could be worse. You could be stuck in rush hour traffic."
Chris Eggleton is a dad with two small kids under three years old. He runs the new Newpark Resort and Hotel in Park City, Utah. He suggests bringing homemade vacation-related flashcards. "Draw activities on blank index cards in advance that you plan to do while on vacation or local attractions and features. This can help set the tone of the trip and the expectation for the children. Think flash cards with airplanes, snow, skiing, fireplaces, trees, the Utah Olympic Park, even a moose, for Park City. The good thing is that on the trip back to the airport, you can look at the cards and your family can vote on which highlights were the best."