When the kids are happy, everyone is happy. Parents across the country continue to send helpful tips to OnTheSnow.com on how to make your ski vacation a success.
Pat Kennedy lives in New Jersey, but used to live in Colorado. Her advice starts before you take the trip. "To minimize altitude adjustment, hydrate your kids with water and electrolytes two days before travel, and stay away from soda (sodium) during travel and the first day or so."
Her kids are fair skinned so she suggests, "Use sunblock stick on the neck, nose, and any exposed skin (the sunburn is not fun at night)."
When it comes to clothes, she says to borrow some extra gear or buy used so you don't have to wash or dry it each night. "Don't give your kids anything that can't be replaced. It can and will be lost."
When it comes to rentals, "Rent gear at a convenient spot regardless of cost as you may need to exchange it during you trip."
Kennedy is a big proponent of ski school. Put your kids in it and then enjoy the time before and after the class. "Children learn and have more fun with the group and professional ski instructors."
She says to always tip your child's ski instructor. "It is the best money you will spend to make the vacation go well."
Mike Maher lives in the western suburbs of Chicago and has skied with his family of five at resorts all over the country, like Kirkwood, Sun Valley, Heavenly, Granite Peak and Cascade (Wisconsin). He writes, "The family rule is ski school at least one day of every ski trip. Then they're free to run all over the hill on the remaining days."
Erika Luthy of Peoria, Ill., who lives in Durango, Colo., part of the year agrees about the ski instructor. "Kids love taking lessons with young hip instructors and playing 'games' with their peers in ski/boarding classes."
She adds to keep them in the proper attire. "Kids have to be warm and dry to enjoy the experience. If they turn cold and soggy they many not want to try again. Also if they can be part of the process in picking out their equipment or attire it will add to the enthusiasm."
Keep track of your kids, and the whole family for that matter. Aimi Xistra-Rich with Heavenly Mountain Resort in Calif., says, "Families should always give each member a trail map and highlight the base area that they are to return to at the end of the day. At Heavenly we have four base areas and sometimes people get confused as to where their hotel is located. Also, there should always be a meeting spot arranged in case of unplanned separation and each member should carry the hotel name and phone number in case of emergency."
Maher agrees, "I always bring a Sharpie (marker) and write my cell phone number on the kids' lift passes (as well as make sure the resort has our updated reach information). A business card is also in all of their pockets for e-mail in case of no cell coverage."
Finally, Maher has a suggestion for the ski areas. "How about putting a deck for non-skiing parents out by the wee-ones ski area with chairs, patio heaters, and free coffee? If you want to ‘hook-em' early, then make it a great experience for the parents too."