[R395R, Smugglers Notch] has a road map for the perfect family ski/ride vacation.

"Attractive deals and bargains from the vacation industry are bombarding potential customers like snow during a Nor'easter. How's a family to winnow out the best choice, then also be sure the resort will deliver," says Barbara Thomke of Smuggs.

Thomke says Smuggs staff has been in the game for more than 20 years and has a list of tips for choosing the right vacation.

1) Select the dates that work for you, but remain flexible to take advantage of deals, stay away from holidays, and ask about related offers.

2) Compare packages to see what's in and what's out. Discounts may also mean exclusions. Driving is cheaper and less hassle than flying, and has no weight limits.

3) Put the kids first. If they're happy, you're happy.

4) Ask for guarantees on the experience. Will the resort refund your money or otherwise make good on the cost of the trip if it's a bummer?

5) If your vacation time is limited, avoid high altitude resorts that require acclimatization.

6) Scope out the lodging and ask if the resort will move you in case you're not satisfied, because if you don't like the room, you're not going to enjoy the trip.

"Resorts are hungry for customers, which gives shoppers the upper hand in striking bargains," says Keith Glover, marketing VP at Smugglers' Notch. "If you ask the right questions you can be assured of a good quality vacation at a very affordable price."

Reservation information is online or available by phone at 800-451-8752.