Top 7 Tips for planning a Skiing Trip in Aspen, Colorado
As fall slowly turns to winter, more people are starting to think about their annual skiing vacation. And what’s a better place to spend a week than Aspen in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains? The small resort has dozens of restaurants, a decent tourist infrastructure and countless Aspen vacation rentals. Thousands of families make the trip each year. Some come to learn how to ski while others have the time of their lives speeding down the slopes. Keep reading and take advantage of the Top 7 Tips for planning a Skiing Trip in Aspen, Colorado below!
Planning is everything
As with every family vacation, the key to success is taking the time to plan. Skiing holidays need more preparation than a week at the beach. You need to think about how long you want to stay, consider the freezing temperatures and decide whether to bring you own or rent equipment. All this depends on the age of your kids. Most parents wouldn’t bring children under five to Aspen because of the stresses it might put on them. Older ones and teens will appreciate the chance to learn how to ski and snowboard.
Ideally, you should start thinking about your trip to Aspen several months in advance. Get online and find out the logistics. Consider whether you’re going to fly directly into Aspen Airport or connect via Denver. The second is usually a better option as more flights connect to the airport from the United States. Start looking for accommodation, especially if you’re thinking of visiting in peak season (such as Christmas and New Year). Research the skiing resort and find where you’re going to rent equipment (if you’re not bringing your own). When you have a solid plan the family vacation will go much more smoothly. On the other hand, if you decide to try and go with the flow, you can expect problems and mishaps. These are fine to deal with if you’re alone, but not with wild children!
When do you want to visit Aspen?
If money isn’t an issue and you don’t mind the crowds, the best time to visit is at Christmas. The mountains and snow promise a winter wonderland. Picture the looks on your kids’ faces when they open the curtains to a postcard image of Christmas from their window. But you should also expect to find big crowds and much higher prices. As an alternative, consider visiting towards the end of November or late January to get better rates. However, this also depends on school commitments. Start thinking about when you want to visit so that you have more time to plan and prepare your
Factor in the altitude
Aspen sits at 2,438 meters (7,999 feet) above sea level. If you’re visiting from lower elevations, you should factor at least a day or two to acclimatize. Making the journey from sea level to the mountains can cause sickness. This might include feeling nauseous, getting headaches and generally being cranky. Children often suffer more than adults. Plan to spend the first day or two exploring the town and taking things easy. When everyone starts to feel better, you can then begin to do more strenuous activities such as skiing and snowboarding. It’s also a good idea not to sign the little ones up to ski school on the very first day. Those who live at higher altitudes are less likely to suffer as much as those visiting from sea level.
One of the biggest mistakes on skiing holidays is forgetting to apply sunscreen. The less experienced think that just because the temperatures are cold, they won’t get sunburn. This is a misconception. It’s not uncommon for burns to develop if you’re out on the slopes for long hours. When you’re in the mountains, the UV rays are stronger. Combine this with the reflecting nature of snow and it creates a sunbed effect. It’s recommended to use sun cream with at least factor 30. Pack some in your bag and put it onto any exposed skin including your face, nose and ears. It’s also a good idea to bring a good pair of sunglasses. Keep reminding yourself and your kids to put it on to avoid burning.
Keep an eye out for discounts
If you’re traveling at the right time of the year, you might be able to save vast sums of money on equipment, accommodation and ski lift tickets. Some companies offer discounts of up to 20% off. This can lead to saving several hundreds of dollars for families. Search online at least two months before your trip to find the best deals. It might also be worth contacting some of the companies to offer a special price if the whole family rents equipment from them. Lift tickets can add a sizable chunk onto the final price. Shop around and find the best deals.
There is no need for a car in Aspen!
Aspen is pedestrian-friendly and having a car is both unnecessarily expensive and inconvenient. You can walk around the town center comfortably. Most hotels offer free transfers to and from the ski lifts. Free public transport also takes tourists from one landmark to the next. Unless you’re driving to Aspen, take a break from driving.
Aspen provides the perfect location for a dream family vacation. Mountains, snow and the chance to learn how to ski are just some of the highlights. As parents, remember to plan the trip carefully, not to underestimate the altitude, and bring sunscreen. Keep searching for special offers and discounts in the months leading up to your holiday and when you arrive, you don’t need to bother getting a car.