When most people are heading to the beaches for Spring Break, Gary and I are going wherever the snow takes us. Specifically snowboarding from the East Coast to the West Coast, for the last couple of years, I think I know a thing or two on getting things together for my trips. If you’re thinking about hitting the slopes, here’s how to plan the perfect snowboarding trip.
How to Plan the Perfect Snowboarding Trip
Where’s the Snow?
First things first, March usually for Spring Break isn’t really prime time for boarders, so check out the stats before you choose a place. A couple months before hand I’ll check out an app called “On the Snow.” You get real time updates on how many inches each Ski Resort is having. In North America, we can always depend on Colorado, but also note that it is the busiest, just because with higher altitude and more snow, comes horrid crowds.
Claim your Ride
Months before heading out think about grabbing lift tickets in the Fall. Buying tickets ahead of time will save you an arm and a leg. Check out a site I use called “Liftopia.com,” where you can save up to 20%. The passes will be sent to your door, meaning give ample enough time for it to reach you before leaving. You can also save by scheduling a class at a ski resort, which not only do you get to improve your skills, but after a 2 hour class, you’re free to ride for the whole day.
After having several seasons of riding, I’ve discovered how many resorts the company Vail Resorts own. That being said they have something called the “Epic Pass,” which is a lift ticket that connects you to all these major ski resorts including up North in Whistler Blackcomb. This ticket links you access to all their resorts and it also has an awesome app that tracks what slopes you’ve been on, racing with your friends, how high you’ve gone up the mountains and so much more fun stuff. One day we’d like to visit two different resorts and board two times in a season.
Deciding a place to stay can be cheap if you’re on a budget but that can only be redefined if you check before peak season. My favorite so far is Airbnbs on the mountain. Sometimes with some research you can find places that have an in town free bus loop that you can take from your home away from home to the slopes. I love it because already lift tickets are so much so Gary and I save a lil’ more cash by heading to the grocery store in town and making some grub at the house. It’s great especially when Gary wants to go hard on the mountain and I’m just up for a half day.
If you don’t mind the Apre Ski life, check out Ski in Ski out hotels where the hotel is either apart of the resort or by the resort, where you literally step out the lobby doors and there are the slopes in front of you. Usually rooms even come with a lift ticket, in that case find your hotel before checking out Liftopia for tickets.
Your Other Ride
Yes, there can be shuttles and buses in town but how are you getting there from the airport? That can be a challenge depending on whether or not Lift or Uber are cheap enough compared to buying a rental. When deciding car rentals we always consider a 4×4 suv or truck. You are heading up the mountain and in new territory and you want something that’s all terrain. You never want to think it’s going to be a smooth ride because you don’t know whether or not there will be a huge hit of snow or if your tiny car can make it up the mountain. Be safe and add extra car insurance as well.
If you aren’t comfortable with driving yourself, which I usually rely on Gary for that, either check if your hotel has a shuttle from the airport to the hotel or book a group shuttle in advance.
Transportation is pricey but something you shouldn’t take lite on. Always take the safe route.
Our first time seeing snow and snowboarding was our first trip together outside of Florida to North Carolina in a small resort called Cataloochee. After a class and attempting to stay on the board more than 10 seconds, was all it took for us to fall in love with the sport. We had no equipment whatsoever, but by every ski resort or in it is a ski rental facility. With lift tickets and equipment rental in this miniscule resort it ended up for each person $115, note that towards the west you’re looking at double. This place was awesome too, just because it had clothing rental as well.
Renting is especially great for kids 12 and under just because buying would be a waste of time with the amount of how quick they grow out of things. I do not have children, but thinking about our future and future family trips are always on my mind. Ovary overload at this moment but let’s enjoy newlywed status til’ that point.
The next year after boarding Gary and I invested in a board, bindings and boots, at the outlets at the Burton store during the summer. Everything was marked down even more and when you decide to buy I would recommend going for a bundle package that includes all of that gear besides clothing. My first board I ever had was an awesome Burton Rocker Board with a bear on it, cause I’m so cool…… haha. Rocker boards are great, just because if you’re like me who likes to switch up my feet every now and then, this is great for a beginner board. Now I’ve upgraded from our last trip from Utah and Gary bought me a Capita Camber board that has been so much of an improvement on stance and driving my toes in the snow. I think all that really matters here is that it has a Unicorn and Kitty riding it, what more do I have to say.
The More the Merrier
The last time we went to Whistler Canada, we also brought some friends and family. As amazing as the idea was, it was also a mess at the same time. Having friends along for any kind of trips can really determine how your vacation is going to go. My best friend Iris, has been with us for a number of snowboarding trips, and she’s always gung ho about planning trips together. She’s what I call my “ride or die partner.”
Before inviting friends, keep in mind whether or not they’re that person who complains a lot, how neat they are, if they’re on a budget, willing to share, and most importantly can they snowboard or ski? We always let people know that whenever you’re on the slopes for the first time, rent your equipment and take a lesson. It’s more enjoyable when you have someone who knows a thing or two, so that it’s easier for me to catch them on tiny mistakes they can improve. Gary is known to not be forgiving on the slopes he chooses for us to ride and you better keep up. Of course that’s also considering that these are “easy” slopes and that you’ve taken a class or two.
It’s well spent though when everyone combines for travel, lodging, and grocery expenses.
Our Whistler Airbnb was so cool, because it was two stories and also had a hot tub that everyone used.
Last but not Least
At least a week before the trip DRINK WATER, like, A LOT OF WATER! Last time I was in Powder Mountain, Utah, I had the worst Altitude Sickness. So bad, that when I woke up I was so nauseated that I kept puking all day, and was so scared I was pregnant. That didn’t stop me though from going up the mountain. At the end of the day I decided to at least go up one time and I got lucky by finding snow patrol to help me get some oxygen in me. Some people also drink Pedialyte and take mini oxygen tanks up the mountain. Since I come from Florida, flat land central, going up elevation was too much for me. Don’t get that fooled with me being a pansy, haha jk I really am.
Riding the Gnar definitely is a thrill and is worth heading up the mountain for. If anything the majestic view from on top is a high, literally. Please comment below for ski resorts you’ve enjoyed, I’d like to hear some new places that we haven’t yet discovered. Hope this blog of How to Plan the Perfect Snowboarding Trip was helpful. Stay safe on the slopes and hope to meet you out there one day.