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Learn2 Plan a Ski or Snowboard Vacation
(6 steps)

Shredding in a winter wonderland

Snow sports have never been more popular--ski resorts in the U.S. alone log more than 50 million visitors a year. No wonder: Skiing and snowboarding can be addictive from the first time you try them. Beginners tend to master the basics fast, and from then on, it's sheer exhilaration.

In fact, the most daunting part of a ski trip can be planning it--especially if it's your first time. Experienced skiers may know just what they want and how to get it, but the options can prove downright confusing for the beginning or casual skier.

We'll introduce you to the basics of a skiing or snowboarding trip--from choosing resorts and gear to booking travel and lodging--and provide guidelines for fitting them together for maximum fun and minimum fuss.

Before you begin

Both skiing and snowboarding are strenuous physical activities. Cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility--especially in the legs--are crucial to playing it safe. A good ski fitness program includes hiking, running, or mountain biking, with a weight training program concentrating on strength in the abdominal and lower and upper back muscles, and both strength and flexibility in the quadriceps, hip flexors, and shoulders.

Even if you're already active and fit, train for about four to six weeks before you hit the slopes. If you're generally sedentary, experts recommend about three months of cardiovascular and weight training before your first trip of the season. Ski and snowboard magazines and books can provide further training ideas. Your gym or trainer may also have a ski fitness program already in place.
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Step 1: Decide when to go
Step 2: Pick a resort
Step 3: Find and reserve accommodations
Step 4: Get your gear
Step 5: Get there
Step 6: Consider a package (optional)

  • A phone
  • The yellow pages
  • A calendar
  • Pen and paper

  • A computer with Internet access
  • Ski books and magazines
  • A travel agent or tour operator


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