Not all shred trips are created equal. Some destinations offer incredible snow and terrain, but lack in nightlife and other amenities. Others rock out like NYC on New Year’s Eve, but leave something to be desired on the slope side of things. And that’s okay, it’s just a matter of prioritizing what’s most important to you. Price? Snow quality? Park scene and features? Aprés and Nightlife? Spa Treatments? Here’s a guide for lining up your next mission.
• There’s nothing like exploring a new place by sliding on snow. You meet new people, have new experiences, all while quite literally dropping into the unknown run after run. It’s flat-out awesome.
Obviously you need to pick a date for your trip, and unless you are bound to holiday and spring break trips because of school, consider these other factors for when to go.
• If you don’t dig crowds, and are flexible, then pick a time of year when most people are working. Mid January, much of February, early and late March into April tends to be pretty mellow.
• If powder is your priority, research and see what month your destination of choice receives the most snow. It’s still a gamble, but an educated one at least.
• See if there are any events happening that might add value to your stay (concerts, races, competitions, parties etc). Most resorts websites have event calendars to help with this.
• You likely have a wish list of destinations already. Evaluate them against your list of priorities and create a short list.
• If budget is a concern, then weigh your options in terms of value. Where will you get the most bang for your buck? What’s affordable? Airline hubs play into this conversation too. It doesn’t matter if the lodging is cheap when flights are through the roof. Do some math to find a happy medium there.
• Book accommodations directly through the resort, via online booking sites, through a travel agency, and even by checking the classifieds in local newspapers.
• Try and bundle lift tickets and accommodations together, as many resorts offer package deals to entice potential guests. Better yet, some offer the Trifecta—Airfare, accommodations and lift tickets for a discounted, bundled price. Remember, these resorts are competing for your dollars, so be sure to sniff out some deals rather than booking blind.
Many resorts offer packages for the whole family that even include lessons! Photo courtesy of Park City Mountain Resort
There are so many destinations out there, you can really pick and choose to suit your every desire. Some destinations have it all—or close to it. Whistler-Blackcomb, for example. California’s Tahoe region hosts a number of world-class resorts, from Squaw to Heavenly. Colorado pairs some of the best freestyle and freeride terrain on the planet, spanning Breckenridge to Crested Butte. And don’t forget Utah, where powders days are the norm rather than the exception. This list goes on and on, chances are wherever you go it’ll be an experience to remember.