Summer’s over, school has started, and before you know it the snow will be flying (at least let’s hope it does). September is a great time to turn your mind to winter vacation planning. Not only are there preseason deals to be found, you have lots of time to think about when and where you might want to ski with your family this winter. There’s no question that when you’re skiing with kids, a vacation rental is the way to go, giving you space for all your gear and a place to cook some of your meals. But not all ski vacation rentals are created equally. So what should you look for? The best ski rentals offer:
A great location. Getting out the door when you’re skiing with kids can be a monumental undertaking; between getting everyone dressed and making sure that no one is missing a pole or a ski boot it’s hard to move quickly. Staying close to the slopes will help you maximize your time on the mountain and means that a forgotten pair of mittens doesn't involve a long drive to retrieve them. If you've got younger kids, a mountainside stay is also a good idea because you can easily return to your home base for naps
A cozy spot to hang out. Choose a vacation rental that has some communal space where everyone can stretch out spend time together at the end of the day. My family’s favorite ski rentals have always had a gas fireplace and comfy sofas. We always pack a game or two and enjoy our family time after a long day outdoors. I've often chosen ski rentals with more communal space than bedrooms – my kids can easily share a bedroom and sometimes they even sleep on a pullout couch in the living room if a one-bedroom rental is what fits with my budget.
Equipment storage. You don’t want your skis, poles, and boards dripping all over or cluttering the entryway. Condos with dedicated lockers keep your equipment organized and out of the way.
A washing machine and dryer. I’m always amazed at how easily my kids seem to find mud, even in the dead of winter. Often their ski pants are filthy by the end of the day. And a dryer is key for taking care of damp long underwear, hats, mittens, and ski jackets. I prefer ski vacation rentals that have these appliances right in the condo so that I don’t have to leave to visit a separate laundry room – it’s more convenient and lets me have more time to hang out with my kids in the evening.
Amenities kids love. When we take a ski trip, we generally spend most of our time either on the mountain, eating, or asleep. But sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate and we need something other than the great outdoors to entertain us. Ski vacation rentals with access to indoor pools, fitness centers with climbing walls, and game rooms help make rainy or excessively cold days fun. Once you've chosen a vacation rental, get tips on how to feed your family while you’re there