Before we get into the 10 easy steps, let me begin by saying thank you. Thank you for bringing your children on a ski vacation to Vail, Colorado. It is a daunting task with many details to be organized; gloves, goggles, and assorted cold weather clothes to be packed; and how about just getting the kids through airport security. That said the suggestions below will make things a little easier, and hopefully a little less stressful.
- Remember, the big idea is that your kids are safe and have fun. We want them to enjoy the whole experience.
- Register on-line before you even get on the plane.
- Pick up all of the assorted tickets and name tags the day before your kids are meant to go to ski school. Do this around mid-day when they are no lines (Husbands, you should take your kids to lunch when you do this. That way your wife can relax for a while).
- Gloves, hats, neck gaiters and all that stuff is easily lost, so label everything with names. That will make it easier to find things when they get lost.
- Don’t get too hung up on the level. Those numbers are mostly so that instructors can organize kids into classes that fit the best, based on skill level and motivation. For example your daughter might have the skills to fit with a level six class, but may not want to ski as fast as the level sixes are. So she may be happier in a level 5 class.
- Have realistic expectations for your child. If they only ski or snowboard a few days a year, don’t expect the same performance and improvement that they experience in other sports that they practice several days a week while not on vacation. Don’t worry they will get better. See suggestion number 1.
- When you ski with your kids, please keep them on terrain recommended by the instructor. Dads, the guilt lies mostly with you on this one. I have often seen dads dragging kids and wives, down runs that are really scary for them. Not only will you end up with very scared and upset family members, but someone might just get hurt. They will also develop and/or reinforce bad habits, which will make it harder for your children to improve as skiers or snowboarders.
- Make sure your children have all lift/lesson tickets and nametags on before they show up to ski school.
- Show up on-time. Ultimate Four classes launch at 9:15 and regular classes launch at 9:30 so show up with enough time to get your children with an instructor.
- If junior or your little princess is having some separation anxiety and maybe crying a little, just go. We are experts at handling this. Also, do not hover around the class. The second your child sees you, the great dynamic that is happening with the class and the instructor will be blown. Besides, you should probably go skiing, or go get a massage, or just sit in the lodge and enjoy a hot cocoa. Let us take care of junior and the princess while you treat yourself a little bit.
So there you have it. If you follow these simple suggestions, hopefully everything is easier.
Guest blog by Vail Ski and Snowboard School Instructor, Jesse Drees