Hey, hey Tuesday!
I’m about to share a whole lot of skiing with your family content for you 🙂 .
You asked, I’m answering!
From packing to buying vs renting, if we use a car, where we stayed, details about ski school…it’s all below!
You guys had SO MANY questions last week which I LOVED because that makes it easy for me sift through and really deliver the information and content that means something to YOU. So, thank you BIG TIME for sending them in!
Okay, a few little housekeeping things before we begin:
1: Our family has many trips planned for 2022 and you guys have a lot of great ideas for travel related content this year. I’m taking notes and *hopefully* going to do a better job of delivering all of that to you. Andrew and I have an international trip scheduled this winter and as long as all things go well, we’re excited to go. Erika and I will do at least one (if not more!) podcast episodes where we break down the ins and outs of our travel agency along with some new blog posts in the future on the subject (based on your questions), but in the meantime, if you’re scheduled to go somewhere and not currently using us, make sure you check out THIS WEBSITE for great information about testing. Spoiler alert: if you use our travel agency, we help you with the testing and also help you stay up to the minute on the details regarding your destination(s). This is now a part of the services we offer, but I did want to at least share that site with you as it’s SO HELPFUL!
2: If you missed my vacation recap posts from last week about our recent trip to Park City, go ahead and make sure you catch PART ONE and PART TWO before you read today’s post!
3: In the past, I’ve already posted about WHAT TO PACK WHEN YOU’RE SKIING and SKIING WITH YOUR FAMILY Q&A, so catch those too as I’m going to try really hard not to repeat that info below (and many of you had questions specifically answered in those posts!!).
4: You are all so sweet to contact Mix and Match Travel Agency this week about helping book your family’s next ski vacation, but unfortunately, other than Walt Disney World, Hawaii and Alaska, we only offer our services to cruises and international destinations. If you are interested in one of those vacations right now, please let us know though!! We’d love to help!
5: Finally, per another request, here are the links to other ski vacation posts from years past so you can revisit them if you’d like. I just now realized that I never blogged our trip to Park City from last year, so that’s why it’s not listed here. Sigh.
PARK CITY 2022
PARK CITY 2019
ASPEN & BRECKENRIDGE 2018
PARK CITY 2017
Alrighty, on to your questions! I went through them all and tried to pull out the most frequently asked both here in blog comments, via my direct messages, emails and from that little question box on Stories. Don’t forget, if you don’t see your question, there’s a really good chance I already answered it HERE!
WHY DO YOU ALWAYS GO TO PARK CITY? IS IT YOUR FAVORITE?
We don’t always go to Park City (see list above), but we have gone there more than others and will continue to go there because for us, it’s easy. The flight from Dallas to Salt Lake City isn’t very long (like 2.5 hours) and then the drive from Salt Lake to Park City is only about 40 minutes. Andrew and Smith go to a variety of places each year (like Beaver Creek, Winter Park, Vail, Jackson Hole, Tahoe, Whistler, etc), and they love a variety, but Park City is a good spot for our family. That being said, we really did love Telluride and Aspen too. Aspen and Vail are actually great places for us because you can fly there non-stop from Dallas as well. There are a lot of places we’d like to visit, but since we know Park City well, it’s one we’ll probably keep repeating. They have a big mountain (lots of runs), great ski school, awesome restaurants, lots of shopping, and it’s relatively easy for us to get there.
I mean, I think I do. The problem is that I’m so nervous/tense/uptight/unsure that I don’t really ever relax. I do think it’s fun by the end of the day/run and pretty much don’t hate it…but I also don’t ever see me being as good as the rest of my family, so that’s discouraging. They’re all more fearless and adventurous than me, so that’s hard. I don’t love it. I do love my family though and try really hard to be a good sport about it.
DO YOU RENT A CAR WHEN YOU’RE THERE?
It depends! This year, we didn’t rent a car, but next year, I think we will. We have rented cars every year except for two (this year and one other). The pros to renting a car is that you have a car and you can be more flexible with where you go and when. The cons for us (and the reason we didn’t rent one the last two years) was that we never really used it in Park City or Telluride. We were able to walk almost everywhere, so it just sat there not being used (yet we were still paying for it) most days. I think we have decided that we will rent one next year, but honestly, I don’t know?
We don’t, but I totally see why others do. For us, we don’t want the actual skiing and snowboarding to be the entire vacation. We love doing this as a part of our vacation, but that’s not how we want to spend our entire vacation that we look forward to/save for/get a few times a year, so we make sure to incorporate other things into the trip like going out to eat at night at fun restaurants. If I just skied all day and then went back to cook and clean up dinner, I wouldn’t really be able to justify that as a “vacation” and we probably would pick another type of trip.
IF YOU DON’T RENT A CAR, HOW DO YOU GET FROM THE AIRPORT TO YOUR HOTEL?
We use a car service! There is this one car service I love and use worldwide often with my business, so we use them. They arrive with a vehicle large enough for our family and things, any car seats we might need (in years past) and can take us right to our condo. Easy!
We own almost all of our equipment because it makes sense for our family. We have the space to store it, we use it multiple times a year and we can pass down almost all of it. When we added on to our house last year, we even added on an entire area just for snowboard/ski storage (I can post pics of that at some point too!). Andrew and Smith board several times a year, so it’s a great investment for them. I can now pass down many things to Kensington who will pass them down to Ashby who will pass them down to Mades, so we do have some skis, boots, we all have our own helmets and goggles and loads of under layers. Now, traveling with this stuff means we show up to the airport looking like…
…but since we use it so much, it makes it way easier than having to rent it each time. If your family isn’t committed to skiing/boarding frequently, I would for sure rent as much as you can! We always rent our little girls’ skis and my skis. Kensington has her own skis (that soon, Ashby will be able to use). These ski/board items make great Christmas gifts for our kids too. They get excited to receive them and can immediately use them on our post-Christmas trip!
WHY DON’T YOU STAY IN DEER VALLEY?
They don’t allow snowboarders on the Deer Valley mountain.
Yes! So far, we’ve only ever rented places that include a washer and dryer! We do laundry constantly while we’re there. This year, for instance, everyone only packed one pair of pjs, one set of layers to wear underneath their ski clothes and very few undies and socks. We washed and dried that many times as to cut down on what we needed to pack.
HOW DO YOU GET AROUND WITHOUT A CAR?
We walk everywhere! Sometimes, but not often, we’ll Uber or Lyft, but Park City is very walkable. We walked to and from every single restaurant and they have a town lift, so if you’re an advanced enough skier and have your gear with you (not on the mountain), you can take the lift to the top of the mountain from town and ski down a “green”. Coming back, you can either ski the “blue” back to town or ride the town lift down.
In our opinion, it’s best to contact them a few months before you go and book it online. You need to look up the mountain you’ll be visiting and go from there. It makes things much easier (and guarantees availability) if you book it in advance. This goes for private lessons and group lessons too! Do it before you leave!
HOW WERE COVID RESTRICTIONS HANDLED?
Really well! The expectations were set and delivered up front when you purchased your lift passes or ski school stuff. There was adequate signage explaining protocols too. Park City is a part of Epic, and it’s my understanding that all Epic ski spots are being handled the same way regarding COVID restrictions, limitations and requirements.
We have done other things in the past, and this year, we left Park City with a list of things to try next year, but we’ve done a horse drawn sleigh ride, ice skating, and tubing to name a few. Every time we go, we learn something new and try to incorporate it in a future trip. There are many many towns around Park City that offer a host of activities.
CAN YOU TELL US EXACTLY WHERE YOU STAYED?
If it were a hotel, I totally would, but since it’s a condo that we love and plan on visiting time and time again (without the added safety and security of a hotel), I’m not going to share which one exactly. I will tell you that it’s on Main Street which is why we love it…the location is great!
YES!! You can take group or private lessons at any age or skill level. This year, Andrew and Smith took a private lesson to get better at moguls and more advanced things, but for sure you can take a beginner class. Most places offer both half day and full day choices. If you haven’t skied, you should TOTALLY take a class, but even if you have skied, it’s great to take classes to improve your skill.
HOW DID THE CROWDS SEEM THIS YEAR COMPARED TO OTHER YEARS?
I mean, to me, it felt “normal”. I never thought it felt too crowded, yet it didn’t feel “light” either. We always go during a busy time (after Christmas and before New Year’s), but it felt normal-ish.
Ohhhhhh! I love me a hotel. I much prefer to always stay in a hotel, but so far, our experience skiing as a family has been primarily condo/townhome situations as the location has been better, and it’s offered things like washer and dryers for laundry and more room for all of that ski equipment. We have stayed at a hotel in Park City (back in 2017) and loved it, but for the whole family, and all of our gear, for a week…we haven’t found one we love more than the condo we rent. When Andrew and Smith go boarding, they always go to towns and stay on the mountain at ski in/ski out places, but they’re there only a few days and it’s just the two of them.
WHY DON’T YOU SKI EVERY DAY?
That doesn’t sound like a vacation to me. At the end of the day, I’m taking off work and paying money to go on a vacation, so even though I do ski some, I don’t ski the whole time because that’s my not ideal way to spend any vacation. Our family has struck a balance that seems to work for us…a little ski and a little non-ski.
WHERE DO YOU BUY YOUR SKI STUFF?
We are so blessed to live in McKinney because they have a famous ski store right on the square!! Doug and Lynda’s Ski Shop has been around forever, and it’s epic. People come from other states to shop there. We’re spoiled because it’s only minutes from our house, but this is where we buy all of our gear.
We book early! I don’t think there is a wrong time, but if you know six months in advance, book it! If you know 9 months in advance, I would book it. I think earlier is most often better.
HOW LONG BEFORE YOUR KIDS DIDN’T NEED SKI SCHOOL?
Hmmmm…I think it varies. Ashby might not do ski school next year. She loves ski school and wants to do it, and there is technically still room for her to grow (she didn’t finish this year in the highest class), but at the same time, she says she’s torn because she also likes to get out there with her family. Madeley will for sure do another year (I think that will be her fourth year?). Ski school is great because there are different classes for different ages and different levels. I think there is nothing wrong with your kiddo doing it one year…and there’s also nothing wrong with your kiddo doing it six years. I think it all depends on your child!
My kids do full day ski school lessons and LOVE IT! Ski school for young kids is way more than just skiing…they get to eat lunch, have hot cocoa and Gatorade breaks, build snowmen, have snowball fights…my girls love it so much!
HOW YOUNG WERE YOUR KIDS WHEN THEY STARTED SKIING/BOARDING?
I think Smith was about 7 and Kensington was 8. Ashby was 6 and Madeley was 5 (something like that). They were all old enough to be potty-trained, super verbal and a firm understanding of what they were about to do. We’ve had zero complaints over the years! My kids love it!
WOULD A VACATION LIKE THIS BE FUN WITHOUT THE SKIING?
Um, in my opinion, more fun! Ha! Yes! If you love cold weather and cozy towns, you could absolutely make this a vacation without actually skiing!
Don’t forget, if you don’t see your question, there’s a really good chance I already answered it HERE!
I hope this helps and encourages many of you to take your families skiing too!
In the meantime, I’m going to research beach vacations 😉 .
Have a great day, friends! I’ll see you back here tomorrow for…
Ahhh my daughter’s first ski lessons are this Friday and I can’t wait! This post has me even more excited. I love that you do ski trips with your family– our family did them growing up and they are some of my favorite memories!
All these Q and A were so helpful! Thanks for sharing!
Erika Slaughter says
Right behind Day in the Life posts would be Q and A’s for me. It really doesn’t matter the topic, I love diving in a little deeper. Cause skiing? Not my favorite thing but I loved this Q and A!
Carlin Smith says
My daughter has tried and tried skiing and is like you, she hates it! ?. She bought herself a shirt that says Ski School Dropout. I think it’s so much easier to learn when you are young and I regret not taking her sooner!
Where is Erika? I miss her blog! ♥️
Mix and Match Mama says
I think she is blogging again starting tomorrow!! She took an extended holiday break 🙂 !
Thank you for posting the Sherpa website, very helpful. And the mittens with the hand warmers. I live in NH and ski and this is my first time seeing these – brilliant is right. Great post!
It’s fun seeing Park City in the winter as we just took a trip there in August with our 4 and 6 year olds and had a blast for those of you interested in the walkable, picturesque town and awesome restaurants, etc. They have a ton of fun activities on the mountain that my kids loved! When they’re bigger we will go back for skiing!
I am a 35 year Park City local. When talking about renting a car I (and I know all locals) wish you would talk about how Park City provides a free bus system. So if you do not have a car and do not want to walk you can hop on a bus that runs multiple routes every 20 minutes all over town. Park city is a small town and if you do not know where your re going why try to drive? There are far too many cars on the road during the winter and the busses are a great perk for locals and tourists. Plus, it’s a great way to meet a local or other tourists. I’ve met lots of people from all over the world while riding on the city busses.
100% agree. Many ski towns have amazing public transportation so you don’t have to rent a car or drive in weather you are not accustomed to.
Laundry every day does not sound like vacation. We all have 4 pairs of base layers and wash once on our 7-10 day trips.
WhittyWife (Lindsay) says
I totally agree with you and think it’s great that your family has found a balance between skiing and other vaca activities. 24/7 skiing wouldn’t be a vacation for me either, and it sounds like your two pros go on other trips that are 100% ski-focused. Great plan for a fun family getaway!! ?
Lindsey Pannell says
Where you stay on main street, do you have to walk to ski or is it a ski in/ski out?
Mix and Match Mama says
You have to walk, take a car, the bus or the town lift!
The bus system in park city is awesome. We have used it for many years too, with four kids. Multiple routes, an app to determine if it’s on time, many stops, runs all day to multiple locations, and it’s free. Best way to get around park city during peak seasons. We get a driver from the airport than use the bus system to get around.
As well, schedule restaurant reservations months in advice.
Travel question (maybe for a future post). When international, do you walk around with your passports or keep them in the safe at your hotel/condo?
Mix and Match Mama says
It depends on what I’m doing that day (some days, you need it on you for specific things). If I don’t have it on me, I have copies on me (or vice versa). I always travel with copies. I also have pics of my passport saved on my phone too.
Sheaffer Sims says
So much great info! Yes, let’s go to a mountain town and not ski!!! I’m your girl!
Alison L Liudahl says
You mentioned Whistler- would you tell me where I can find out more about that ski location on your blog? Do you have a post about it some place? TIA!
Mix and Match Mama says
I didn’t go with them to Whistler, so I didn’t blog about it. I’m sorry!
THANK YOU for posting about the Sherpa website!! My husband and I leave for England and Ireland next week and it has been SO stressful trying to keep up with the rapidly changing restrictions and requirements. I’ve been so afraid that we’ll get there and not have done something/brought something that was needed. This really helps!
Mix and Match Mama says
They keep that site up to date too! They’re constantly updating it with the newest information. Have the BEST trip!!!!
Wardrobe question: What shoes do you wear when walking around town? Are they they same ones you were out to dinner at night?
Some nights it looks like you dress up a bit and curious to see what shoes go with that.
Upcoming Park City trip so trying to get all the info 🙂
Mix and Match Mama says
I wore my Sorels every.single.day! I brought two pairs and then also my Cole Haan boots and rotated them with everything.
Not sure if you take a private lesson or not Shay, but having a private lesson with the same instructor for a few days might help you with some of your nervousness. Sometimes the right instructor can help things click.
Park City IS really awesome. It’s such a great town. Olympic Park is a great non-ski spot to visit. The Park City museum on main street is also fun for kids and interesting for adults. So many wonderful restaurants. Ski school is an absolute must for little kids. They learn SO much in a short period of time and adults get some time to ski what they want to ski!