By Allison Entrekin, USA Today — It’s no secret that family ski trips take a lot of work. There are lift tickets to purchase and poles to carry, chair lifts to navigate and trail maps to argue over. And if you’ve ever tried to help a bundled-up child rush to the bathroom, you know skiing with kids has its challenges. So why do families do it?
“Bonding. It’s as simple as that,” says Lois Friedland, co-author of Frommer’s 500 Adrenaline Adventures and a grandparent of 6-year-old twins. “It’s a type of togetherness you don’t find on other trips.”
That’s because on a ski vacation, you’re not merely seeing something exciting; you’re actually doing something exciting together. And few activities are as accessible to people of all ages and abilities as skiing and snowboarding. “It’s a true multigenerational experience with options for everyone,” says Kristen Lummis, author of adventure blog braveskimom.com and a mother of two.
Whether you’re on a budget or ready to splurge, traveling with intrepid skiers or bringing a crew of adrenaline seekers, there’s a ski resort for you. And if goggles and gondolas just aren’t your thing, these destinations also offer plenty of activities off the slopes.
Fun for Frugal Families
If you really want to pinch some serious pennies on your family ski trip, consider skipping the resort towns altogether. Lummis says Salt Lake City, Utah, is a great option. “If you’re really concerned with saving money, that’s where I recommend going,” Lummis says. You’ll find some 16,000 hotel rooms, a quarter of them budget, and four ski areas — Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude — within a 40-minute drive. (Bonus: At Brighton, kids 10 and under ski free with a paying adult.) Plus, many city attractions such as the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art offer free admission.