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Money & Time Saving Tips For Parents With Small Children Who Ski - Page 2

post #31 of 46

Here's another one we use, I saw another guy doing this and loved the idea:

 

We have a big plastic bin we put all our gloves, goggles, helmets, etc into.

 

When it's time to go skiing I simply grab the bin and toss it into the back of the SUV.  We've got extra googles, gloves, neck warmers, etc inside.  If someone gets wet we can quickly (at our small hill) get new stuff and keep skiing.

 

When we're done skiing I rearrange everything and dry it out so it's ready for next time.   This makes night skiing way easier as when you get home from work you don't have to take a bunch of time to find the kids stuff.  It's all ready to go. 

post #32 of 46

It's been 4 seasons for my family skiing thus far.  I have a 9, 8, 7 & 4 year old.  95% of our trips are with me solo parent with 3 kids.  The other 5% either adds the 4yr old and/or wife.  Believe it or not, it's easier for all of us when my wife stays home.  Not that she's not a great help, it's that it changes the system that they are used to.

 

- kids carry their own equipment from day 1.  Yes, even the 3-4yr old.  I created straps that loop around the tips & tails of their skis (& poles if they use them) that enables them to walk easily with both hands free.  Sure if the young ones get tired or need help, I'll help, but they learn that their equipment is their responsibility.

 

- I purchased 4 of the inexpensive drawstring back packs.  Their helmets, goggles, gloves, neck gaiters, etc all go into this bag.  For the older ones they've learned to double check the bag before it goes into the car & I do a check with the young ones so they learn.  This makes it easy for a quick check before we pull out of the driveway.

Boots?

Skis?

Poles?

Coat?

Pants?

Bag?

I request that they can touch each item before saying yes.  May seem trivial, but we did have one occasion 2yrs ago when my 8yr old at the time said yes, he had his coat only to find out when we got to the mountain that it was at home.  Good news was it was near the end of the season & I picked up a great coat on sale for him (& handed down to his 2 brothers).  Lesson was learned & nothing has ever been forgotten again.  At the end of the day, they take off their helmet, goggles, mittens, etc & they go back in their bags.

 

- Keeping sight of all of them.  With 3 kid racing down the mountain at different speed they can quickly spread out across 400+ yards.  Rule is that we stop at the top to be sure we all know what lift we're going to next.  If anyone is lost where is the meeting place.  For us it's mid-mountain at a specific spot.  Under no circumstances do you go back up a lift alone 'looking' for the rest of the group.  They are also introduced to the Mountain Ambassadors and recognize ski patrol jackets, ski patrol shacks, etc.  Rule #1 is safety first, then fun.

 

- Keep checking in with them on how they're doing mentally & physically.  How are you doing?  Are you having fun?  Where do you want to go next?  How are the legs?  What was your best crash so far? What are you working on getting better at? etc.

 

- Avoiding crowds - nothing new here.  We're typically one of the first cars to the hill.  We get premium parking.  You'd be surprised what 30-60min earlier start means for parking.  That usually translates to >2hrs of better skiing as if people can't get to the hill early, they also take longer to actually get on the slopes.  We take lunch ~11:00 +/- 30 min depending on desires, conditions, crowds.  Back on the hill after 30min.  Typically call it a day at ~3pm again depending on conditions, desire, crowds.

 

- I carry a back pack up to midmountain & put it in a locker.  $8/day for large locker is cheap as it's our only expense on the mountain other than gas.  I pack it with lunch, snacks, gallon zip bag with small pieces of candy for rewards...don't tell Mom.  Hot chocolate, hand warmers, ski passes, tools, wax, extra mittens, hat, etc all in one bag.

 

- The one thing that tends to get overlooked is the off the mountain activities that go with skiing.  The prep & organization before leaving, the post trip putting things back in their spots for next time, replenishing supplies, etc.  Making it all a repeatable exercise enables it to be stress free and run on autopilot.  This enables us to focus on the fun & adventure vs. the logistics.

 

- in out case we buy the equipment & pass is down so get plenty of $ value before selling.  Haven't crossed the bridge yet in selling some of the equipment, will have to think about what I'd want to keep for them when they're adults.  Lots of threads on Epic regarding buying/skiing old school favorites.  How much would you pay to have your first pair of skis and/or boots around today?  For $25 I may just want to keep some of the stuff around.

 

I have lots of good ideas and have made hundreds of mistakes.  PM me if you want specifics.

 

Forgot to add - purchase a copy of Little Rippers.  TC sent me a copy to review & my kids loved it.  Anything to get them excited about skiing makes your job easier.  PS - the pancake recipe in the back of the book is pretty good as well.


Edited by rskornak - 8/22/14 at 3:44pm
post #33 of 46

Don't forget to find at least one "play by play" moment in runs you take separately from your spouse.  We used to split off to take turns skiing some more advanced terrain.  The best thing was when I met back up with my husband and I would do the "play by play" brag of some "big" run we took.  I would start and then turn to my son and say, "you tell daddy."  He loved it!  I may not have recognized what run he was talking about, but it was his "conquering" moment.

 

It doesn't save time or money but it does keep the "little guy" stoke alive and well!

post #34 of 46

Couple more I just remembered:

 

Bring a few beach towels along.   We put one of the ground in the back of our SUV to stand on when changing your boots and another across the bumper of our car so you don't get your ski pants or jacket dirty when sitting down back there to rest or change.

 

The one thing I hate is having to go into the lodge to boot up, but on a cold day there is really no way around it.   My wife will almost never want to boot up at the car, as she gets cold easily.  It has to be above ~35 for her to do it.   My kids don't really care and hate carrying all their stuff into the lodge to boot up, and then carry our shoes back to the car before we ski.   We usually car park pretty close to the lodge so it's not a huge deal...  What do you guys do with your kids on this?   I used to have them wear their boots to the hill (30 minute drive) but they hate that as well as it leaves little room for their feet in our car.

post #35 of 46

Yep.  We do the same thing except its on old Lange double boot bag instead of a bin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by focker View Post
 

Couple more I just remembered:

 

Bring a few beach towels along.   We put one of the ground in the back of our SUV to stand on when changing your boots and another across the bumper of our car so you don't get your ski pants or jacket dirty when sitting down back there to rest or change.

 

The one thing I hate is having to go into the lodge to boot up, but on a cold day there is really no way around it.   My wife will almost never want to boot up at the car, as she gets cold easily.  It has to be above ~35 for her to do it.   My kids don't really care and hate carrying all their stuff into the lodge to boot up, and then carry our shoes back to the car before we ski.   We usually car park pretty close to the lodge so it's not a huge deal...  What do you guys do with your kids on this?   I used to have them wear their boots to the hill (30 minute drive) but they hate that as well as it leaves little room for their feet in our car.

 

Depends where we're skiing.  Where we usually ski, they boot up and then get in the car.  It's only a 10 min drive to ski.  Otherwise, everyone boots up in the lodge and all shoes & boots go into a rental locker or back to the car depending how close we are parked.  I usually have to run back to the car anyways to get our lunches midday.

post #36 of 46

Having kids complaining of cold hands or feet means that they don't get as much from the ski day because they end up spending more time in the lodge.  Keeping the core and head warm is important.  Requires investing in appropriate stuff but pays off in the end.  For lots of suggestions, check out this thread started by a parent in the northeast:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/129736/help-w-children-w-cold-hands-and-feet

post #37 of 46

BUMP as the 2015-16 season in the northern hemisphere approaches.

 

Copied from a recent Family Skiing thread:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 

 

Easiest Way to Pack When Driving to a Destination (for families)

 

Huge 42 gallon totes, the kind sold at the Container Store, hold a lot of gear, often times enough for an entire family. The advantage? You can pack almost everything in one place.

  1. Throw everything into a 42 gallon+ heavy duty rolling tote.
  2. Place this huge tote in back of your truck, van or SUV.
  3. Place all the ski boots, helmets, etc. into individual boot bags (each of my kids has a TransPack) and throw them into your vehicle.
  4. That is about it.

Note: Unpack once you arrive at your house/condo/hotel. Then use the tolling tote for hauling all boots, helmets, etc. for your family each time you ski. At the end of the day (assuming the kids don’t have their own boot bags), throw it all back in and start over again. This works great with lots of little kids since nothing thrown into the rolling tub gets lost.

 

 

Rolling Duffle Bag Packing (for anyone)

  1. Each member of the family gets their own duffle bag. The older kids can pack their own.
  2. Each member of the family packs their own boots, helmets, googles, etc. in their own boot bag.
  3. Use Space Bags or roll up clothing (military-style) to cram clothing into the duffle bags.
  4. Check the duffle bags and carry the rest on the plane, or pack them neatly into your vehicle.
  5. Use a “roll-a-board” for electronics and cameras.

 

post #38 of 46

I didn't read the whole thread so excuse me if this has been stated before but I saved a ton of $ and time by purchasing my kids equipment on ebay over the summer last year. I think I spent about $150 for 2 pairs of skis and boots for my 7 and 3 year old. They used them for 8 days last year and can easily use them again this year. While everyone else is waiting in long lines for rentals we can just cruise right to the lifts. Made sense to me since any child of mine WILL be a skier for life!!!!

post #39 of 46

When planning a family trip with younger kids, consider whether or not potential destinations have deals for lift tickets.  For example, Aspen is doing something new for 2015-16.  Under certain conditions, kids who rent skis can get a free lift ticket and a discount on a lesson.  There are many places where kids under 5 or 6 ski for free.  Offers can change, so best to check in the fall.  Or call if planning really early (before Sept).

 

post #40 of 46
Don't sign them up for a race program:eek
post #41 of 46

Brave Ski Mom did a nice summary of the basics for parents just getting started taking little ones (<6) to ski on a regular basis.  Most of the tips apply even if only going for a few days the first season.  At the end, she has links to the various Passports available for 4th, 5th, or 6th graders in a few states to save on lift tickets.  Most of those programs are available to out-of-state residents as well.

 

http://braveskimom.com/ski-mom-secrets-for-new-ski-moms-and-dads

post #42 of 46

For those families with younger kids who have a season pass, the Goggle Pocket is one way to have the pass visible higher up than on an arm or on a lanyard around the neck.  It goes on the goggle strap.  I have the older version where the pass goes in plastic, which works fine for places that do not scan.  The current version has side clips so scanning a bar code works better.

 

http://www.gogglepocket.com

post #43 of 46

We keep a tote box with ski gear AND another with the standards for food.  For one thing, the spices you need to cook.  If you have to go buy yet another salt and pepper shaker, yet another tin of cinnamon, etc etc etc, each trip the $$ add up.  The food tote has all the sweeteners, spices, oatmeal, pancake mix, peanut butter, jelly/jam, drink mixes, decks of cards, and so on.  It doesn't save you much for any single trip but over time it adds up and is quite convenient.   Make and haul your lunches with you - turn getting the lunches made into a family activity/assembly line in the mornings.

 

Also, consider renting a smaller, less expensive place and haul a decent air mattress with you for one or more of the brats.  

 

Of course those suggestions only apply for driving trips.  

post #44 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead View Post
 

We keep a tote box with ski gear AND another with the standards for food.  For one thing, the spices you need to cook.  If you have to go buy yet another salt and pepper shaker, yet another tin of cinnamon, etc etc etc, each trip the $$ add up.  The food tote has all the sweeteners, spices, oatmeal, pancake mix, peanut butter, jelly/jam, drink mixes, decks of cards, and so on.  It doesn't save you much for any single trip but over time it adds up and is quite convenient.   Make and haul your lunches with you - turn getting the lunches made into a family activity/assembly line in the mornings.

 

Also, consider renting a smaller, less expensive place and haul a decent air mattress with you for one or more of the brats.  

 

Of course those suggestions only apply for driving trips.  


While you can obviously take more food related items on driving trips, for a ski trip with family that starts with a flight, still worth thinking about a few food items to pack.  I'm sure parents who have kids with allergies normally bring along certain snacks and foods so that they know their kid has something they like as soon as the plane lands.  Small items that are normally only found in larger amounts in the supermarket can be worth bringing.  For instance, if folks like raisins in their cereal, a small zip lock bag of raisins can be useful.

post #45 of 46
Become a part time ski instructor at your local hill / Mt and join PSIA

You get season passes for your family and discounts on all kinds off gear and lift tix elsewhere. When your kids become teenagers get them a job threre too as it beats flipping burgers.
post #46 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by aussieskimum View Post

 

If you have lots of kids, I had 3 littlies,  buy one hot chocolate and 2 spare cups and add the cold milk from the tea /coffee area, you know someone is going to spill the whole thing and they can't drink it steaming hot anyway. Or buy hotwater at 25c and add your own swiss mix.

 

I can't thank you for this tip enough! I did this yesterday with my kids at Keystone. Cups of hot water were only $0.50 each. I would also add the suggestion to bring caffeinated tea and pain medicaiton for littles who don't drink soda to help combat altitude headaches.

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