SkiTops, the professional organization of the nation's top ski tour
operators, offers helpful hints.
Air TravelDelays can occur due to weather. Remember, weather-related
delays often mean connecting flights are delayed as well.SkiTops travel arrangers and the airlines make every attempt to
fulfill seating requests but this is not always possible. Specific
seat availabilities or assignments may be shifted at the last
minute. Put your seating request in early.Give your planner frequent flyer numbers in advance, or provide
them to the ticket agent upon airport check-in. It is more
difficult to obtain credit after the trip.
Rental CarsMany skiers like to rent vehicles with front-wheel or
four-wheel drive options. Ask your planner to request snow tires on
rental vehicles.If your clients are not used to driving in snow, ask an
automobile association or driving school for key tips on handling
vehicles in the snow.
Bus or Van TravelIf your clients are traveling from the airport via bus with a
large group, to help assure delivery of bags to the lodge, tell
clients to use the bag ID tags provided and to make sure their
luggage has gotten to the bus before they board.A rental car at the resort may not be necessary if there are
resort-wide shuttles. Ask your tour operator about van or limo
services and have them book space in advance.Group leaders generally tip the bus driver. Individuals should
likewise tip a van or limo driver upon arrival at their
LodgingDiscuss lodging needs and budget in detail with your clients so
the planner can book the one that best suits their desires.Many hotels cannot guarantee check-in until mid- to
late-afternoon. If a room is not ready, clients can have the hotel
store their luggage and go out and explore the resort, spending the
time to rent skis or arrange ski school or child care.
ClothingAdvise clients to dress in layers so that they may remove or
add clothing as temperature changes.Wearing one pair of warm socks allows free circulation, which
means warmer feet.Waterproof mittens or gloves are a must, and mittens are warmer
than gloves.Since a lot of body heat is lost through the head, it's a good
idea to keep it covered in cold weather. Sun can burn the scalp; a
cap with a visor offers dual protection of head and eyes.Sun reflecting on snow magnifies its impact. Skiers should use
goggles or sunglasses with UV protection and apply sunblock to
face, ears, lips and all exposed skin.
Ski RentalsAsk about renting equipment in advance to enjoy more time on
the slopes.Tell clients to be sure to put their correct age, weight,
height and skiing ability on the rental form to assure properly
adjusted bindings. Improper settings can cause injury.Treating rental equipment properly and using a ski check during
breaks and overnight to assure against theft is advisable.If a client is unhappy with rental equipment, he or she should
return to the shop as soon as possible and insist on adjustments or
replacement gear.Personal equipment may not be suited to all snow conditions.
Many resorts rent high performance gear especially suited to such
conditions as deep powder or moguls. Quality demo gear outlets are
located right on the slopes at many resorts.
Adjusting to higher altitudesAir is drier at higher altitudes and the body requires
additional fluids. Visitors should drink two or three times more
than usual (water or juices are best), eat more carbohydrates and
use less salt.To increase oxygen in the room, which aids in breathing, a
window can be kept slightly open. Some hotels have humidifiers
available.Take it easy the first couple of days. Going all out the first
day may result in being especially tired and sore for the next day
or two.Alcohol should be drunk in moderation. One drink equals two at
lower altitudes.Clients should study trail maps and start out on the easiest
slopes, marked by green circles, going on to the next level only
when they feel comfortable. Blue means more difficult, black means
most difficult and double black diamonds are "experts only."
Remember that each area grades its trails according to its own
degree of overall difficulty.When skiers get tired, they should take a day off from the
slopes. Ski resorts offer lots of fun alternatives like
snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice skating and hot air ballooning.
Travel InsuranceAt a minimal cost to the traveler, travel insurance provides
security and peace of mind. Cancellation policies of lodging and
airlines vary considerably but most vacation packages must be
prepaid in advance of travel and some portions are non-refundable.
If anything goes wrong and prevents traveling, insurance recovers
most or all of non-refundable portions of your pre-paid