Your Guide to Getting Started With Planning Your First Ski Trip

The Essential Ski Trip Planning Guide

Ease the stress of vacation planning with these steps to the ultimate ski trip. Trip planning essentials to relax and enjoy your time on the slopes .

Y&I Imperial top station Peak 8 at Breckenridge, CO.

The Beginner's Guide to Planning Your First Ski Trip 

If you're thinking of diving into the world of skiing for the first time, you're in for a thrilling ride. Planning your first ski trip can seem overwhelming, but it's actually a lot of fun. We’ll help guide you through it all—from choosing the right destination to packing suggestions—so that you're ready (and excited) for an unforgettable adventure in the mountains.

Step 1: Picking the Perfect Destination 

First things first, where do you want to ski? Are you dreaming of the powdery slopes of the Rockies in Colorado, the wintery charm of the East Coast or the breathtaking vistas in the Pacific Northwest? Each destination has its own personality and terrain, so think about what kind of experience you're after. 

Step 2: Finding the Ideal Resort 

Once you've settled on a destination, it's time to pick a resort. Consider your skill level, the availability of lessons if you're new to skiing, and the overall vibe of the resort. Some resorts cater more to families, while others might be a hotspot for nightlife and après-ski activities. 

If you're an Epic Pass holder, you have access to a range of different resorts that can cater to various preferences and styles of skiing. Keystone boasts family-friendly amenities, ski programs tailored for all ages, and a plethora of off-slope activities that make it an ideal destination for a memorable family vacation.

Or, if you're drawn to the excitement of vibrant après-ski scenes and a happening nightlife, Whistler Blackcomb has a range of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues to unwind and socialize after a thrilling day on the slopes.

Step 3: Booking Accommodation and Packages 

Now, let's talk logistics. Accommodation near the slopes is a game-changer, especially when you're hauling around ski gear. Check out ski-in/ski-out accommodations or places with convenient shuttle services to the slopes. Many resorts offer package deals that include lift tickets, equipment rentals, and lessons—perfect for beginners. To explore accommodation options near the slopes of, our mountain resorts, visit the lodging page here.

Step 4: Gear Up 

It’s time to dress the part. If you're not ready to invest in ski gear just yet, renting equipment is your best bet. Most resorts have rental shops with everything you need, from skis and boots to helmets and poles. Dress warmly in layers and don't forget waterproof gloves and goggles to keep the snow out of your face. 

Check out this handy packing list perfect for first timers:

Step 5: Lessons (Yes, Even for Adults) 

It's okay to be a total newbie. In fact, it's encouraged to sign up for lessons, especially if you're new to skiing. Professional instructors will teach you the basics, help you gain confidence on the slopes, and ensure you have a blast while staying safe. Remember, everyone starts somewhere. 

Step 6: Embrace the Slopes 

And now, we hit the slopes. Take it easy on your first day—whether you're on skis or a board, start with the bunny slopes and gradually work your way up as you get comfortable. Remember the essentials: pizza to slow down and french fries to pick up speed. Always yield to downhill skiers, and if you need a breather, stop at the sides or a designated area to keep the flow smooth for others. Soon enough, you'll be cruising like a pro.

Looking for some incredible slopes to visit? Resorts like Breckenridge, Vail, and Whistler Blackcomb offer ideal settings for every level. Breckenridge boasts diverse trails suited for beginners to experts, while Vail's legendary terrain and Whistler Blackcomb's vastness provide ample space to progress at your own pace.

Step 7: Après-ski Adventures 

After a day of carving through the snow, make sure you build in time to relax. Go ahead and treat yourself to a hot cocoa (or a well-deserved beverage of your choice), indulge in some delicious on-mountain food, and unwind in the cozy atmosphere of the resort. 

Pro tip: For unique and delightful après-ski moments, make sure to visit European-inspired villages at Vail and the local craft brews and cozy pubs at Breckenridge.

Step 8: Capture the Memories 

Lastly, don't forget to capture these magical moments in the mountains. Take plenty of photos or videos to cherish the memories of your first ski trip. The stunning views, the shared laughs with friends or family, and the exhilarating feeling of conquering those slopes—all worth remembering. 

See you out there.