Plan Your Winter Ski Vacation

Planning ski vacations is a bit more complicated than simply strapping the skis to the top of the car. With the large and growing variety of great skiing resorts springing up worldwide, you have more choices than ever. Where you go and the time of year dictate what you need on your ski vacation checklist…

Planning ski vacations is a bit more complicated than simply strapping the skis to the top of the car. With the large and growing variety of great skiing resorts springing up worldwide, you have more choices than ever. Where you go and the time of year dictate what you need on your ski vacation checklist to ensure you bring with you exactly what you need. Winter vacations can be in January in the Northern Hemisphere or July below the equator.

Spring skiing in the Rockies or the French Alps can involve packing a bikini for wearing on the slopes for expert female skiers. Skiing in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the dead of winter can mean sub-zero temperatures and windchill factors effectively in the range of -50 degrees is a frostbite threat. The sun can be blistering in the higher mountains.

First on your checklist should be vacation insurance. It's a sad commentary on today's society, however, there is little more heartbreaking than finding your skis gone when all you wanted was a cup of hot chocolate in the ski lodge. Winter vacation insurance is cheap and broadly available from a number of insurance providers. If you have the American Express Platinum card, your insurance headaches are already taken care of, and one less thing to worry about. Same with flight and travel insurance if you are going to an exotic location such as New Zealand or the European Alps.

If you are traveling a long distance, it may be more cost-effective to buy what you need when you arrive. This may save you a significant amount in excess baggage costs. Some seasoned skiers simply pack the most essential personal items such as ski boots, goggles and clothing and buy or rent skis or a ski board when they arrive.

Some of the most popular ski destinations with traditionally great snow include the I-93 corridor in New Hampshire with a number of great mountain resorts in close proximity to each other. Vermont, West Virginia and Pennsylvania have smaller mountains, but do not lack for amenities. The American Rocky Mountains have awesome skiing destinations, some requiring a helicopter to get to.

Essentials on the slopes include zinc oxide-based lip balm and SPF 50 sunblock. Good sunglasses with a double gradient cat's eye mirrored coats, such as the Vaurnet PX-4000 Skilynx are ideal for UV and glare protection from both the sun and the snow.

If you insist on skiing in a bikini, do not consider wearing a string-style. A good athletic Spandex top and French boy shorts or cut-off 501's can save your hips if you happen to crash and the guys like to see you in them just as much.