Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ski Vacations: Making Them Unique

After a while, many ski vacations start to resemble one another. Vail blurs with Whistler in the family photo album, and you can’t remember what distinguishes Aspen from Wintergreen other than the number of syllables. If you’ve found it difficult to find new ways of stimulating yourself as a skier, perhaps you should consider approaching the sport from a slightly less conventional angle. Your destination is one of the most significant factors in shaping the ‘ski vacation’ experience, but this doesn’t mean that you should pursue only the fanciest of resorts. You should factor in your own geography (for example, if you live in the Chicago area, Vail will be closer than New Zealand), but you should also weigh your personal preferences. Consider the type of skiing you prefer and research the resorts that will cater specifically to that type. If you’re a world traveler, perhaps you have no desire to stay close to home and instead seek to experience skiing in a new country. While Whistler and Aspen are perhaps the first ski destinations that come to mind for most people, further destinations like Chile and New Zealand can offer the unique zest of a new culture to your ski experience. Beyond the resort you choose, your companions have tremendous influence over your overall experience. In fact, ‘bad vacations’ are often more the result of the people you’re traveling with than the destinations themselves. If you have a family, perhaps a ski vacation is just the type of holiday that will allow you all to pursue your own, individual interests while still spending time together. If you’re always traveling with your family, however, perhaps the best way to give your skiing an upgrade is to leave the spouse and kids at home and test out local ski terrain alone for a few days. If you’re looking to meet new people, there are many ski trips offered domestically and abroad that would connect you with others that, at the very least, share with you a passion for skiing. If you need a little more help making sure this year’s ski vacation doesn’t turn into last year’s, consider purchasing an all-inclusive ski vacation package that has the company shouldering the ‘excitement’ element rather than you. For example, Access Trips, a company based out of New Zealand, offers ski vacations that deviate well from the normal itineraries while still retaining an emphasis on what you love about ski vacations â€" skiing. In particular, consider an organized vacation that pushes you to try something new within skiing, such as a ski-related boat tour through Norwegian fjords or heli skiing. Fortunately, all of the special preparations you’ll need to make to enliven your ski vacation come before you pack your suitcase. Whether you’re finding a new resort, booking a babysitter to allow for ‘alone time’ on the slopes, or pursuing a tailored, adventure ski tour, you’re well on your way to breathing new vigor into an old hobby. For more information on ski resorts in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, consult Benz’s Ski Resort Directory . To find out more about Access Trips and their ski vacations , visit their website at .

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