Downhill skiing, like golf, is one of those sports that seems
unnecessarily expensive to those of us who don't like the cold and
would rather take a hike than wander around looking for a lost golf
But if you happen to be one of those people who thinks it's fun
to strap long boards to your feet and go hurtling down the side of
a mountain-and you want your kids to hurtle alongside you-then
check out these ideas for making a family vacation on the slopes more
1. Ski locally
Skiing in north Michigan is different
than skiing in Colorado, but it's still skiing. And because the
resorts in the Traverse City area are close enough to drive, you
save the cost of plane tickets for the family. My two favorite
resorts are Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville and
Shanty Creek in Bellaire.
2. Take your 10- or 11-year-old
Because ski resorts understand that it's important to hook
people on the thrills of downhill skiing early, states and resorts
that rely on the tourism dollars generated by ski enthusiasts offer
lots of fee skiing to children in the fourth, fifth or sixth
grades. Before deciding where to ski with your tween, Google "kids
ski free" and the name of the state to see where your child can ski
3. Cruise the web
With the travel economy still in the dumps, there are deals
everywhere, including at ski resorts across the country. For
example, Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado is offering a
free day of lifts, lessons and rentals to beginning skiers who book
a two-night stay at any Crested Butte property through March 9. For
information or reservations contact Crested Butte
Vacations at (800) 600-2803. In Park City Utah, your
airline boarding pass can get you a free lift ticket on the day you
arrive and sites such as skiforfree.com sell lift tickets at a
4. Fly your kids for free.
American Airlines is once again offering a "kids fly free
promotion." One child ages 2-12 can fly free with a paying adult
through through March 1 (Presidents Day week, Feb. 18-25 is blacked
out). The promotion is good for flights into Montrose,
Colo., the major airport serving Telluride, Sunday
through Thursday, and out of Montrose Monday through Friday. A
minimum stay of two nights is required, along with ticketing at
least 21 days prior to departure. Tickets must be purchased by Jan.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.
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