I spent four amazing days skiing with three kids at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah last week. I am one of the Park City Mountain Resort Snowmamas, and I was “tasked” to fly to Utah to ski with the kids and share my experience at Snowmamas.com. This was my first ever vacation alone with the kids without my husband, and while my kids are seasoned travelers (they were all born in different countries!), I was a bit nervous. For example, on ski trips you just need to pack more, and be a little more prepared if your luggage doesn’t arrive. Unfortunately nowadays you just have to take that in consideration when you are flying with layovers (thanks Delta). I am not a single mom, but I experienced this trip as a single parent. It was interesting to see the trip through someone else’s eyes, and it made me appreciate having my husband helping on the family trips, but at the same time to realize I can totally travel alone with the kids without any problems – even for ski trips.
I think I actually did an amazing job packing for all of us. See the picture – that is ALL for us for the entire time. That includes ski gear for all of us (minus skis for me, I did bring my own ski boots though). Not just that we packed lightly, but we only checked in two bags plus a ski bag, and rest of it as carry on. Also, we were able to wheel & carry all of our luggage, no need to get the luggage carts at the airport. The backpacks for kids & easily wheeled bags so they could help – brilliant. My kids could handle everything but the skis, and were
happy to fighting who could help. I saw parents with young babies and toddlers struggling and I just smiled and said to them “just wait that they’ll grow older – and they’ll carry your stuff” as we walked by. Some thought it was funny, others not so much.
We got a rental car at Salt Lake City airport and headed to Park City. It was late at night, and we were all really tired from traveling and got lost – even though it’s pretty much straight road, but we still got lost. If I had never been to Park City before, I would have been a little more worried about the driving (and getting lost) part, but I knew how close Park City was, getting lost was OK.
My girls were in the ski school for two days, and my son for three, leaving us one day of skiing for all of us, and I got to ski the last day with the girls. It would have been a little lonely during the days if I hadn’t had friends in Park City, and if that hadn’t been the case, I probably wouldn’t have put kids in the ski school. The point for us was to hang out together. On the sixth day of traveling on our way home I did think though that it was pretty long trip and we started getting on each others nerves a bit; so I think the ski school was actually pretty good idea.
My children are 8, 9 and 11, and they all have been skiing for years, and they can carry their own skis, with a little help every now and then. I think it might have been too much for me if I had had to carry everyone’s skis, or if they weren’t experienced skiers. The ski resort does have overnight ski lockers, and the Silver Star lodge where we stayed was a ski in- ski out lodge, so they do give you several options so you don’t have to carry your skis to the slopes every day. I usually feel that half the battle is getting all of your ski gear on and getting to the mountain! But it all went really well, and I think kids understood that I couldn’t possibly carry everyone’s skis and they were all very helpful the entire trip.
And I have to say that the entire trip until the day that we were leaving home went perfectly. We had such a great time skiing together, and every evening we sat in the jacuzzi at the ski lodge, and watched TV late and just hung out together. But the last day I was tired of not sleeping well (kids wanted to really have a family vacation, that felt like a big ski lodge sleepover, and we all slept in the same king size bed the entire time; not a good idea) and just the thought of dragging us back to New York with two layovers was about the take the best out of me. But packing everything up and getting us to the airport was the hardest part, and the flights actually went well. Sometimes preparing for the worst helps, and then everything truly feels easier than you ever thought of. Would I do another ski trip alone with kids? Absolutely!
Disclosure: My trip was paid, and I have a working relationship with Park City Mountain Resort, but all of my opinions are my own, and I was not asked to write this post.