Winter vacations doesn’t have to be somewhere tropical, it can even be a quick trip to the mountains. Sometimes, everyday life can all get a bit too much. As you’ll know, we are hurtling full steam ahead towards the festive season. Even though most of us take time off work during this period, we can often come out of it feeling like we need another holiday just to recover! Mini breaks, in particular, are becoming more and more popular throughout the early months of the year.
If you feel as though you’ll need a little trip away in the New Year, why not consider a visit to a winter ski resort? These places are often remote and beautiful – perfect if you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan city. It can also be hugely beneficial for both your physical and mental health to spend a bit of time in the great outdoors – you’ll come home feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world!
Last year, a group of us (including J) decided to take a road trip up to the mountains. We have all been planning this since the end of Summer and at that time it was the first trip that J took out of the country. Aside from coming home to bruises, the whole trip was a huge success! So, here are some tips for what to do when planning a snowy weekend away.
You don’t need an expert to tell you that up in the mountains, it can get pretty cold. With that in mind, you may need to pack a little more than you would for a regular weekend away. They key to staying warm is all about layers, so stock up on shirts and fleeces before your trip. My favorite clothing to wear during the winter is Under Armour as it traps in heat during the winter. I also found a pair of leggings that help keep the heat in and that I can easily wear under my snowboarding pants. I used to wear a thick layer of sweatpants and felt it was too bulky especially when I’m trying to snowboard.
That doesn’t mean to say, however, that you can’t still be stylish – many outdoor clothing companies have gone on to vastly improve the look and fit of their products. But as long as your clothing is functional, don’t worry about it too much. An escape to the mountains gives you an opportunity to stop worrying about your appearance – so as long as you are feeling cozy, get out there and enjoy your vacation.
One of the things we took into consideration for our trip was groceries. We were all going to take 5 days out in the mountain, having a cabin all to ourselves and decided to pre-plan our meals. If you plan on going on a group getaway, or even a couples getaway – Costco is often the best choice to gather all the necessary essentials for a trip. Splitting everything including the liquor proved to be the most cost effective for our trip.
Ensure you have a restful stay
A big part of ‘getting away from it all‘ means having somewhere functional and welcoming to stay. Hotel rooms can sometimes lack character and there’s nothing worse than having to drag ski equipment up six flights of stairs! Plus, sometimes there’s nothing quite like having your own private space with all the mod cons. This is why at ski resorts such as Mont Tremblant, they have an amazing selection of condo rentals available (some of which you can ski right up to) to make sure you have a great place to relax after a day on the slopes.
Our group booked a cabin to Kimberly, BC that would allow the 8 of us to have our own rooms, a BBQ grill and a 8 person hot tub. Click to see the rental. The morning of the trip, we were on the road by 7AM. It would be an approximately 7-8 hour drive to Kimberly, BC but the drive was nothing but beautiful. We drove through the Rocky Mountains, spotted some beautiful wild animals, took some naps and had endless conversations about Marvel and video games. Even though J and I were deprived from sleep, it was nice to share a road trip with him and watching him experience the natural beauty of Canada.
When we finally got to our home for the week we all stood in awe on how gorgeous the place was. It was a 3 level condo big enough for all for all us to be comfortable in and had enough space for both the van and SUV to park on the driveway. We had home made chilli that night which lasted us for the rest of that week and used the left overs to make chilli dogs.
Decide what you are going to do
In order to stay somewhere that boasts an impressive ski resort, you might think that you need to spend most of your days attached to a pair of skis. Whilst it’s often great to make the most of the facilities, there’s no rule that says you have to ski day in, day out. In fact, you don’t even have to ski at all!
Snowboarding and other winter sports such as bobsledding are also popular options for people spend their vacations in the mountains. Plus, there are also many other activities available for you to try out. Many of these areas boast beautiful forests, so why not take a guided trek through the snow and catch sight of some amazing wildlife?
There was 4 of us (including J and myself) bought ski lifts as we were committed to do some damage on that mountain, and on our bodies. Luckily for us, the ski lifts were right around the corner. All but 1 were snowboarders and the mountains were gorgeous! I’ve personally boarded on other mountains before – especially the ones in BC such as Cypress and Whistler, but the view at the top was breathtaking.
Although we planned this as a group event, we all still managed to do our own thing during the day and gathered at night for dinner and drinks in the coziness of our own cabin. Some of us snowboarded and some ventured off on hikes. Others stayed in the cabin and enjoyed the hot tub, watched some movies, played games or took naps.
Coming back to reality
As much as we have enjoyed our trip, sadly it came to an end. Amazingly enough the drive back home was shorter than the drive to the location. We also took a different route home and passed by Frank Slide. For anyone who doesn’t know what Frank Slide is; it was a major 1903 rock slide that occurred into Crowsnest River Valley where at least 90 people were killed in 90 seconds. Frank Slide was one of the most deadliest rockslide.
To be honest, it was kinda creepy driving past it. Although I wanted to make a pit stop to take photos, we didn’t have the time to. Plus we were all so exhausted and couldn’t wait to be in the comfort of our own beds!
Even though I came home with bruises from a little snowboarding accident, I mentally felt refreshed! It was a nice getaway with good company and I was able to explore my own country a little more.
You don’t have to plan a crazy trip to enjoy your time away but always ensure you have everything covered from accommodations to what you want to do. Whether you go with a group of friends, yourself or with a special someone – some time away from your busy life is always great for the mental health!