by Frank V. Persall
As a beginner, it can seem like a complicated process by booking a skiing trip. Do you buy your gear, or do you rent it? What resorts are best? And what does ski in, ski out mean?
Ski in, ski out refers to the type of accommodation. If you stay at a ski in, ski out resort you can step straight from your hotel right onto the slopes and start skiing or snowboarding. However, there are resorts who claim to be ski in ski out when, in reality, you still may have a bit of a trek to get on to the slopes. For example, a resort may claim to be ski in, ski out when really your lodging is a walk-to-lift property, meaning you would be at the base and still need to walk to the lift to get to the top to start skiing. Ski in, ski out accommodations tend to be at a higher elevation and allows you to get straight to skiing.
A ski in, ski out accommodation can be better for beginners as it is the simpler option to save you stress. There are, however, both advantages and disadvantages to ski in, ski out accommodation.
The convenience is the biggest advantage to the ski in, ski out accommodation. You can lie in and when you're ready, step through your door out into the slopes and away you go.
The ski in, ski out establishments usually include other facilities like pools, restaurants, and childcare. This ensures there are places close to your lodging for you to relax and find entertainment when you're not skiing.
If you are not as confident when going abroad then having an all-in-one type of package will probably suit you best as you don't have to find your way to the slopes. This can save on a lot of stress trying to navigate the ins and outs of booking a ski holiday.
When your accommodation leads on to the slopes you can ski for as long as you want. You don't have to worry about driving back to your accommodation or waking up early to beat the crowds.
With global warming, there is only a certain number of weeks of snow at certain elevations. The ski in, ski out resorts tend to be high up, so they guarantee a good amount of snow.
You can save money and time on transport. Staying away from the slopes, you might have to rent a car, pay for parking, or get a crowded shuttle bus to the slopes. The driving conditions can be difficult. You might step out of the door of your accommodation to find the car covered in snow which you then have to start to clear before you go anywhere. If you are from the UK, you will have to drive on the other side of the road which you may be too nervous to do.
You might have to take parking shuttles from remote places to get to where you need to be which can be problematic if you get lost or are not sure what time the shuttles are.
Ski shoes are not particularly comfortable to walk around in and if your accommodation is elsewhere, you may need to change your shoes in random places like the car park.
The ski in, ski out hotels usually offer several benefits including a free ski valet or ski equipment storage. This can make the booking process a lot simpler and can be more convenient.
If you are going with a group, you don't have to wait for everyone to finish before heading back to your accommodation. This is definitely a helpful convenience if there is a lot of people or there are varying levels of experience amongst you. You don't have to be dictated to by other people and can go back to your hotel room for a nap or a bite to eat.
If you are planning on taking ski lessons, you may have the opportunity to book the lessons close to your accommodation which saves you time.
The biggest issue with choosing a ski in, ski out accommodation is that it can be more expensive. It may cost up to 20% more but they do have a variety of accommodation to suit different budgets.
At the ski in, ski out lodgings there may still be a bit of a trek. You may have to find your way through ungroomed paths through woods. These paths can be private, so the resort does not maintain them.
The cheaper accommodation off the slopes is usually at a lower elevation so it is better for sleeping and breathing.
Ultimately a ski in, ski out option can be more convenient and give you more time to ski or snowboard if you are willing to spend the money. Be sure to ask how far your particular room is from the slopes or ski lift before booking. If you do have to walk a bit, check what the terrain is like, if it is steep or has steps. Consider what you want to be included in your trip and it will help to decide which is the best option for you. Do you want free equipment storage, a hot tub, free amenities?
If you do decide on a ski in ski out ski resort there are many throughout Europe, Canada, America, and Scandinavia.
Whatever you decide, a skiing holiday is a great adventure in truly unique locations.
About Frank V. Persall
Frank is originally from the UK, but he has a passion for skiing that knows no bounds. He has made it his life's mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the World. Frank loves spending time with his wife and three children on ski slopes, as they all share his love for the activity.