The Shaatra Files

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SHAATRA: Planning a Ski Vacation

Travel season will soon be upon us, and for many Shaatra moms, the planning is already well underway. While dreams of a sunny vacation may have to be pushed aside because of budgetary or time constraints, taking a ski trip can be a fabulous way to spend midwinter break. Some of the country’s best slopes are pretty close by, and skiing is an activity that can be fun for the whole family. Whether you’re two or 62, you can learn to ski like (almost!) a professional. So get ready to bundle up, hop on a ski lift and head down some snow-filled mountains.

Where To Go?

When choosing a ski vacation, save your family the headache of extensive travel times by sticking to Upstate NY or the Poconos. The 2-3 hours it takes to get to these idyllic spots pale in comparison to the time it would take to get to places like Arizona, Hawaii or Israel (although those do sound appealing!). Plus, aside from the price of gas and tolls, the cost of travel to your ski vacation is pretty much free.

If you’ve never taken a ski trip before, here is a rundown of the East Coast slopes: Beginners or those with small children should look into Shawnee or Camelback Mountains in the Poconos. Windham Mountain in the Catskills is also really family friendly. Just 2.5 hours from Manhattan, you’ll find Hunter Mountain for the more advanced skier or those with teenagers.

Book Your Stay

Discounts and affordable rates for ski resorts are generally easy to come by. With a little bit of advance research, you can find a great deal. You can book a villa, lodge or cabin in your location of choice for less than a hotel room in a hot-spot. And the best part is these places often have two bedrooms, a living space, and if you’re lucky, a full kitchen. Of course, you’ll have to bring your own snacks, frozen meals and utensils, but once the kitchen is koshered, you can feed your family just as you would at home.

If you don’t feel like cooking in advance and wouldn’t mind a more expensive option, check out Harris’s Glatt Kosher Bed and Breakfast, where three daily kosher meals are included in the room rate.

Gear Up

Before heading to the slopes, each member of your family will need several layers of warm clothing, including thermals, as well as a protective helmet, goggles, gloves and a face mask. Remember, it is better to be too warm and have the option to remove a layer or two, than to be freezing with no way to warm up. You’ll also need to apportion a part of your budget for renting ski equipment, including skis, boots and poles.

Once You’re There

Before you even attempt to get on the mountains, even if you’ve gone skiing before, book a ski lesson for everyone in your group. Skiing can be really dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, and safety is crucial. During lessons, you’ll learn technique and become comfortable on the slopes. Little kids will become acquainted with the ski gear and learn how to maintain balance and halt when necessary.

Aside from skiing, snowboarding is an exciting sport that has gained popularity. Snow-tubing is relatively safe, and loads of fun for youngsters. You can add these activities to your itinerary as alternatives.

Know The Lingo

Once you’re heading up to the top of the mountain via ski lift, it is a must for you and your crew to know the conventional “ski lingo” before you head down a mountain at lightning speed. A green circle signifies an easy slope for beginners, and a blue square is a sign that the slope is appropriate for the intermediate skier. When you see a black diamond or double black diamond, proceed with extreme caution, as those slopes are very difficult and only meant for expert skiers and snowboarders. Be sure to accompany small children throughout the entire trip, as the trails are icy and slippery and your watchful eye is necessary at all times.

With skilled technique from your lessons and the right gear, skiing can be really enjoyable. Once you land at the bottom of the mountain, you’ll find yourself heading towards the ski lift to try it again. When your family looks at you with frozen red noses and big toothy grins, you’ll know that a ski vacation was the right choice.

 

By Frances Haddad
By |

SHAATRA: Planning a Ski Vacation

Travel season will soon be upon us, and for many Shaatra moms, the planning is already well underway. While dreams of a sunny vacation may have to be pushed aside because of budgetary or time constraints, taking a ski trip can be a fabulous way to spend midwinter break. Some of the country’s best slopes are pretty close by, and skiing is an activity that can be fun for the whole family. Whether you’re two or 62, you can learn to ski like (almost!) a professional. So get ready to bundle up, hop on a ski lift and head down some snow-filled mountains.

Where To Go?

When choosing a ski vacation, save your family the headache of extensive travel times by sticking to Upstate NY or the Poconos. The 2-3 hours it takes to get to these idyllic spots pale in comparison to the time it would take to get to places like Arizona, Hawaii or Israel (although those do sound appealing!). Plus, aside from the price of gas and tolls, the cost of travel to your ski vacation is pretty much free.

If you’ve never taken a ski trip before, here is a rundown of the East Coast slopes: Beginners or those with small children should look into Shawnee or Camelback Mountains in the Poconos. Windham Mountain in the Catskills is also really family friendly. Just 2.5 hours from Manhattan, you’ll find Hunter Mountain for the more advanced skier or those with teenagers.

Book Your Stay

Discounts and affordable rates for ski resorts are generally easy to come by. With a little bit of advance research, you can find a great deal. You can book a villa, lodge or cabin in your location of choice for less than a hotel room in a hot-spot. And the best part is these places often have two bedrooms, a living space, and if you’re lucky, a full kitchen. Of course, you’ll have to bring your own snacks, frozen meals and utensils, but once the kitchen is koshered, you can feed your family just as you would at home.

If you don’t feel like cooking in advance and wouldn’t mind a more expensive option, check out Harris’s Glatt Kosher Bed and Breakfast, where three daily kosher meals are included in the room rate.

Gear Up

Before heading to the slopes, each member of your family will need several layers of warm clothing, including thermals, as well as a protective helmet, goggles, gloves and a face mask. Remember, it is better to be too warm and have the option to remove a layer or two, than to be freezing with no way to warm up. You’ll also need to apportion a part of your budget for renting ski equipment, including skis, boots and poles.

Once You’re There

Before you even attempt to get on the mountains, even if you’ve gone skiing before, book a ski lesson for everyone in your group. Skiing can be really dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, and safety is crucial. During lessons, you’ll learn technique and become comfortable on the slopes. Little kids will become acquainted with the ski gear and learn how to maintain balance and halt when necessary.

Aside from skiing, snowboarding is an exciting sport that has gained popularity. Snow-tubing is relatively safe, and loads of fun for youngsters. You can add these activities to your itinerary as alternatives.

Know The Lingo

Once you’re heading up to the top of the mountain via ski lift, it is a must for you and your crew to know the conventional “ski lingo” before you head down a mountain at lightning speed. A green circle signifies an easy slope for beginners, and a blue square is a sign that the slope is appropriate for the intermediate skier. When you see a black diamond or double black diamond, proceed with extreme caution, as those slopes are very difficult and only meant for expert skiers and snowboarders. Be sure to accompany small children throughout the entire trip, as the trails are icy and slippery and your watchful eye is necessary at all times.

With skilled technique from your lessons and the right gear, skiing can be really enjoyable. Once you land at the bottom of the mountain, you’ll find yourself heading towards the ski lift to try it again. When your family looks at you with frozen red noses and big toothy grins, you’ll know that a ski vacation was the right choice.

 

By Frances Haddad
By |
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