Happy Holidays! It’s Christmas weekend, but there’s still plenty of winter left, at least until the end of February. A winter trip is still an option if you’ve missed the ball on your Christmas gift. I went to Aspen, Colorado, for my first planned winter vacation a few years ago. If you are considering planning a trip, consider a ski trip. Many black ski clubs, such as the Texas Ski Rangers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area can help get you information on ski travel. These clubs offer opportunities for black travelers to participate and learn more about winter sports, such as skiing. Here are a few ideas if you’ve never considered a winter trip.
Many ski clubs are associated with other clubs in different areas, which provides the opportunity to assemble with other people of color throughout the country. This membership can be important as many ski slopes are seen as primarily white spaces. Joining a black ski club provides a comfortable space to explore winter activities in a comfortable, safe space. Being in that space with other people similar to you can make for a more enjoyable experience. While many ski clubs focus on winter sports and skiing, many other non-ski trips and activities are also planned throughout the year.
Skiing is expensive, and membership in a ski club can help defray some of the costs, as activities are usually bundled in a ski trip package. Typically ski packages include lodging, lift tickets, ski lessons, and transportation. Pricing usually depends on group size and where the ski resort is located. Participants must also consider the costs of appropriate ski clothing and purchasing or renting skis. Another expense to consider is ski lessons. Group lessons are an alternative to more expensive private lessons. Additionally, ski passes can be costly, but options are available depending on the time of day or day of the week.
If skiing does not interest you, another option could be snowmobiling. I also tried this activity in Aspen, and after a while, I not only got the hang of it but would have signed up for another session if I could. I must admit that it took some getting used to the handling and steering of the snowmobile. Again, like skiing, you need to have the right clothing gear for snowmobiling. Think of dressing in layers with warm under layers and waterproof outer layers. Other pieces of equipment, such as helmets, boots, face shields or goggles, face masks, and gloves, are also needed. Believe it or not, you can get warm even in the snow during snowmobiling.
Many ski towns and resorts may offer natural hot springs, museums, shops, boutiques, spa activities, and beautiful restaurants for dining. I balked at going into the heated pool on my trip to Aspen but was encouraged by my sister, and I had a truly refreshing experience. I also enjoyed the many lounges and fireplaces at the resort, having a glass of champagne or coffee indoors.
Like all vacations, ski trips will take a lot of planning. While you may be able to pack light for sunny destinations, more bulky clothing may mean you have to reconsider your packing skills. In addition, if you choose to take your ski equipment, the airline might have specific restrictions for bulky or odd-sized luggage. In any case, consider a ski vacation, it just may end up being a yearly thing, or you’ll at least cross off a travel bucket list item.