Wouldn’t it be nice if getting from point A to point B went smoothly when traveling? And doesn’t it seem like, no matter how much you plan, something goes sideways? It can span from those little hiccups – like the tale of the long lost mitten – or the biggies – like showing up on the wrong date because the day and month are reversed in some countries (yes, Canada included). The point is, it’s never as easy as it seems. Unless…yes there is an unless!…you somehow had little tips and tricks from someone who’s been there. Like soaked tea bags to a bad sunburn, you too can have a few things up your sleeve that may just take the sting out of it. Granted, you may still feel like you’re herding cats, but at least you’ll have a bit of catnip up your sleeve. So let us share the catnip…
1.The tale of the long lost mitten –
No matter how hard you try, there always seems to be a mitten or a neck gator or a headband that goes missing in the 8 steps it takes your kiddos to get from the ski lesson to the base of the ski slopes. And the ‘try harder’ sentiment not only is ineffective, but it’s infuriating! So. How do you keep track of that pile of items along with their coat? Attach them TO the coat! Seems obvious, but it’s actually totally doable! And some ski schools even have garment tag guns available to attach gloves, to jackets, to scarfs, to neck gators, to hats, so all you need to do is keep track of one connected item! If you don’t have a garment gun on hand, there are also cloth ones available online, or you can attach the gloves by a string through the jacket sleeves to at least keep track of those little mittens.
2. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!
It’s easy to keep sunscreen top of mind when it’s sunny and warm, but did you know you need sunscreen on the snow? Remember the days when people would lay in the sun with an aluminum tray on their chests to catch the reflection? I know, hard to believe that was a thing. Well, the snow acts as the same concept – a giant aluminum tray. But the snow can actually reflect sun rays even on overcast days, leaving folks with a snow-burn, or the raccoon eye goggle tan. Not ideal. You may want people at home to know that you were on a ski vacation, but you may not want them to see it written across your face.
3. Being at altitude makes you drink
Yes, apres skiing is a thing in ski towns, and even doing shots from a shot-ski is something you may see happening at the table next to you in the late afternoon, but we don’t mean drink more booze…we mean plain old fashioned water. Being at altitude means the air is thinner, meaning your cells shrink ever so slightly, leaving you winded and with a slight headache if you’re dehydrated. So, drink loads of water the week before you travel (it also helps relieve jet lag for those travelling long distances), and drink loads when you’re here. Not only does it help your legs ski longer, but it will help keep you at the top of your game when you do happen upon that shot-ski. We see you. 🙂
4. Don’t forget your swimsuit!
While you may not be working on your tan poolside, hot tubs and saunas surrounded by snow are pretty special. If you’re feeling frisky, hop into the hot tub, run out and jump in the snow, and hop back into the hot tub…it’s called the Polar Bear Plunge, and it hurts so good. The Fairmont Banff Springs has an outdoor hot tub overlooking the valley, which makes for quite the setting for apres-ing after a ski day.
5. Winter driving is not your city commute
If you’re planning on renting a car, make sure you have winter tires and four-wheel drive for those winter days. The weather changes daily, and even a few times in an hour, so be sure to plan for winter on your drive into Banff and Jasper National Parks. If driving isn’t on your list, we recommend the Sun Dog Shuttle that can collect you at the airport and drive you safely to your destination. They also have a variety of guided tours available so they can take you to and from activities as well throughout your stay.
Photo Credits via Travel Alberta