Avoid High Altitude Sickness on Your Ski/Snowboard Vacation

You’ve planned the winter vacation that you’ve always dreamed of. You’re heading west to the Rockies for a week of powder skiing. Bags are packed, gear is stowed and you can’t wait to hit the slopes.

You fly into Salt Lake International airport (5000) feet from your sea-level home. Pretty cool that you can leave home, arrive here and get in a few runs the afternoon you arrive. What could be better? You get your rental car and drive up the canyon to the resort with a base level of 8000 feet, hop on the lift and ride up to 10,000 feet. Get in a few runs, have a few cocktails and a nice dinner when you’re done skiing, after all you’re on vacation

Next morning you don’t feel so good. You’re sluggish, nauseous with a headache and maybe a little short of breath. What a lousy time to get the flu! It feels a lot like the flu or a hangover, but what you probably are suffering from is high altitude sickness.

High altitude sickness can affect anyone, adults or children, when you travel from a lower elevation to a higher one. Not everyone suffers from it and its relatively easy to avoid and take care of so it doesn’t ruin your vacation.

Here are a few tips to follow to help you feel your best:

  • Hydrate. Drink twice as much water as you think you need, especially if you’re coming from sea level. Start hydrating before you arrive, flying will dehydrate you as well. Carry water with you on the mountain, either a water bottle or a hydration system like a “camelback”. Use bottled water if you absolutely must, but the water from the taps on the mountain will probably taste better!
  • Avoid Dehydration. Yes, take in all those fluids as mentioned above but avoid dehydrators such as caffeine, salt and alcohol. Doesn’t mean you can’t have an apres ski cocktail, just go easy especially the first night at elevation.
  • Eat Carbs. Carbs actually take less oxygen to metabolize and digest. Don’t worry about the calories, you’ll burn them off on the mountain and the carbs will help give you the energy to do it.
  • Take It Slow. If at all possible plan to spend your first night at a lower elevation in town and not at 10,000 feet. Taking a night to acclimate will go a long way in helping your body to adjust. Have a nice dinner, take in a concert, explore the city. Make plans ahead of time for things to do that first night in town. Odds are everyone will be tired from traveling anyway.

If spending a night at lower elevation isn’t possible, at least take it easy the first day on the mountain. Take the time to get your snow legs back and explore the mountain in easy stagers. Save the black diamonds for later.

There are also some drugs and energy drinks on the market that claim to prepare you for higher elevations and do away with any adjustment period. I have never heard that they work, but I haven’t spoken to a lot of people who’ve used them either.

Other suggestions to help prepare for a trip to altitude that I’ve seen are to take iron supplements or to take Ginkgo. None of these have science behind them, but there is some logic. Iron helps your body produce more hemoglobin which is generally seen in people at higher altitudes. Gingko enhances circulation which means more blood carrying more oxygen is circulating through your body.

Altitude sickness is generally harmless and short lasting. Once your body adapts to the altitude you’ll feel better. That takes time and you don’t want to spend your ski vacation feeling lousy and not being able to ski. The best way to prevent and fend off that sick feeling is hydration. Keep your fluids up before your trip and especially while on the mountain. It may be cold out but your engaging in lots of activity that uses up those fluids.

If hydration and rest don’t take care of the situation you’ll need to get some medical care. Many ski resorts have clinics on hand or ski patrol who are experienced in dealing with high altitude sickness. You might actually have caught the flu!

Affordable Travel Packages: Tips for Choosing the Ideal Vacation Package for Your Upcoming Trip

Finding and choosing the right vacation package has never been easier. There are so many tools on the internet to help you find discount hotel deals, bargain airfare, and more. Whether you’re looking for last minute deals or all-inclusive vacations, all you have to do is look over affordable travel packages and compare all of the offers. Which one is ideal for your travel needs?

When evaluating a package, one of the important things to consider is accommodation. There are so many types of accommodation, including budget hotels, chain hotels, hostels, cabins, inns, large resorts, serviced apartments and condos, etc. If you plan on spending most of your trip outdoors and have access to reliable transportation such as a rental car or bus, it’s okay to stay at a cheap hotel with basic amenities.

Do you really need an all-inclusive package? Are the “inclusions” even worth paying for? It all depends on what you really want out of a vacation. For most people, airfare, clean room, free breakfast, and free Wi-Fi is enough. Before selecting an all-inclusive package, ask yourself if you can do without some of the stuff it comes with.

Another important consideration is location. There can be hotels all over a city. Don’t think that just because you’re getting a room at a low price that you will be saving money. Depending on its location, you could end up paying more on a car rental, bus, or taxi. You might not even have to rent a car if your hotel is located walking distance from all of the places you plan to visit. At the very least, there should be a supermarket within walking distance so you can grab a few necessities.

Beware of Scam Affordable Travel Packages

Always know EXACTLY what you are booking and paying for. Don’t get scammed by so-called “affordable travel packages” that have hidden fees. Not that all of them do – some really are good bargains. You still need to be careful. It also helps to read the terms and conditions to understand the cancellation process. Some packages will charge you money if you have a change of plans and have to cancel. You might even come across some no-refund type of offers.

Use Google Maps or some other type of interactive street map for a better understanding of where a hotel is located in relation to restaurants, shops, bus stations, the airport, train stations, beach, etc. Having an idea of where everything is located will make it easier to sort through affordable travel packages.

Where can you find the most affordable travel packages? At online websites, there are some amazing deals to be found. Whether you to go on a cruise, fly to a big city, stay at a ski resort, etc., just use online discount codes to get a good bargain.

Why You Should Plan Your Ski Vacation Early

The country may yet to see snowy slopes and winter flurries, but savvy skiers and families are already planning out their next ski vacation. Sure, there are only a handful of US ski resorts open, and most of them are already offering a whole new set of attractions that doesn’t involve making snow angels.

But making arrangements this early do have a couple perks. To name a few:

Beating the rush

Imagine having to book your ski trip at the last minute, and you’re halfway down the road only to realize you left behind your skis! Or how about taking a chance on budget accommodations that look good on paper (or on the web) then arriving only to get disappointed? This happens when you plan your holidays on panic mode (Read: less than a month before peak season). When you plan your getaway early, you still have enough time in your hands to research on the best accommodations and create an itinerary everyone can agree upon. It also allows you to plan out your wardrobe and decide what gears you’ll need.

The early bird scores the best accommodations

When you book your vacation early, you get first dibs on prime chalets, apartments or hotel rooms. You can even request a room just a stone’s throw away from the slopes! Booking early also means you get to pick your flight schedules, slots in daycare and ski schools for your kids, and the best table at your favorite restaurant.

And big discounts, too!

Many ski resorts offer a slew of early bird incentives for those who plan way ahead. Enjoy huge savings on lodging, airfare, bulk ski passes and lift tickets when you book way ahead of the others.

Come peak season or early ski season and prices start ballooning to premium rates.

Flexible payment terms

On top of discounts, ski resorts, too, may offer early bookers down payment options on ski passes and other fees. For instance, you can pay half of the price now then pay the remainder by September. This allows you to save up for the getaway you and your family have been dreaming of since the end of season, without accruing debts and credit card interest charges.

You can always take a chance on finding last minute bargains. But you could miss out on a lot of advanced reservation promotions that could save a great deal! And while planning out your winter getaway while everyone else is set to hit the beach and get a tan may strike others as odd, you’ll be treating yourself to a well thought off ski vacation you and your whole family will certainly cherish and enjoy.

Family Vacation Packages Guide – Where Are Some Nice, Affordable Places to Go on a Family Trip?

There are plenty of nice places that offer something fun for every member of the family, from the youngest kids to the oldest great-grandparents. There are some affordable places too. Even if you have a large family, you should still be able to obtain discounts. Family vacation packages tend to offer “Kids Eat Free” deals, supervised kids programs, spacious rooms, and free activities that will appeal to everyone.

Here are a few affordable destinations that have family-friendly resorts:

Yellowstone National Park

While there are inns and lodging options around the Yellowstone area, there are also plenty of campgrounds. Just bring your own tents and enjoy the great outdoors. You have 2.2 million acres to explore. Go along some trails and try to catch glimpses of elk and buffalo.

Virginia Beach

If possible, visit in either the fall or winter when hotel rates are at their lowest. Family vacation packages at Virginia Beach are available at various hotels and resorts. There are also options for vacation rentals if you want your own kitchen.

Trinidad and Tobago

This is one of the more affordable family-friendly destinations in the Caribbean. You actually get two islands to explore and a variety of beach and mountain activities. Head to Invaders Steel Pan Yard to check out performances by steel pan bans. Another fun attraction is Tobago Cocoa Estate, where you and your kids can learn all about chocolate.

Breckenridge, CO

How about family vacation packages at a ski destination? “Breck” offers world-class skiing for all ages and all levels. There is also plenty to do in the historic downtown area. You could go during the summer and enjoy some hiking, zipping, climbing, etc. It is both the ultimate winter AND summer playground.

St. Petersburg, FL

There are 30+ quality family resorts in this Florida city. For cultural attractions, stay in the downtown area. For days of fun in the sun, grab a beach resort. Hotels in St. Petersburg have an average rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. In addition to nice accommodation, there is also plenty of shopping and dining.

Barcelona, Spain

If you think you can afford a European trip, Barcelona might be the city for you. There are some reasonably-priced family vacation packages. Not only is it a beautiful city, it is filled with tons of fun activities for kids and adults both. There are 500+ family-friendly hotels to choose from. Plus, it can be an educational experience for teens taking Spanish classes.

These are just a few ideas to help your family get started with the plans. Make a list of places everyone wants to visit and check out family vacation packages to see what all is available.

Use online websites to do your research on these destinations as well as others. It’s easy to find affordable family vacation packages with the site’s search tools. You can also simply browse to find out what all is available right now. Don’t forget to apply online promo codes when booking your trip.