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Is it Safe to Ski During a Pandemic?

lindsay giguiere, safe traveling tips to a ski destination

The answer is yes, it’s safe to ski during a pandemic, however, your winter wonderland vacation may look a bit different than previous years. That shouldn’t surprise anyone since 2020 has been all about adjustments.

The great news is the slopes won’t be as crowded. The bad news? It won’t equate to shorter lines for all aspects of your ski experience. Why? One reason according to Fodors is the new lift rules. “Resorts are only loading members from the same party onto one lift. For a four-person lift, two singles are being seated on opposite sides, and on a six-person lift, two singles or two doubles are being seated on opposite sides.” 

At least the lines for lift tickets and ski equipment will be non-existent as many resorts are requiring all transactions to be completed in advance online. 

It’s not skiing down the slopes that’s going to put you in danger. Skiing is considered a low-risk outdoor activity which means COVID isn’t going to ruin your winter break, however, you still need to wear masks and maintain a six-foot distance from those around you that don’t live with you. 

Unless you often wipe out in a crowd of people and humiliate yourself like someone I may or may not know, you’re typically not on top of others or standing idle next to them. If you think about it, ski attire is perfect for COVID. You wear a face mask, gaiters, gloves, and try to cover up any skin exposure. 

Is It All Downhill From Here?

If you’re flying to get to your destination, you’ll come in contact with many people from the airport to the plane. If you can drive, drive. It may make sense to skip the hotel and rent a condo or house for this trip, where you’ll only be exposed to your family and close friends you’re traveling with.

While skiing is an outdoor sport, a ski trip is so much more. This year, you may be dining outside under heat lamps and your après ski vision of cocktails and some time to unwind may be limited to your hotel minibar. Unfortunately, aprés ski activities will have to wait until aprés COVID.

If you love your kids but love the fact they’re in ski school all day more, check to see what safety protocols are put into place or if lessons are canceled.

This ski vacation will need a little more attention and planning than usual to ensure everyone’s health and safety. While it’s not what you’re used to and love about your annual ski trips, COVID is still hangin’ around and while he isn’t a welcome travel partner, he demands respect. 

Discover New Opportunities 

COVID is constantly reminding us to switch gears and alter our lives with little time to plan. It’s a great opportunity to change up your annual ski trip activities and try something different, which as we all know is not always a bad thing.

Since as mentioned, new rules will be in place at the slopes, from renting equipment to the chair lift, give your skis a break and use this chance to discover activities you never considered before, like snowshoeing. What is snowshoeing you ask? Think of it as hiking in the snow. It’s great exercise, much less crowded than the ski slopes, and less expensive. 

There’s also cross-country skiing and while your need for speed won’t be fulfilled, you’ll check off other items on your list like being closer to nature and fulfilling a more serene experience. These days, we can all use activities to calm our nerves.

Jet skiing and dog sledding don’t involve large groups of tourists and are super fun. Your inner speed demon will be happy. 

Mug Half Full

Instead of focusing on what you’ll be missing out on, focus on your hot chocolate mug being half full. We have to remember that COVID forced many of us to slow down, smell the roses, and spend more time with our immediate family. You can still have an amazing ski trip at COVID mountain.

If you’re the kind of person who makes the best of every situation, take this time to try new adventures and make different memories. A place you’ve skied at multiple times may have some hidden treasures you’ve been missing out on. 

If you’re beyond disappointed with your new ski itinerary, cancel your trip. Ski vacations aren’t cheap and they take a lot of planning. You worked hard for this trip so if it’s not going to be what you envisioned, take your time off and spend it closer to home and discover what’s in your own backyard. 

Either way, positivity always leads to great things so enjoy that half a mug of delicious hot chocolate. 

Remember Your Priorities

A ski trip is a luxury, as is any vacation. That means it’s not a necessity and therefore, not worth risking your health. Consider all aspects of your travel including airports, the plane, transportation from the airport to your hotel, restaurants, and the risks of exposure they present. 

Remember that you’re not just putting yourself at risk, but others as well. A canceled trip and disappointment are things you can get over. COVID, on the other hand, may not yield the same results.  

At the end of the day, do what works best for you whether that’s dusting off your ski pants or leaving them in hibernation. Remember not to let others’ judgment of your choices impact you. Everyone needs to respect each other’s handling of COVID and as long as you’re following the rules, it doesn’t matter what others think. 

If you do end up flying in the sky and down the slopes, enjoy every second, be patient with necessary changes, stay safe, wear a mask, and have a blast! 

Hope You Enjoyed the Read!

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