Intergenerational ski getaway – 5 tips for success

One blessing of being the “older” generation is the delight of organizing and hosting an intergenerational getaway.  To my mind, it outweighs any holiday or birthday gift “thing” you can bestow; the experience itself is priceless for all.

A recent ski weekend honored 2 birthdays,  but it could be anything/activity wherein all shared a new adventure and the sense of discovery.

Here are some tips on making an intergenerational weekend – of any kind – a success.

1. Keep it Simple

 No need to make it an epic journey. The point is to go away as an intergenerational unit. A ‘family’ can be any group you define…

You’ll have way more fun, and way less stress, by keeping the trip logistics simple and straightforward. The group dynamic will provide enough twists and turns and surprises.

Hints for success:

  •  Stay in your time zone. Sure it would be fun to go glam, but this probably isn’t the trip to do it. Our toddler made long-distance travel for a short time away ill-advised.
  • If possible, make the destination driveable distance. It’s one thing if the older generation, a single or couple, has to fly to join in, but by making it drivable for the ‘anchor’ family means that they won’t arrive exhausted before the fun even begins. (And again, toddlers tend to have a short range.)


  • Stick to family-friendly locales. Know your audience. If the kids in your tribe are 10 and under, and particularly if they are infrequent skiers, stick to the low-key resorts that cater to young families. The fancy stuff can come later.




2. Do Your Research!

Time spent sorting out what the best fit is for your group ensures a good time for all.

Adjoining hotel rooms, where meals are taken care of, might work well for two nights when you don’t want to spend precious time in meal prep or clean-up. A condo or a rented house might be the better bet for three nights or for a large group.


Hints for success:

  • What other activities are available aprés ski or for non-skiers? Things like wi-fi access, bowling, quiet place for reading, shopping, a spa/pool/massages will provide plenty to do, and a memorable weekend, for everyone.
  • Check out the availability of other winter activities, e.g.: ice skating, tubing, snowmobile or sleigh rides. If it’s something that all or most can participate in, all the better!
  • Importantly, what are the options for children? Is there day-care for little ones? Ski school for older toddlers and kids? Ski instructors for all levels?  A lesson or ski-school is the cherry on top of the ski weekend sundae.

3. Keep it short!

You know your tribe – but a strategy I’ve found helpful is to wrap up one day before you want to leave.

I’ve found the best travel experience – anywhere – has been when I wanted that one last hurrah. My advice: leave when you want that one last day.   It makes the memory of the trip all the sweeter and lessens the friction that can accompany excessive closeness.


Hints for success:

  • For us, two nights worked well and, at a destination an hour from home, it was easy to arrive the night before and have two full days on the slopes.
  • Two days made us all hungry for more and the next time!

4. Mix it up

Make the chairlift the opportunity to get to know the next generation a little better.  There’s  no better get-to-know than riding up the chairlift. Remark on the scenery, the cold, the sharp wind;  share a package of tissues to dab a runny nose – all the simplest of bonding experiences!


Hints for success:

  • Draw names out of the hat for pairing up the first run of the day or the first run after lunch. Make the rule that the ‘partners’ need to wait for the slower one at the bottom – then decide to go again or on their separate ways.
  • In a lightning round of aprés ski story-telling, have everybody, young and old, relate an experience from the day  No exceptions, even for the non-skiers.  They did something and it’s worthy of sharing.
  • Pack a board game (various age levels) and a deck of cards.  Candyland and gin rummy can break down age barriers in nothing flat.
  • Here’s the big one: put the screens away! This is a brief and special time for connecting on a human level.  Dependence on technology is our default – and we’re all guilty, not just the kids.



5. Memorialize the memories!

Hints for success:

Keep your cell phone charged and at the ready to snap pictures and catch once-in-a-lifetime videos. Below, my granddaughter’s ski debut with her dad was just one highlight, and to witness it an honor.

Also, memorializing the first day’s run of 10-year-old grandson was like watching a colt take off across the field. So lucky to witness this, too!

  • Don’t ignore the old school mountain top resort photographers, and make it a point to memorialize the weekend with a pro shot if you can assemble the gang.
  • Want hero status? Slip into the ski shop and pick up the simplest souvenirs: branded t-shirt, hat/headband for the kids;  something for the parents – everyone can use an extra mug.  You’ll see that shirt/hat/sweatshirt pop up weeks and months from now – and the mug in the kitchen. A subtle reminder that the best times are those spent together.


Here’s a peek at our memories of the ski weekend:

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Have an intergenerational trip to share?  Planning one?  Please share in the comments below!



P.S. – Please know this is not a sponsored post…the Trombleys had a great weekend at Hidden Valley Resort on our own dime.

© 3 Score & More 2017


One Reply to “Intergenerational ski getaway – 5 tips for success”

  1. So fun! Next time Windham?! We are throwing your tips to the wind and taking off on an intergenerational trip to Eleuthera next month. Will report back!


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