Vacationer or ?

Stay-cationer?  In skiing terms.  Skiing is unique, while not totally so,  in that its a sport that provides the opportunity to travel.  But travel isn't for everyone.  Some live in ski country, others own 2nd homes here in the east or its simply not in their budget or even desire to do so.  Opinions please.


Lake Hopatcong, NJ


  • I've done it all, from day tripper, to child/young adult
    of ski vacation property owners, to infrequent ski vacation dad, to frequent
    traveler to western ski destinations several times per winter.  When you are young, energetic, and motivated all
    of those can work, but the ski vacation property-owning phase is logistically
    the easiest assuming the property is well maintained and is within driving
    distance of primary residence.  I guess
    the one thing I have not been able to pull off is making a good living while
    living close enough to good skiing to make a trip to the slopes like going to
    visit my local health club.  My son is in
    that situation with Snowbird and for various reasons the best it looks like
    I'll be able to do for now is become a boomerang dad and hang out at his place
    for extended ski periods.

  • This is a great topic and very interested to hear others input here. As I am 25, I don't have much experience in this. Growing up with doing multiple weeks at Smuggs and Stratton each year, to parents getting a house at Mount Snow. I've been lucky to grow up such a way.

    I am now living in Burlington, VT and typically travel to Stowe, Bolton, and Sugarbush 2 or 3 times a week for daily riding. I have a great paying job in the Engineering field, which makes this conducive to buying passes and traveling. One big piece that is missing, at least in my brain, is being even closer to the mountain with a similar job. I would love to be in downtown Breckenridge and have the same job, but it's rare to have high paying jobs in such decentralized areas.
  • edited February 20
    We do most all of it too.  I'm very fortunate to have a lifelong partner to ski with in my wife.  We raised two children on skis, with some help from my parents when they were alive (and the kids were small), but mostly as a family sport which has produced many cherished moments.  

    Along the way, we have done it several ways.  We've day tripped, weekended, and vacationed out west.  

    Its hard to consider Morris County NJ as being in true ski country but family did have house in the Pocono Mountains for  time, and between that and our home we settled on spending pretty much a decade with Camelback Pa serving as a home mountain. The girl taught ski school there and the boy was on the race team. The racing schedule had us visiting areas such a Seven Springs, Blue Mountain and Elk Mountain for weekends each year providing a little bit of variety.  The wife and I still keep a pass there to this day. (Been invaluable this year, see ski season ranking thread)

    We did weekend Northern New EnglandNew York, originally on school breaks.  Had a great trip to Bretton Woods one year with other families that is really vivid in the memory bank.  Subsequent years there was some traveling for pre and post season racing.  When our daughter went to school at Castleton the weekending became a little more frequent and the boy and I bought Killington Spring Passes and skied till May a couple of seasons.  As quasi empty nesters the wife and I now get to enjoy some nice weekends  up north (when the weather cooperates)

    My father really got us into traveling out west.  He was really into skiing but my mom (originally from Georgia) was not.  She tried for him but really only lasted 5 years and gave it up.  My brother skied but never had a deep passion, married fairly young, moved to NC and gave it up.  So it was me (and my wife when she came along ) who benefited from my dads passion.  It was through his connection with  former classmate and business associate that I got to go out several times to Aspen Colorado (favorite resort to this day).  He was a generous man and always let us have relatives and friends join us on our trips.  After his death in 2001 another family member bought a place in Cottonwood Heights Utah allowing us to keep traveling west at reasonable cost.  

    Our son spent 1 year in college back east (NH) then transfered to U Colorado and is living in the Denver area.  He is the keeper of "our" car out there, loving life, and working part time at Keystone.  He will never return to the east coast. (to live that is).  Its a great excuse to travel there and we do and have enjoyed the area between Denver and Salt Lake City annually.

    Our future plans will hopefully involve spending winter times out west and summer times back here in the east.  Some of it depends upon where our daughter ends up.  We may have to have footholds in a couple of places but in the future we hope to do a vast majority of our skiing out there.


    Lake Hopatcong, NJ

  • I have also done a few versions of this:

    From my teens through 30s I was a die-hard day tripper.  My wife joined that story in our early 20s.  We lived in SE Mass.  We would often day-trip to ski both days of the weekend, plus maybe a 3rd day mid-week.

    A sidetrack to the above was in my early 20s when my wife and I lived in Colorado and worked at Copper.  I skied every day at work and spent most of my off days skiing.  This is also when my wife became an avid snowboarder.  Before this she never went at all.  Since then she has been my solid ski/board partner.  99% of my ski days are with her.

    By our mid 30s we started to be able to afford lodging.  Our day trips turned into weekend trips.

    By late 30s-early 40s we traded in random weekend hotel rooms for seasonal condo/house rentals. Since we both have flexible work schedules this meant we could often stay at our rental for weeks at a time.

    By mid 40s we bought a 2nd home in ski country.  My wife can work from home and my winter work schedule is slow and flexible.  So now we often stay in ski country for weeks (or more) at a time.  

    On top of this we typically do a western ski trip approximately every other year. That has been pretty consistent across all of the other changes. 

    I'm happy with that whole progression.  I certainly don't miss the constant driving. But I do somewhat miss the variety of ski areas we used to hit before locking into a specific location. 
  • I have done it all also... Day trips, weekends, etc...I grew up in Rhode Island, my parents had a ski share in a house in North Conway...30 years ago I landed a High School teaching job in Vermont. I am now retired and I ski at Killington all the time. I live about 35 miles south of K town, I drive up rt 100 to get to K town....I wish you the best in trying to land a job near  a ski area...I never thought beyond my wildest dreams that I would retire some day and go skiing when ever I that job and....LIVE THE DREAM !!!!!

  • I mix it up, whatever works.

    • day trips
    • family weekend trips w/ rental property
    • weekend at a friend's house, friend's other house, another friend's time share, boss' house, brother's condo, daughter's apartment
    • solo overnight stay in a hostel or air bnb room
    • long weekend trips with friends sharing rental
    • week long trips to CO or UT with house rental, condo rental, hostel, motel, hotel...whatever works.  Even rented an elk hunting lodge once.

    Family had a second home in VT when I was a kid.  Have kicked around the idea of buying a second home or condo in ski country, but my ideal destination keeps jumping around the map.  

    In retrospect I'm glad I never did, been fortunate enough to know people and have nurtured relationships to keep costs down and have a good variety of destinations without a mortgage payment or maintenance fee.  Other people prefer the known location and arrangements, which I understand and sometimes wish I had that. 

  • For me my skiing has been a bit more closed off and limited primarily due to money. Growing up in semi ski country (Sunapee, NH), Mt Sunapee was my home mountain. Both of my parents have worked or are currently working there in addition to myself during my high school and college years. Mom and Dad started me skiing when I was 2 years old at Sunapee. From then until college, that was the only place I had ever been. Skiing was basically my day care for the day. As soon as I was big enough to ski on my own, I was often dropped off at the beginning of the day to while Mom and Dad worked, and once the day was over we all just went home together. Once in high school, I started working at Sunapee and riding my bike there on my days off to go skiing. Once I had a car, skiing after school was almost a daily occurrence.

    Once I started college I continued to work at Sunapee on the weekends and began to take advantage of college lift ticket/pass deals in order to finally branch out and ski other places. I also setup my class schedule in the Spring Semester to allow for skiing on some days by putting my first class at 3 or 4pm. Being at Lyndon State allowed skiing all over the place (including Canada). I was even able to ski Sunday River a few times and still make it back for a 4pm class on Wednesdays.

    After college ended, I continued working at Sunapee on the weekends during ski season while working at my first job near Manchester, VT. Working it out with my boss, I was able to drive "home" Friday night a little bit early, work two long days over the weekend and then get back into work on Monday morning around 10. I didn't have much of a life outside of work/skiing at Sunapee and just working my regular job, but I was still able to keep my sanity. Also money got extraordinarily tight. Then in 2013, I got a job in the Burlington, VT area and was able to move in with my girlfriend who was just finishing up at UVM. I was only able to maintain one more year of driving down to Sunapee for weekend work until I decided I needed to cut back and get a second job that was closer to Burlington.

    Now at the present day, I'm 31 and still work around 60 to 65 hours a week in order to make ends meet. Marriage, buying a house, and paying on student loans have definitely curtailed my skiing quite a bit, but now in 2017/2018 I have been able to venture out more. In college I was getting a good 40 days in, and even working at Sunapee during my last 3 years or so there I would ski both days every weekend getting in a good solid 30 days for the season, which I absolutely loved. Then during my lean skiing years (2014 - 2016) it dropped to an average of 4 or 5 days for the season due to the money issue. This year I'm hoping for 10 days on the planks, as more and more I'm researching and planning out how to take advantage of as many cheap/affordable ski deals that I can and I'm getting more financially stable.

    Adulting definitely sucks at times, but with the right planning and budgeting I feel like I've been able to get back to some of that ski bum life. My wife does ski with me when she can, though her many years of skiing for school racing programs has finally caught up to her.
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