Tips for a Successful Family Vacation

September 08, 2014 Katie Burrell

Some might say the only way to have a successful family vacation is to not go on one. But at Last Frontier Heliskiing, we disagree. There are a few things that can keep your family together, smiling and laughing like you’ve walked right out of the pages of a Sears catalogue. One of those things – if age appropriate – is alcohol. Another is heli-skiing. Here are few tips to make your family’s trip to Last Frontier Heliskiing one for the books:

Bringin' Up The Rear. Photo: Dave Silver
Someone’s got to bring up the rear. Photo: Dave Silver

1. Don’t Give Advice, Unless Advice Is Asked For, And Even Then, Hesitate to Actually Give Advice

I'm Smiling, But I'm Not Listening. Photo: Caton Garvie
I’m smiling, but I’m not listening. Photo: Caton Garvie

The classic family mistake goes like this: “you need my advice for you to be able to function and get through your life, and I will now give it to you, because I love you, but sometimes am unsure how to express those feelings, so I will say things that ultimately make you feel terrible about yourself, and then we will yell at each other for a bit, and then we will not speak for a bit, and then we will carry on like nothing happened until one of us offers unsolicited advice again.” How to avoid this? When your wife is struggling with her boots, keep your mouth shut. When your husband skis into a hole and face plants, don’t laugh (until after he has laughed). When your daughter is perfecting her powder turns, keep your circa 1985 ski lesson tips locked up. When your son is skiing so fast that he seems out of control, check in with the concept of relativity before you accuse him of skiing like a maniac.

2. Share Your Snacks

Or Don't. Sharing Is Caring. Photo: Dave Silver
Or don’t. Sharing is caring. Photo: Dave Silver

This is the easiest, best way to keep your family together. Everyone gets hungry, and few are immune to the effects of hangriness. This is ultimately the way to abate tension: it is rare that people that don’t know one another that well will yell at each other in a moment of frustration brought on by being hungry. But, your family will absolutely lose it on you. So keep each other fed.

3. Alternate Who Skis In Front

Who's In Front? Photo: Dave Silver
Who’s in front? Photo: Dave Silver

This is one of the most challenging things to do, especially because most manners are thrown out the window when you’re skiing with your family. But this is one of those things you have to do, because if you don’t, you will hear about it for the rest of your life.

4. Do What Your Mom Asks You To and Also What She Doesn’t Ask You To

Whoop Whoop! Photo: Dave Silver
Whoop whoop! Photo: Dave Silver

Mothers are beautiful and complicated creatures. They have done everything for you. This means that they expect a lot from you, some of which you are not even aware of. However, a lot of those things are going to be unreasonable. Do them anyways. Also, moms are suckers for a little bit of TLC here and there. Bundle her skis up for her and wipe her goggles off. Chances are she might pay for your extra vertical.  

5. Don’t Lead Your Dad Into All of the Scary Spots

Still Got It! Photo: Cedric Bernardini
Still got it! Photo: Cedric Bernardini

Dad is a shredder, and Dad’s got spirit. But Dad’s not a young man anymore, and we want to keep Dad together. There’s nothing that ruins a family vacation more than leading your dad through some tight trees or off a little drop that ends in him breaking a hip. Because as soon as Dad gets hurt, you know that that’s your fault, right? Well, it is. It will always be your fault. So when Dad wants a little adrenaline rush and says “I’m following you,” ski him somewhere that makes him feel like he’s still got it.