Adventure Travel Tip: Scope Your Ski Area

"Going to a new ski resort for the first time can be a bit overwhelming, so my #1 advice is to use your first day (which is usually a travel day anyway) to really get a lay of the land. First I check out the shuttle/transportation system (where does it stop, where does it go and when). Next I hit the base village to scope out the food and watering holes. If you see restaurants you like, make a reservation right then and there for later in the week – on busy weeks they will fill up fast, leaving you with long waits and late dining. Finding the right après ski bar is also critical – scope out the possible candidates and then let everyone in your party know where to meet at the end of the ski day. I also recommend checking out the base of the mountain. You will want to see where to get lift tickets and where the lockers are so you can put your boots on at the hill and store your skis at the end of the day. Last but not least, I check out the hotel. Are there ski lockers, where is the best exit to the mountain and most importantly...where is the hot tub?"

—Steve Kopitz is the Founder and Ski-E-O of, The Ultimate Online Ski Shop. With 49 years of skiing and adventure under his belt, he has traveled to over 40 ski resorts in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Chile. Once upon a time, Steve told his wife he wouldn't marry her unless she learned to ski (she's great now). His son was officially on skis at 22 months and his daughter at 3 years old (a late bloomer). Skiing is Steve's profession and passion.