If you’re spending time over the holidays on the slopes rather than on a tropical beach getaway, these must-have apps and gadgets for a ski vacation will help you plan your snowy getaway but keep you up to date on the latest conditions on the slopes and protect your devices against the elements. They’re things that have served my family well during last year’s spring break ski trip to Tahoe and ones we’re planning to use as we hit the slopes more locally this winter.
10 Apps and Gadgets for a Ski Vacation 1 of 11
Here are apps and gadgets that work well whether you're spending a day, long weekend, or a week skiing or snowboarding.
Plan your trip 2 of 11
If you're looking into a possible ski trip and don't quite know where to start, Viator Tours & Activities App can be a helpful way to get a true sense of what ski resorts are really like, thanks to user-generated trips and activities that feature photos and reviews to help you narrow down your choices. Exclusive deals and discounts through the app can help you save money, and the app is especially useful if you have a white-out kind of day and need alternative entertainment around town, away from the ski resort.
Free for iOS and Android. Images courtesy of Viator.
Know whether to hang behind or hit the slopes 3 of 11
Nothing is worse than planning a trip with others and trying to keep tabs on when everyone is arriving. Glympse app allows users to share their location with family and friends who can track their progress — or delays — as they air or car travel across the country. Travelers can share their location temporarily for up to four hours by selecting who they want to share with. If you're flying and are using in-flight GoGo wireless, Glympse recently partnered with Gogo to allow any traveler to send a Glympse for free while in the air, so family and friends can track fliers while en route regardless of delays or last minute flight changes. Recipients can see that person's movements in real-time on a dynamic map, so they know exactly when the traveler is slowed or stopped, or if they have taken a wrong turn, and should plan to wait or hit the slopes without them!
Free for iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry. Image courtesy of Glympse.
Keep on top of conditions when you get there 4 of 11
Don't let the possibility of white out conditions ruin your day! Know what's coming with the REI Snow Report App. Get conditions at resorts world-wide or add the ones in your immediate vicinity to an app-specific message board for push notifications of new snow and important conditions to know about. If you're out on the slopes, be part of user-generated updates and share information with friends via social media channels or the REI Snow Report message board. If you're heading out, get a look in real-time via the app's resort cams to figure out if you want to change your plans for the day or stick with them. Once you're on the slopes, the trail maps are incredibly useful as long as you can dig your phone out of your pocket with gloves on!
Buy lift tickets on the go 5 of 11
Buying tickets on the fly after changing your plans for the day is no big deal thanks to Liftopia Ski Reports, Snow Conditions and Ultimate Lift Ticket Deal Engine. Skiiers and snowboarders have the luxury of browsing and taking advantage of lift ticket deals at more than 250 resorts in North America. The app lets users search and compare deals; book lift tickets, rentals, and lessons at discounts up to 80% off; get ski and snow conditions and weather reports; access trail maps; and more. A fun bonus is the "Big Pow" Easter Egg where users can open the app, shake their phone, and snow—globe like animation reveals which ski area has received the most powder in the last 24 hours for some fun trivia, although it will probably make you wish you were there instead of where you currently are!
Free for iOS. Images courtesy of Liftopia.
Find cheaper lodging 6 of 11
If you're not bunking at your buddy's ski house during your trip, the Room 77 mobile app is a huge help when finding the best rates on hotels, since it combs the web to find you the lowest available rates in the shortest amount of time. Room 77 eliminates the need for toggling between apps, allows you to book just hours in advance, and will tell you which places it finds that feature your favorite perks or freebies such as wifi, parking, and breakfast.
Check in online 7 of 11
Who wants to stop and call their hotel mid-run to ask for upgrades or if their room is ready? Not me! Check in via your iOS device with CheckMate and let your hotel know of specific room preferences. You can also receive special offers on room upgrades and amenities and learn when your room will be ready so you can get one last run in before the end of the day and avoid waiting in line at the front desk in your moon boots.
Free for iOS. Images courtesy of CheckMate.
Capture the action 8 of 11
Nothing is better than having visual proof that you conquered the half pipe or did a giant vertical drop than having it on video thanks to the Hero 3+, the latest from GoPro. With the ability to mount the waterproof GoPro to your snowboard, ski pole, helmet, or even hold it in your gloved hands as your buddy traverses the snow park or slopes, the angles that can be captured are endless to display your power prowess. Lighter, better image quality, faster wifi, and 30% longer battery life makes the newest GoPro a great choice over previous versions, and while you're at it, grab some Anti-Fog Inserts to keep it from fogging up in the cold environment.
$199-299 from Target Electronics. Image courtesy of GoPro.
Protect your phone from the elements 9 of 11
I've tried a lot of smartphone cases over the years and my hands-down favorite that truly protects it despite snow, sleet, sand, rain, and whatever other elements may harm it is LifeProof's FrÃ© case, that fully encases your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy device to keep snow out, but still allows you to use the touch screen and make and take calls on a lift or at the end of a run.
Cases starting at $79.99 from LifeProof.com. Image courtesy of LifeProof
Keep your digits warm when texting on the lift 10 of 11
Arrange meetups at your favorite runs without risking frostbite thanks to North Face eTip Apex Gloves, a set of water-resistant gloves that will keep your fingers warm during your slope side adventures. Just don't drop your phone off the lift while texting!
$55 from REI.com. Image courtesy of North Face.
Have a backup heat source and charger thanks to one device 11 of 11
In case it's colder than planned (or you're skiing with kids), having an alternate source of heat that can keep you a little warmer is always helpful. FireCel's Rechargeable Handwarmer is genius because it has dual temperatures, runs up to three hours, can be used as a portable charger for your smartphone while on the ski runs, and includes a bright LED flashlight in case you're still out after dark.
$49.95 from LLBean.com. Image courtesy of LLBean.
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