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Steamboat with a toddler - pre-trip blog

I thought that I would start my blog now, since we will be travelling this season with our “just 2 year old” (incase I don’t have too much spare time whilst we are in Steamboat!).

Husband and I have been fairly long term visitors to Steamboat. This will be our second trip with Jnr: the first (last February) he was just a year old. This year Jnr is a lot more mobile (he started walking the day we arrived home after our last trip) and is a lot more aware of both himself and his surroundings. He is a very active, fearless little boy and I expect both great joy, during this next trip to Steamboat, and probably a little frustration too (“why can’t I strap on some adult skis and go head first down a black run?”).

We will fly to Los Angeles first (to visit some of my husband’s family and to celebrate Jnr’s 2nd birthday) with British Airways. Then we are booked to fly, on United, to Hayden. As a two year old, this will be Jnr’s first flight with his own seat. This fills me with both pride and terror: how will I keep him in his own seat for take-off and landing?! We will have a short connection (and “toddler exercise break” in Denver before flying on to Hayden. We love flying into Hayden: it is a special little airport that combines convenience with that instant feeling of “you have arrived in Ski Town USA” (ok, well just down the road from “Ski Town USA”....). Last season Hayden Airport was undergoing some pretty major development (including a new restaurant), so it will be interesting to see the changes.

We have reserved a 4x4 rental car at Hayden: love being able to just walk 100yards or so across the parking lot, from the terminal, to pick up your car. A refreshing change from having to take a rental car shuttles at the larger airports.

We are travelling with the parents-in-law again this year: they provide an invaluable helping hand with Jnr. Jnr doesn’t attend nursery or day care at home, so our plan is not to take him to KVC this year. Saying that, if he wears his grandparents out too quickly we may rethink this!

We have reserved a condo at the Sheraton Villas. There are lots of very good lodging options in Steamboat: it is always a difficult choice. Bear Claw is like a second home to us (and is unbeatable in so many ways) and we had a really lovely stay at the Steamboat Grand last year. However, this year, we wanted ski-in/ski-out and easy walking access to the base area (for the non-skiing in-laws and our active toddler). We did look very seriously at One Steamboat Place (which I looked around last season and thought was a really lovely property), but – with discounts – it was pricing at pretty much twice the price of the Sheraton Villas: we couldn’t justify the price difference (and Sheraton arguably has a better ski-in/ski-out position).

For anyone who hasn’t booked accommodation yet, I would urge you to both shop around AND book quickly. The Sheraton quoted me rack rate to stay there, but Steamboat Central Reservations quoted a much more competition rate (including lift passes and other discounts). The savings can be quite huge if you shop around.

A few lessons learnt from our trip last season:

  • We plan to Fedex our skis to Steamboat (especially since we are flying via a few days in LA), then we will take the skis back with us ourselves (we found that Fedexing the skis back from Steamboat, last year, was shockingly more expensive than fedexing them out).
  • We will be using “Baby’s Away”, in Steamboat, to provide some useful things for our toddler (possibly a cot, a couple of safety gates and a tub of toys). We used them last year and they were excellent.
  • Pre-ordering groceries to be in our condo before arrival: we used The Grocery Company of Steamboat last year and they were very good.

So we are fairly organised. Steamboat is very family friendly and being very regular return guests we know “what is what”, where things are and how things works: which all makes ski vacationing with a toddler that bit easier.

Now we are left with looking at ski gear, drooling over the Steamboat Dining Guide, watching the Steamboat Website for updates, reading other people’s blogs and swapping ideas and advice on the forum.

Looking forward to a great snow year and another fantastic ski vacation in Steamboat.

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Tags: family, kids, toddler

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Comment by Boo Boo on October 19, 2011 at 3:28pm

Thank you very much Rachel.

I have a feeling that this trip will be the most "challenging" (an active toddler not really old enough to ski yet), but I am sure that it will also be amazingly rewarding. I know that many people would think me mad bringing a small child to Steamboat, but I just couldn't wait to share the experience with him. Ski trips aren't the same as "pre baby", but it allows us to see the whole ski vacation experience through fresh eyes.

Please feel free to share any tips or suggestions. Hope that you have a good trip too - although I have little doubt ;-)

Comment by Rachel McCurtain on October 17, 2011 at 5:50pm
I feel the pain of a toddler.  Our sweet one is now 5 and on her 3 trip to Steamboat come January. It gets easier :) She loves it...and last year was the best as we were able to ski with her after picking her up from ski school.  I loved your blog.  Here's to a great trip.  Cheers!!!

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