Archive for the Category »Aspen «

Sep
10th
  Travel Tip Tuesday: Keeping the Family Healthy – Don’t Let A High Trip Get You Down!

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I was caught by surprise on a recent trip to Santa Fe New Mexico. Despite the relaxation, great hikes, and fresh air, I wasn’t sleeping well, and felt a little nauseous at bedtime, along with a slight headache. I was “off.”

Too bad I realized too late that Santa Fe is 7,000 feet above sea level! Who knew?

Altitude sickness had set in. About 20% of use get some symptoms of altitude sickness between 6300 and 9,700 feet above sea level. My doctor told me that people with low blood pressure are even more susceptible… (I’m no MD, but after thinking about it, it makes sense – need to get oxygen flowing stronger!)

Aspen, CO

Aspen, CO

Since it will soon be time to book ski trips over the holidays, I want to remind everyone how altitude sickness can creep up on you, and cast a little haze on your trip if you are not careful… especially if you ski in the higher elevations.

Symptoms of altitude sickness are similar to a severe hangover: insomnia, nausea or vomiting, or light headedness. To prevent it head on, make sure you stay hydrated – more water vapor from the lungs is lost at higher altitudes. Try and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Give yourself time to acclimate before exerting yourself on a hike or something….

If you start exhibiting more serious signs of altitude sickness like excessive vomiting, fever, loss of consciousness,  make sure to seek medical attention. This is especially true if you are climbing higher than 10,000 feet – they say you shouldn’t climb higher  than 300 feet a day at that level.

If you have a pre-existing heart condition you should see your doctor prior to the trip.

There IS medication to prevent altitude sickness. I know that I am susceptible because 3 out of 5 trips to Aspen I have gotten altitude sickness (listen up skiers).

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

So when I was invited to go to Peru for work, a place on my bucket list, I didn’t want my trip to be compromised because I didn’t feel 100%. My doctor prescribed Diamox. I took it a few days before my trip so my body could get used to it, and I felt great even at 11,000 feet.

salt mones Peru

I went with a tour group, Adventures by Disney, and I must say that many people on my trip who did not take Diamox, got sick – including my own family. I was very happy to be on it and wasn’t affected by altitude at all. Some countries, like Peru, offer coca leaves to help… I can’t say that it helped anyone on my trip.

My recommendation would be to check with your doctor – especially when it comes to medicating your children with anything. I found that the kids adjusted better than adults – maybe a stomach ache for a few hours, and then they were fine.

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Don’t let a high trip get you down – be prepared :)

 
Jan
10th
  Travel Tip Tuesday: Don’t Get Snowed on a Ski Trip, Here’s How to Save $$

Let’s face it – as heavenly as those mountain vacations are, skiing/snowboarding are expensive sports…the gear, lift tickets, travel expenses. Wouldn’t it be nice to reduce the cost?

Here are some tips to help you have a nice trip, and not break the bank.

1) Consider your parking situation at the mountain. Check with the ski resort – some charge less for parking on week days… and charge less for high occupancy vehicles. Translation: carpool. It can save you $10 a day in some places.

2) If you have children, buy their equipment on Ebay. I have bought every new set of kids’ skis on the auction website, and hand each pair down to the next child. If you only have one child, it may not be worth it to buy skis and boots since kids he or she grow out of them. Also, skis = extra baggage charges on planes,  so see if there are special package deals for rentals if you put your child in a lesson.

3) Consider flying Jet Blue or Southwest to your ski destination if possible – they still allow a second free checked bag. Otherwise, make your boots your carry on so you can put all the skis together in one bag.

4) If you own a credit card linked to an airline, check to see if that gets you any benefits when it comes to checking skis or extra baggage.

5) Instead of renting a car online, call the local rental car agencies directly- especially if you are renting last minute.  I have found they sometimes have cars that the online websites don’t list – for a better price!

Now all we need is more SNOW! Have a great season!

 
Jan
04th
  Little Snow in Aspen – But Plenty To Do

Happy Happy New Year! I genuinely hope 2012 brings all good things.
…and that includes some snow in some of America’s greatest ski resorts!

Buttermilk at Aspen, CO

I know of a few bare mountains – I experienced Aspen, CO first hand this winter break. Locals were saying there hasn’t been this little snow since something like 1950 ( fact checker?) And there is no snow in the forecast until next week.


But don’t let that stop you from visiting! We had enough snow as a family to ski – and to be honest, the low snow fall kept the crowds away. It wasn’t powder, but it wasn’t all slush and ice either. The sun was shining, it was a great way to start the new year, and there were some young guys who definitely took advantage of the atypical temps…

There are a few resorts to ski in Aspen – each with their own personality. Snow Mass is most family-oriented, and word is there is enough the most snow there, but it is the farthest from town.

I skied Highlands and Buttermilk this trip – now that Buttermilk’s Tiehack Express lift is open, there is enhanced (and faster) access to more intermediate and advanced runs, but still many runs for the kids.

If you don’t get any snow while you are there, the great thing about Aspen is that there is still plenty to do.

Aspen Rec Center with multiple families!

For instance, the public rec center is a gem. With a daily admission fee of: kids: $15, and adults $17, but free if just supervise, you have access to:

Rock climbing

Ice Skating

and an amazing floating river pool, with water slides. The kids love it. There is a snack bar inside too, so you can spend many hours here.

The shopping and dining are upscale – Architecture is that of old snow/minming town, but don’t let the exterior fool you: Aspen’s stores are tres chic and expensive. The restaurants are a little more varied – Annies is casual and good.

For other snow activities, the legendary Little Nell Resort and Residences can organize everything from snow-cat led tours, dog sledding, and snow shoeing to name a few. Oh – and while you are there, stop by the bar for a drink. It is the most happening “apres-ski” scene I’ve experienced. It was packed on New Year’s Eve day.

Another happening place to hang out and wait for snow is Cloud Nine at top of the Highlands ski resort.

It is known for its fun environment – close seating with loud music, and dancing on the table tops. Yes, in ski boots. The fondue, as well as a reservation, is a must.

Or… just grab the kids and have an old fashioned snow ball fight, or build a snowman. You don’t need 5 feet of snow to do that, and it is great being in the fresh outdoors. It may be the only thing in pricey Aspen that is free!

While I was there, I saw one of my favorite musicians on the mountain – Seal. Funny… because it was almost the new year, one of his songs came to mind…. ” A Change is Gonna Come.” New Years always represents change for me… hopefully for Aspen that means snow!

Look, listen, be inspired.