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Choosing a Spring Break Ski Resort
So you've decided that you family's best Spring Break trip will be sunny slopes and snow-capped mountains. We can't blame you! Late winter and spring skiing usually offers the best combination of comfortable ski weather and a reliable base of snow.

Don't let the wrong resort ruin the trip. Do a little research to ensure the location matches your family's preferences. Here are a few things to watch for in particular.

Getting there. Many great destinations have a fatal flaw - it takes an eternity to get there. Trust us - nothing is worse for a family with 3 kids under 10 than spending all your time traveling. Stick with resorts that have jet service nearby, or are driving distance. Check out our "Travel: Airport-to-Slope" feature for more information.

Crowds. A ski resort takes on a personality of its own during spring break. You have your pure family resorts with lots of ski classes and tots, the college crowd which can be decidedly more aggressive (and night owls), and the hard core crowd where challenging skiing is the main event, period. Figure out which you want to go to and ask around, or check our the resort reviews at familyskiresorts.net.

Lodging. For most families, lodging options can make or break the trip. We suggest two strategies when finding the right lodging: Get enough space, and stay away from the college kids. On the space front, having adequate beds, being able to find a quiet spot, and ensuring you can cook meals in will not only create comfort but can save money. As for college kids -- nothing against them, many of us were them once -- but steer away from the places where you may have neighbors who party until 3am. Ensuring you're not in a condo development that says it can sleep up to, say, 10 in a unit is one way of screening. Asking the lodging owner about how they handle noise complaints is another good diligence step.

Ski Schools. The quality of a ski school is a big deal to families who hope to entertain their kids' time in class. Check to see about rates, instructor quality, and class sizes and duration. Many ski areas have ski schools that offer more than just lessons -- they will occupy your child for the hours between when the lesson is done and you're ready to stop skiing.

Non-Ski Activities. Just because a family member doesn't feel like skiing all day doesn't make them the party pooper. Pick a location with shops, walking, a museum, or something other than skiing, and then embrace it. Skiing can be the focus of the vacation but doesn't have to be the obsession.