Winter is a great time to have fun, but when the weather dips to frosty temperatures, it makes planning for snow day essentials an important step to ensure everyone can stay warm. For some, a snow day means being outside on a sled or hitting the slopes here in the mountains of western North Carolina.
The winter season is a busy time to vacation in the region to take in all the breathtaking sights, including the snow-capped mountains visible in any direction the eye can see. So regardless if you are a winter weather pro or a novice around snowflakes, there are a few general things to know while preparing for an upcoming mountain vacation to maximize a snow day.
Relaxing next to the fireplace in a quaint mountain cabin vacation rental is the image others embrace for a perfect snow day. Then there are snow days when a winter storm dumps more of the white stuff than originally expected and everything comes to a standstill. Thinking about how to handle snow days is an opportunity to cover the basics before leaving home.
In our book, one of the main essentials for snow is patience. Everyone is not used to moving around in the snow so it’s best to proceed with caution to keep everyone safe while driving, walking or enjoying some other activities. Be sure to keep tabs on the weather if the day of skiing needs to end a bit early.
Driving in the snow can be a bit tricky as well, especially in higher elevations of North Carolina. If renting a car, ask questions about the vehicle and how it’s outfitted for icy or snow-covered roads. However, if planning to drive your personal vehicle, it needs to be weatherized before the trip. In addition, brush up on your winter driving skills with a few tips to stay safe on the road, especially in the mountains leading to several vacation destinations.
Other essentials for snow include:
Now that some of the basics are covered, let’s discuss the other essentials related to snow days.
Warm clothes are a must when it’s time to pack for a snow vacation. Thick sweaters and warm coats are in order along with gloves, hats and scarves. And don’t forget the boots and warm socks too.
Packing for a snow vacation will depend on the activities on the schedule, how much time will be spent outside and of course the actual temperature day today. Create a checklist of gear that will need to be in the suitcase. Items to keep your core warm like thermal leggings or dry-wick shirts are perfect to wear under ski gear.
Checklist of snow gear:
It’s a good idea to also consider specialized gear for skiing and snowboarding which is designed to be flexible and keep the wearer warm. If you live in a warm-weather locale, say the East Coast, purchasing snow gear will require ordering what you will need ahead of time to make sure it all arrives in time to pack. Sure, purchasing a few warm souvenirs is expected, but arrive ready to layer up to enjoy every minute of your vacation.
Decide how active your winter vacation will be and what you want to enjoy on each snow day. The idea of relaxing by a window, a mug of hot cocoa in hand, watching the snowfall sounds like heaven to some who enjoy the winter background. Others have dreamed of pushing off on the slopes following fresh snow to ski the day away.
Snow can include a little bit of all of the above and more. It’s up to you how to spend a snow day. There is no right or wrong way, just remember to stay warm.
Building a snowman is undoubtedly a fun thing to do on a snow day. Borrow a few items from your group to outfit your version of Frosty the Snowman. This will make a great selfie to share the fun with those back home.
Watch out for the first throw of the snowball fight that is sure to get underway in all the fun. Be strategic about gathering ammunition and taking aim so the hard work of the Frosty look-a-like is not a casualty to a snowball.
It’s nice to leave a few snow angels in the yard too. Giggles will take over as everyone leaves their imprint in the snow.
There is loads of fun to be had by families enjoying a snow day. Plan to have everyone gather for a round of hot chocolate before or after coming off the slopes. Schedule a tour of an attraction in the area such as The Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina which is decked out for the winter season.
Although it only snows once or twice a year in the western sector of North Carolina, there is still plenty to do while enjoying a chilly winter day. Fishing is popular in this region of North Carolina year-round, so grab your gear and find a spot to drop a line. Check with local fishing guides to organize a group fishing trip.
Ice skating is another fun activity to include the entire family. Visitors can lace up to enjoy the Highlands ice skating rink. The quaint town is an extraordinary winter vacation destination in North Carolina.
Any time there is weather in the discussion, there must be a plan in case of an emergency. While no one likes to think about being snowed in or losing power, these are both realistic problems that can occur at any time and you’ll need to be ready.
An approaching winter storm may not give visitors time to stock up, so have a few extra essentials to wait it out. Upon arriving for vacation, head out to find groceries in Cashiers, or stop by Highlands grocery stores to purchase everything on the list. Ensure to include easy-to-eat items in the cart that will be useful if power is lost for more than a few hours and food in the refrigerator may have to be thrown out.
If hunkering in place until roads can be cleared of snow, consider cooking out on the grill to provide a hot meal if the power is off. A fireplace can also warm up some items or enjoy s’mores to pass the time.
During emergencies, the best foods to stop up on will be whatever your taste buds desire. Some may want a selection of fresh fruit or veggies that are easy to snack on while others may want to set up a junk food buffet filled with chips, cookies, popcorn and other goodies.
A snow day menu can include various items to take on a theme to make it fun. A hot bowl of soup or chili always tops the menu when thinking of something good to eat on a snow day. That comfort food helps keep you warm and is suitable for you all in one.
Family dinners can include Italian Night, complete with favorite hearty pasta dishes like spaghetti or lasagna made of warm, flavorful sauces. Of course, soup and sandwich night can be fun to sample the variety of creations to fill up the hungry crowd.
If coming in from a day of skiing, ice skating or a game of hockey, hot beverages are in order to chase away the chill. Coffee, tea and hot cocoa with all the marshmallows are the typical choices to serve.
Take time to plan all the activities of your trip and purchase what is needed before departing. Remember, your vacation snow day may be full of activities keeping you on the move. Or it could be a day planned for relaxing in the rental cottage close to the fireplace.
So take stock of what you want to do and get your gear in place from the warm colorful socks, the favorite blend of coffee, a special blanket or a scarf. Think of everything used to bundle up.
Knowing ahead of time what activities you plan to enjoy will save you time and money, especially if it’s a high ticket item like a ski suit or other gear.
In addition, specialty food items or spices should be purchased ahead of time and packed for the trip. There may not be a grocery store near the vacation rental that carries the secret ingredient you need to make grandma’s casserole. When it comes out of the oven piping hot, you will thank yourself for planning ahead.
Plan to spend a snow day relaxing in a cozy cabin or cottage offered by Landmark Vacation Rentals. Browse the beautiful North Carolina vacation properties portfolio and check the availability to secure your reservation. Contact Landmark Vacation Rentals at (877) 926-1780 and get ready to enjoy a winter snow day in North Carolina.