For me, ski trips are kind of like beach trips but without the rush to get bikini ready in the weeks leading up. Gone are the days when skiing and snowboarding were seen as extreme sports for only the most adventurous. Now, a snow holiday can be dreamed up for everyone from families to couples and fun-loving aunts.
If you're ready to hit the slopes, but aren't sure where to go, here are my 16 top-rated ski resorts!
Whistler is Canada's premier ski resort and covers terrain over two gorgeous mountains. There are more than 200 runs with 37 lifts, and something for every skill level. But my favourite thing about Whistler is the stunning views that stretch all the way to the Pacific Ocean. A full-service resort sits at the base of the mountains, and it is just 2 hours from Vancouver for supreme convenience.
The ritzy French destination, Courcheval, is for more serious skiers looking for thrills. There is 600 km of runs across 10 summits and 60 lifts. This is no walk in the park but you can relax at the end of the day at one of the swanky resorts. One even has a Michelin starred restaurant.
Next to the Matterhorn, Zermatt is one of the most picturesque ski resorts in Switzerland (and that says a lot given the tough competition). If you ask me, the Swiss Alps are the creme de la creme of ski luxury, and here you have 350 kilometres of slopes. For the more extreme adventurer (ie. not me), you can grab a guide and go off-piste and cross boundaries into France. You'll find me in the lounge snapping pics of the sunset.
In Colorado, Vail delivers terrain for all types of skiers with long, groomed runs that overlook the quaint village. With 350 inches of annual snowfall, conditions are primed for a good time.
Hollywood movies have made Aspen a famous name worldwide and for good reason. The resort is made up of 4 ski areas, but suitable only for intermediate skiers and above. This is the site of the Winter X Games and the annual Women's Downhill World Cup, so let's just say things can get extreme.
In Val d'Isere, the high altitude ensures snow even in late spring, and snow on the Glacier du Pisaillas often lasts through until July, making this a great destination when many other locales aren't performing.
If you are a bargain hunter, step away from the outlet stores and head to Cortino D'Ampeszzo for a surprisingly affordable time. The Dolomiti Superski Pass gives you access to lifts and trails across dozens of resorts for 400km of interconnected skiing. The entire area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so it's not bad to look at either.
Another of Colorado's popular resorts, Telluride's base begins at a whopping 8,725-foot elevation, and lifts take skiers to 12,515 feet. Make sure to allow some time to adjust to the altitude if you're a coastal dweller like me. Once acquainted it's totally worth it, and a ski experience for all levels.
Japan is a bit of a ski underdog, and is often underrated. Niseko in the north is testament to this. It has great varied terrain on the slopes of a volcano and is known for its dreamy powder. More than two-thirds of trails are for beginners and intermediates, making this a very family (and aunty) friendly choice.
Mont Blanc isn't just known for fancy watches, but is also one of the most popular ski resorts in France. Find a mix of terrain across the world's greatest altitude differential.
For a little slice of history, head to St. Anton where the first ski club in the Alps started in 1901. But, beware, there are no runs for beginners and lower intermediates. These are some of the most challenging runs in the Alps.
Kitzbühel is Austria's more affordable answer to the Swiss Alps. Just as beautiful, with a classy vibe, and cheaper for those on a budget. From gentle slopes to an 85 per cent vertical, Kitzbühel isn't just a pretty face.
As you can tell, I am a bit of a fan of European skiing, but there is just so much to love. Another glitzy favourite, St. Moritz, is more intermediate friendly, and the apres ski-life is très chic.
Park City Mountain
Utah's Park City and canyons boast 7,300 acres of skiable terrain with something for absolutely everyone. The breathtaking gondola ride over the canyons is enough to get your heart started alone. Fun for the whole family.
With the tallest mountains outside the Himalayas, this Patagonian gem is surrounded by the Andes' snow-covered peaks. Head here for an uncrowded and unspoilt experience.
Deer Valley offers unmatched service (someone actually helps unload your skis from your car!) so is a more bespoke experience for those who want fine-dining, short lines, and uncrowded runs. Be warned, no snowboards allowed.
As you can see, there is a ski resort out there with your name on it. So set your alerts and start scouring the web for cheap flights to one of these destinations today.