Summer certainly isn’t over yet, but there is definitely a chill in the air. To many, it signals the approach of the warm hues and spiced beverages of autumn, but there is something else to look forward to: we are one season closer to ski season.

Winter vacations can be as pleasurable, if not more so, than their summer counterparts. About 61% of winter trips are for pleasure, and in fact, there are few joys as complete as the ski in ski out winter park experience. Ski vacations are also the perfect embodiment of the phrase ‘Fun for the whole family’ (37% of families say that vacation is the #1 thing that makes them happy).

But when planning, there are quite a large number of details to consider. For instance, will you stay at a hotel or in seasonal vacation rentals situated near your skiing location? For advice on that, and a myriad of other considerations, check out these three tips on how to best navigate your next ski vacation:

Be Gear Savvy

Schlepping gear around is exhausting, especially when all you want to do is stuff your face and then hit the hay. Make mornings easier by leaving your skis in the bottom floor ski lockers of your lodgings, or take advantage of the ski valet. Trust us, it is totally worth it. And remember, it’s totally ok to leave your skis in the car overnight (unless you are worried about theft), but never leave your boots in the car, since there isn’t anything worse than putting on frozen ski boots in the morning!

Alter Your Timing

Try to avoid the morning rush and crowded ski corridors by buying your own breakfast supplies and hitting the slopes super early, or even try out some non-skiing activities during the day, then swiping some afternoon spots from people who have already wrapped up. Outsmart your fellow skiers to maximize your vacation time. Less lines, more slopes!

Lounge in Your Own Space

To answer our earlier query: it is always better to go for condo rentals over hotels, especially if you have kids. After long hours on the slopes, the only thing that you’ll want to do is relax and spread out, without worrying about making room for everyone else. When you get your own rental apartment, you also get the benefits of being able to invite company over or compartmentalize from the rest of the family for a little bit. Just 24% of families have stayed in vacation rentals as opposed to a hotel to date, but this option is perfectly suited to a family ski trip.

With the right vacation rentals and skiing tricks, you can have the best and most productive winter vacation ever!