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The advent of skiing season is fast approaching as we transition into winter in the northern hemisphere. While skiing season usually means long days on the slopes, with lots of time for dinners and parties at night, things are different this year. The Covid-19 global pandemic has affected everything, including the upcoming skiing season. Many aspects of skiing make it an ideal activity during a pandemic: the natural social distancing that occurs on the slopes, being outside, and face coverings. Other aspects of skiing will need to change, however, in order to keep everyone safe. Here are some suggestions on how to successfully navigate Covid-19 this skiing season:

-Make reservations: many mountain ski resorts will take the precaution of having limits on the number of visitors they allow on the slopes each day. Therefore, it is essential to plan ahead and make reservations for your chosen resort via their website or app. Most resorts will also be issuing parking permits that need to be secured in advance, as will any dining establishments that are able to remain open. Going skiing will no longer be a spur of the moment decision; deliberate planning will need to occur prior to trips.

-Be prepared to be outside: while skiing itself is naturally an outdoor activity, many of the other experiences on a ski trip usually happen indoors. Those things cannot happen this year, and skiers need to be prepared to spend the entire day outdoors. This includes eating outdoors, whether via a tailgate party or a food truck. Locker rooms will be closed, so be ready to use your car as a changing area and place to put on your boots. Remember to bring sunscreen and water, too!

-Be flexible: flexibility is key in the Covid era. Restrictions and rules are constantly changing as the world battles a pandemic, and being mindful of these changes will make planning a ski vacation much less stressful. It is extremely important to be aware of the quarantine requirements of the resort that you plan to visit, especially if it is out-of-state or country. Resorts might need to shut down at the last minute if there is a viral outbreak. Flights might get cancelled. Anything can happen, and being understanding of the new world we live in will be beneficial to all.