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10 Tips on How To Choose The Right Ski Accommodation

by Family Globetrotters

Location! Location! Location! The Choices You Make Will Impact Your Family’s Alpine Experience Greatly. Check Out Our Ski Accommodation Tips.

Skiing holidays is one of the most fun and exciting vacations to embark on. It is however perhaps one of the more expensive trips to make and also one that requires a great amount of planning. If this is your first time, you’ll find that the first big decision you’ll have to make is booking the best ski accommodation for you and your family. Over the years I have stayed in a myriad of accommodation types including lodges, 5-star chalets and bed and breakfasts to know what to look for to ensure the kids are well catered for. I have compiled a list of things to consider and some practical and useful ski accommodation tips:

#01 – BOOK VERY EARLY

Ski resorts tend to book out well in advance so be sure to plan ahead and make those reservations early. Some families return to the mountain year in and year out and they typically book 1 to 2 seasons ahead. If left to the last minute, you may be left with either the most expensive or inconvenient in terms of location, options.

#02 – SKI IN SKI OUT

Select accommodation with a ski in ski out option. This means that you’re putting your skis on the second you set foot out the door and you ski down the slope to the chair lift. The same applies to having the ability to ski straight back to your accommodation on your return.

As first timers, try and find accommodation that is close to the beginner runs. You will be exhausted and so will the kids. You want to be able to just pick up your skis or snowboards and return to your hotel easily. On our recent trip to Falls Creek in Australia, we made a last-minute decision to head up to the mountain. Because we booked late (and by late, I mean 6 weeks out!), we could only find apartments that were a shuttle bus away from the beginner chair lifts. Handling those skis, poles and overtired kids sure was hard work!

If you’re not able to secure ski in ski out accommodation, at least ensure that you have easy access to the ski lifts either within good walking distance (preferably on flat grounds!) or close to a shuttle service. On our recent trip to Niseko, the house we stayed in was just around the corner from a free shuttle bus that serviced the whole Hirafu and and to Hanazono too. Wait times was only either every 15 or 30 minutes. Super convenient!

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Ski Accommodation Tips Resort

Ski In Ski Out Accommodation Is The Most Ideal!

#03 – APARTMENTS ARE THE BEST

If available, book an apartment with full kitchen facilities. Not only do ski accommodation apartments tend to be more spacious, having a kitchen means that you can prepare your own meals. One of the many things which irks me about alpine resorts is the horrendous waiting times required at restaurants during the lunch period, not to mention the exorbitant prices. I simply didn’t want to have to deal with a long queueing process whilst juggling cold, hungry and tired kids so being able to head back to the apartment to grab something to eat was just bliss!

If you’re on a budget for your ski  holiday, having a kitchen is the best way to save money. Bring everything you need! We brought frozen home cooked meals and we just heated them up for dinner. Hassle free, in the comfort of our own space. This is particularly handy if you have fussy eaters or kids with dietary allergens.

#04 – STAY ON THE MOUNTAIN

Many families sometimes prefer to opt for off mountain accommodation and travel up each day. Staying on the base of the mountain can be substantially cheaper and whilst it makes sense if you’re on a budget, there are some disadvantages to consider:

  • Travelling up and down the mountain each day takes up a lot of time. By the time you drive up, find some parking, and then getting on a possible shuttle to the chair lifts, it would mean you would have to get up early if you want to take advantage of a full day.
  • If you feel like you’ve had enough for the day but the rest of the family are still keen to continue (well you have paid for a full day so you’d want to take advantage of it), you would have nowhere to go. Sitting in a café waiting for the rest of the family is simply not ideal. If you had accommodation on the mountain you could just head back at your leisure.
  • You would have to eat at the restaurants on the mountain. So be prepared for long queues and expensive menus.
    During adverse weather, the mountain is sometimes closed off. This happened on our recent trip and all day trippers were not permitted to go up for 2 days. I felt terrible for the families who had already paid for lift passes and hired all their ski gear only to be stuck at the base of the mountain. And even if your travel insurance will cover it, its still disappointing.
  • If you’re staying off the mountain, most likely you’ll hire ski gear from there too. Unless they have a representative on the mountain, what would happen if something went wrong eg boots were too small, the ski breaks or the clothes were ill fitted. You would be stuck with that issue for the rest of the day.

#05 – APRES-SKI SCENE

One of the many things I used to look forward to after a full day of skiing was the apres-ski scene. Inevitably it was always filled with party goers, backpackers and all the international ski staff that were off duty. And it was raucous!

But now that I have a family and wish to have a quiet night in, I make very sure that the accommodation is not close to the most popular party spot on the mountain! Sigh…. how times have changed!

Looking to book some accommodation for your ski holiday but don't know where to start? Here are 10 Tips on How To Choose The Right Ski Accommodation. #skiholiday #familytravel Click To Tweet

#06 – SKI ACCOMMODATION WITH DRIVEWAYS

If you have the option, select accommodation that has a drive in drive out facility so you can offload before parking. It is so convenient getting everything out of the car right at the apartment and not having to also worry about the kids. And we always have so much stuff! Bags, toboggans, food, snacks, pillows, backpack, cameras etc….

We are heading back up to the snow this weekend and unfortunately on Mt Buller in Victoria, there is not drive in drive out facilities for any of the accommodation. We have to park in the car park and then catch a shuttle or taxi. So I might leave my big wok at home on this occasion! LOL!

Ski Accommodation Tips Driveway

A Lodge With a Driveway to Offload is so Convenient!

#07 – DRYING ROOMS OR CUPBOARDS

Another important ski accommodation tip is that I am not a fan of accommodation that doesn’t have a dedicated drying area in my actual room. A drying space is essentially a hot room where you’ll place all your ski gear (apart from your actual skis) to dry overnight. You want everything to be nice and toastie for when you hit the slopes the next day. Putting on wet clothes is the worse feeling!

Shared drying rooms down the hall don’t do it for me because it doesn’t provide the convenience of being able to strip off in the room and I also always have a fear someone will take my stuff. And for me it’s kind of “gross”. So unless I get my one private one, I’m never happy!

#08 – POOL, SPA AND SAUNA

There is absolutely nothing better than to soak a day’s skiing away in a spa or sauna. And you’d be surprise but you don’t need to be staying in a luxurious chalet to have access to this. The kids absolutely loved the pool (and it was pretty basic! No frills) and being able to end the day in the water. So do check if these facilities are available before booking anything.

#09 – BEWARE OF CONGESTION

It is inevitable that the resorts get overcrowded, especially on the weekends. Every mountain will have a 1 or 2 main spots where they serve both as entry points and the hub for ticketing, shopping, and dining facilities. It can get quite chaotic and is always on the go so if you prefer a quieter environment, avoid hotels in these areas.

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Ski accommodation tips chalet

Alpine Resorts Can Sometimes Get Extremely Crowded with the Number of Available Chalets.

#10 – HIRE A CAR OR VAN

Depending on where you’re headed, it may pay to hire a car for the duration of your skiing holiday. In Niseko for example, most of the larger villas and lodges are not ski in ski out. And with 4 mountains to choose from you may wish to maximise your time by having the convenience of a car/van instead of waiting for shuttles or hoping on local buses to cart you from one mountain to another.

Also great if you are travelling in a large group or have lots of young kids. Just chuck all the gear in the back of the van, have snow boots ready to go so you’re not having to walk around in ski boots.

Well there you have it. Some practical tips to consider when you’re looking for ski accommodation. Do your due diligence so that you may get the best type of hotel for every member of the family. Have a wonderful time! Stay safe and I hope the kids will have a blast!

BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED ARTICLES

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10 Tips on How To Choose The Right Ski Accommodation

Disclaimer: The Family Globetrotter’s website contains affiliate links which help us to maintain this blog and assists us with our travels, at no extra cost to you. Family Globetrotters have also posted articles based on sponsored products and/or services, but all opinions are our own, truthful and unbiased.

53 comments

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Val January 7, 2019 - 3:33 am

What an interesting read, I’ve never thought there would be so many things to consider when planning a ski holiday! A spa and some alpine shopping sound great after a day out in the snow 🙂

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Family Globetrotters January 7, 2019 - 9:32 am

We didn’t realise there was so much to consider too until we learnt the things the hard way and from experience over the years. A spa and sauna after a hard day’s skiing is the best thing ever!

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Arnav Mathur January 5, 2019 - 9:55 pm

Haven’t really been on a ski vacation till now, but I found this post really helpful, as it answers all possible questions. The pictures are really awesome, giving a glimpse of the vibes up there.

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Family Globetrotters January 7, 2019 - 9:31 am

Ski holidays are the best albeit on the expensive side. But the snow is just glorious!

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David January 5, 2019 - 7:50 am

This is such a detailed post, thanks! I have skiing lessons to take so I need to get round to it. I’ve always enjoyed the idea of skiing and ski holidays so I’ll save this for the future!

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Family Globetrotters January 5, 2019 - 1:36 pm

Thanks David! Well yeah, if you have lessons to take you should! Ski holidays are the best and we always have such a wonderful time. Love being active and outdoors. Its also so beautiful!

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Shreya Saha January 3, 2019 - 11:11 pm

I have never been interested in skiing and I really do not know why. I have tried skiing in the Himalayas (Auli) once, but I am maybe poor in skiing and maybe that’s why I do not like it much. But I really love the ski resorts, so is it possible to stay in one of them even if you’re not interested in skiing?

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Family Globetrotters January 5, 2019 - 1:33 pm

Absolutely Shreya and many ski resorts have other things to do too, not just skiing:)

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Clarice January 3, 2019 - 8:14 pm

I remember our first ski trip and I would have to say that yes, handling those skis with kids in tow was challenging. I was so tired. 🙂

These are really helpful tips. +1 for accommodations with a sauna. Super relaxing.

Anyway, Thank you for sharing this valuable information.

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Family Globetrotters January 5, 2019 - 1:23 pm

It isn’t easy skiiing with the kids and so good when they grow up and they can starting getting dressed on their own, put on the skis and carry them.

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Nicholas January 3, 2019 - 2:45 pm

Never been skiing though I accompanied my uncle’s family up Whistler once years ago. I was content to just walk around the village and take the gondola but some of your tips would still be applicable even for that. If I decide to try some snow sports I’ll bear these in mind.

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Daisy Li January 3, 2019 - 12:45 pm

We stayed at Blue Mountain a few times in the past couple of years and loved it (the sauna was definitely a plus)! I’ve never handled the booking, but can’t believe that booking a stay 6 weeks out is already too late. This is a great list of advice to bookmark for the future!

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Sarah Puckett January 3, 2019 - 8:49 am

We love staying in apartments when we travel, too. It’s a great option anywhere. We like having our own kitchen as well. These tips are great, I didn’t even realize ski in /ski out was an option.

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10 Ski Gear Essentials for Beginner Skiers | Family Globetrotters September 21, 2018 - 1:37 pm

[…] also busy researching accommodation if you’re staying on the mountain. My blog post 10 Tips on How to Choose the Right Ski Accomodation may prove to be useful […]

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10 Ski Clothing Essentials for Beginner Skiers | Family Globetrotters September 21, 2018 - 12:16 pm

[…] also busy researching accommodation if you’re staying on the mountain. My blog post 10 Tips on How to Choose the Right Ski Accomodation may prove to be useful […]

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jithin May 22, 2018 - 3:29 am

Amazing pictures and very informative post to select the right ski accommodation. I am planning to learn skying soon and definitely this post will be helpful. Thanks for sharing.

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Family Globetrotters May 23, 2018 - 10:47 pm

Thanks Jithin. Hope you get to go soon! Its the best thing ever!

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David May 21, 2018 - 2:59 am

I’m looking to learn how to ski, it’s been on my to do list for a while now! This is the kind of article I’ll need when I go on my first skiing holiday! Bookmarked, thanks

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Family Globetrotters May 21, 2018 - 10:55 pm

that was good timing David! Its so much fun! Where will you go for your first ski holiday?

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L May 20, 2018 - 12:50 am

Personally, I’ve never experienced snow before, since I come from a tropical country, which seemed to have a summer all year round. I’d love to have a ski trip soon If I get the chance to experience the wintry weather and get to experience the feeling of doing skiing, it must be really fun. Anyway, your tips are really useful, especially for someone like me who never had any idea how it feels like to be in a snow. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

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Family Globetrotters May 21, 2018 - 10:53 pm

I grew up in a tropical country too so I know what you mean. If you ever get the chance ot go, please do. It is absolutely the best exprience. Although I must wanr you that you may just get addicted and always want to go again!

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Mayuri May 20, 2018 - 12:19 am

You know we had snow in Canada until last month and I thought I’m over it! Apparently not, all of your snow covered pictures and skii tips makes me miss winter, you can believe that?
I’m not a big skier, but I love cities in winter/snow – I’m hoping to visit of the places you suggested here in winters

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Family Globetrotters May 21, 2018 - 10:52 pm

I heard! That is crazy! I would really love to do Whistler one day…. everyone tells me the slopes are great, even for kids who aren’t so advanced yet. I love cities with snow too but that’s because I live in a city that doens’t have any!

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Anna May 19, 2018 - 7:54 pm

Thanks for the detailed suggestions, it’s always a big help to read every useful info/tip in one place! I love the idea of booking a place with a sauna. You are right, nothing feels better after a whole day skiing/snowboarding than relaxing in a hot cabin 🙂

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Family Globetrotters May 21, 2018 - 10:50 pm

Hahaha! We love that spa and sauna after a big day. And the kids love it too, soaking away all the aches and pains:)

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Katie May 19, 2018 - 5:55 pm

These are some great tips. I can imagine the accommodation in Ski resorts is quite expensive therefore it will be important to book early. I can imagine being all cosy by the fire in the evening. Thanks for sharing! I am so inspired to give a ski trip a go.

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Family Globetrotters May 21, 2018 - 10:48 pm

Oh please do! Its such a great experience. Booking early makes ALL the difference. We just booked for this winter last month. 4 weeks later the prices doubled! It becomes unaffordable if you book last minute. We learnt that the hard way!

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M May 19, 2018 - 9:50 am

I have never done the ski in ski out option, but my husband has and he says it is awesome! Would love to try it out!

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Family Globetrotters May 21, 2018 - 10:38 pm

Oh its the best way to do it! And its great if you’re tired and done for the day or you happen to be stuck in bad weather. And I wouldn’t want to drive back down after a long day. A no brainer with kids…. we love it!

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Followingtherivera May 18, 2018 - 9:53 pm

These are excellent tips for families. We stay onthe mountains too when in the Dolomiti and love it. Alsk having an apartment with a kitchen is important too. Another great post and helpful too.

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Family Globetrotters May 21, 2018 - 10:31 pm

Thank you! Yeah… I’m all for staying on the mountain. IF that’s not an available option we wouldn’t go. Especially when travelling with kids. They can’t ski the whole day all of the time so we need to be able to have the option of getting back to the accommodation easily. Yup, can’t do without a kitchen! I would love to visit the Dolomiti one day!

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Mayuri Patel May 18, 2018 - 4:26 pm

your post is so helpful in planning Ski holidays.I am not adventurous person but those pictures are amazing that would love to experience it once.
Thanks for sharing such gem

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Family Globetrotters May 21, 2018 - 10:24 pm

Thanks for stopping by Mayuri! Skiing is a great family activity although I have ot say that the older I get the less adventurous I am getting too! I just take it slow and easy:)

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Shaily February 25, 2018 - 7:58 am

Your post is very helpful for anyone planning to go for skiing. I didn’t know the hotels offer a dedicated drying area as well. Great you pointed that out. I agree with your choice of renting an apartment with kitchen facilities. Thanks for so many helpful tips.

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Family Globetrotters February 26, 2018 - 3:49 pm

Drying rooms are a must, especially if you’re experiencing bad weather. Nothing worse than putting on wet clothes the next day and that’s how you can get sick. Kitchen facilities are so important although to always an available option.

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Lydia Smith February 24, 2018 - 11:26 pm

Thanks for this detailed guide to skiing. I’ve never considered an extreme skiing activity but I’m sure some of these tips will be extremely useful for me. I also agreed much with renting an apartment with kitchen facilities, many restaurants for skiers tend to be way expensive especially Iceland.

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Family Globetrotters February 26, 2018 - 3:47 pm

Oh I would love to visit Iceland someday! And yes…. those restaurants are sooo expensive because the problem is you have no where else to go so they can charge whatever they like. We saved so much money getting an apartment with a kitchen and just cooking simple meals.

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Kavita Favelle February 24, 2018 - 7:55 pm

This is a great list, most of which as someone who hasn’t skiied before, I’d never even have thought of. Lots of it I can see I’d be of the same feeling as you, from having an apartment with my own kitchen, to having the dry room, though if I were in an apartment with only my friends / family I don’t mind it being a shared one for our group. Great great tips!

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Family Globetrotters February 26, 2018 - 3:45 pm

Thank you Kavita! Getting an apartment with friends and family also helps to save some money. The problem with skiing is that it is expensive as you are short of choices so they can charge an arm and a leg. I hope you get to go skiing some day!

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Nathan February 24, 2018 - 3:03 am

This may sound funny, but despite my enthusiasm for travelling, I’ve never experienced snow before, coming from a country where it’s summer all year round. I’d love to have a ski trip soon to experience the wintry weather and have my hand at skiing. Thanks for the tips! Essentially the same logic as choosing an accommodation for an ordinary vacation, except for the additional pointers on location which are more important with those skis in hand! 🙂

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Family Globetrotters February 26, 2018 - 3:43 pm

We don’t see snow in the city so for us to see snow we have to make a special trip somewhere. Luckily for us its not too far away. Perhaps you might like to give it a go someday. It is such a beautiful experience and skiing itself is super fun!

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Katherine February 24, 2018 - 2:37 am

I’ve never been skiing or stayed anywhere that skiing was an option so this is all new to me. But I do love the idea of a spa or swim after a long day out in the snow!

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Family Globetrotters February 26, 2018 - 3:41 pm

Hey Katherine! Not something you’re interested in doing someday? Oh…. that spa after a long day of skiing is truly the best thing one can do. Just to loosen those stiff old muscles to get ready for another day of skiing!

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Followingtherivera February 24, 2018 - 12:50 am

These are really great tips. I had my first ski experience last year, and definitely agree about getting a place that suits your needs and likes too! I’m not into partying, so I stayed away from the louder areas!

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Family Globetrotters February 26, 2018 - 3:40 pm

Oh how did you enjoy for first skiing experience? I hope you had a great time! Well, my partying days are over now so definitely a good idea to stay away form those areas to get a good night’s sleep.

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Nikki January 8, 2018 - 1:41 pm

That’s exactly what I am looking for. Thanks for sharing this information.

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Family Globetrotters January 17, 2018 - 9:20 am

You’re most welcome Nikki! Glad it was useful for you:) Hope you find what you need!

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Bobby Saint November 24, 2017 - 1:58 pm

I couldn’t agree more with your tip # 1 about booking early if you plan to go skiing on a holiday. It is recommended that you book at least 2 seasons in advance because there may be a lot of people going on vacation at the same time as you. Some resorts may not be able to accommodate everyone so it’s important to plan early for them to prioritize you. This way, you wouldn’t have to worry about any conflict with regards to hotel accommodation and transport service. If I were to go on a ski holiday myself, I would make sure to keep this in mind. Thanks.

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Family Globetrotters November 28, 2017 - 12:37 pm

Absolutely Bobby! Gotta get in early for the best accommodation for your family.

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GVA Transfers November 20, 2017 - 1:07 pm

This is perfect for me. I am just planning on going on a ski holiday this Christmas! Thanks for sharing these tips.

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Family Globetrotters November 28, 2017 - 12:38 pm

You’re welcome! Which we could ski during Christmas in Australia! Would such a lovely experience

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