Family ski holidays are a great way for the whole family to spend some time together and be active on holiday. Luckily, most ski resorts are increasingly focused on anticipating the needs of families. Here are some tips if you’re looking at different family ski holidays:
Plan well in advance
When you’re organising a family ski holiday, it’s crucial that you plan ahead. That means beginning your planning in February or March- especially if your kids are young. This means you’ll have many more options for accommodation, and you’re also likely to snag the cheaper flights. Not to mention, if your kids haven’t yet got the appropriate ski clothing, you’ll be able to get this sorted early on. If you’re planning to ski for longer than a week, you may find it more economical to buy their ski clothes. Ski clothing rental can wind up being pretty expensive for more than a few days at a time. I prefer to buy last season’s styles at the end of winter sales as you can get amazing discounts, like 50% off. I don’t really mind if the pattern is last season’s – it’s going to do the same job!
Go family friendly
If you have young kids, you obviously don’t need to choose a resort with endless black runs and slopes. Instead, look for those that are family orientated, offering services like kid-friendly activities and nurseries. There are also a number of great pedestrianized ski-in, ski-out resorts which make it safer and easier to get everyone where they need to be in the morning. Choosing a ski resort with other activities for the kids will ensure you get a bit of time to have some decent runs in, while ensuring your kids aren’t bored and nagging to leave.
Check for discounts
There are many different resorts offering discounted passes for kids under 12 and even free passes for kids under 5. You’ll be likely to find even better deals in March or April, so you can always go a little later in the shoulder season when it’s also likely to be less crowded. If you’re planning to ski for more than a week or so, it could also be more economical to buy a season pass. Check out the different prices for season passes, weekly passes if offered and daily passes. Some smaller club fields offer 2 for 1 passes. If you’re traveling as a family, finding a few ways to save money on the passes is going to save you serious money overall.
In Spain and Austria, it’s mandatory for kids under 15 to wear helmets. However, some other countries (like France) don’t have this law. The last thing you need to be dealing with is a head injury, so make sure that you include a helmet when you’re renting your skis or snowboards. Kids tend to take substantial risks and that can prove to be dangerous on the slopes, especially when their abilities are still developing. If you or your children are also snowboarding, you may want to look into renting wrist guards. Often they’re available free with your board rental, and it allows you to have a little extra protection for your wrists. When you’re learning, in the beginning, you tend to fall over a lot, so the extra support can help stop prevent any breaks.
Check out ski school
Kids as young as 3 are beginning to learn how to ski now, and these lessons take place in a separate beginners area with qualified instructors. Ski school is specifically designed for kids, with cool activities, plenty of breaks, and lots of fun. It’s a great way to get your kids learning how to ski, without the stress that often comes with trying to teach your kids something technical. It also gives you the opportunity to go enjoy a few runs of your own in peace – what more could you ask for? Your kids will likely make some other friends at ski school, which is great because it will give them someone to hang out with in the evenings over your ski holiday.
Look for alternate activities
Let’s face it: Skiing is hard on the body- especially if you haven’t been skiing for a while. The best resorts offer a range of different activities for days when the weather isn’t great or the family just needs a break. From swimming pools to petting zoos, snowshoeing, to horse-drawn sleigh rides, look for a ski resort that has plenty of different things to do for the whole family. Chances are you may want to alternate your ski days with rest days to ensure you’re feeling your best and no one becomes exhausted.
Have you planned a ski holiday recently? What are your top tips? Leave a comment below and let us know.