Tips for Booking a Family Ski Trip

Natalie Gomez
16th June 2015

Take our advice on how to find the best location, best accommodation and best ski schools for your family snow vacation.

LEARNING TO SKI

Children can learn to ski from about the age of four, and the earlier they start, the more naturally it will come to them. What’s more, with pre-schoolers you’re not restricted to travelling during the school holidays, which means you benefit from off-peak rates – take advantage of this luxury while you can.

 

SKI SCHOOLS

If you’re booking through a tour operator, you can often ask them if they use a preferred ski school, but it’s worth checking the ratio of instructors to children, group sizes and availability of English speaking instructors.

It’s also worth asking whether a member of the childcare team stays with each ski school group. This will be important for first timers and very young skiers.

 

STYLE OF ACCOMMODATION

Depending on the country and mountain you choose, you’ll have a vast array of styles and price points to choose from. From chalets in Europe with all-inclusive packages, to ski cabins or hotels, there’s plenty of options to find the right fit for your family.

While all-inclusive breaks may look like a pricey option – especially in Europe’s more expensive resorts – the catered and fully inclusive deals offer excellent value for your money and will let you take a well-deserved break from the kitchen.

Hotels often have the advantage of additional facilities (bar, swimming pool, spa, play room), whereas chalets and apartments provide a more home-from-home environment, which families find more flexible.

 

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Location of accommodation relative to lifts and ski school will be a high priority when travelling with beginners or children.

Trekking any sort of distance in ski boots, particularly with lugging poles and skis with you, is exhausting, and can wear out little legs before the day has even begun. Many hotels and resorts provide services where they will take your equipment at the end of the day and store it for you until you’re ready in the morning, so make sure to take advantage of these options.

RESORT CHOICE

Resort choice will be influenced by when you’re travelling (the highest resorts have the longest ski seasons) and the skiing ability of your group.

If you’re the kind of family that is on the snow from the first to last lift, après ski may be less of a consideration. But if you’re looking for more than action on the slopes it’s worth exploring what else your resort has to offer.

The majority of the larger resorts have a great selection of alternative activities for families – from husky rides to snowshoeing, swimming to ice-skating.

 

WHEN TO TRAVEL

Who can resist the lure of a white Christmas – especially when someone else is doing all the catering? Christmas is a great time for a family ski trip as it offers almost guaranteed snow: it can however be very cold.

Spring skiing offers the warmest weather which can be great for little ones, but if you’re travelling towards the end of the season it’s worth booking a high resort to secure the best possible snow conditions.

 

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