The winter season is well and truly here, and nothing gets the family in a festive spirit quite like mountains, log cabins, and a luscious amount of the white stuff.
As the ski season kicks off, lots of families prepare to take some time off and head to a ski resort. Still, there is little information out there about how to choose a family ski holiday. Surprisingly, my family has had adventures all over the world, but we have never managed travels in the snow.
But whether you’re a novice like me or just skiing for the first time with children, I’ve put together a helpful guide of all the things to consider before you book your winter-y break.
Select an operator with lots of experience in family ski holidays. This is an important consideration, as operators that cater to the family sector give you lots of destinations from which to choose and won’t limit your choice to the one or two destinations that offer childcare.
Check flight times, as some operators have chartered flights, and ensure that these are suitable for flying with children. One thing parents often overlook is the travel time between the airport and the resort. We have made that mistake on our sun holidays — two hours on a coach through mountains and snow is not ideal after extensive travel time to arrive at the destination
I am the biggest advocate for the fact that having children should not restrict your travels; howver, there are important things to consider when looking at ski resorts
Who provides the actual childcare, the resort or the operator? This is an important consideration, as tour operators are more likely to provide elements suitable for the country they’re targeting; for example, English-speaking staff, smaller groups, etc.
Find out the ratio of children to employees, and make sure the staff are qualified. Different resorts have different levels of necessary qualifications for staff, and that peace of mind is always good to have prior to booking a holiday.
What are the activities included in the childcare? Do the children get to enjoy a whole range of activities, or are they limited to just watching videos or only staying indoors. If you are travelling with young children, your children will not be skiing for long periods of time, so it’s vital that a good range of non-ski activities are included.
Ski school is one of the reasons families choose skiing holidays, as most parents want their children to experience the joys of skiing from a young age.
Most operators offer children’s ski classes, but adults should delve further into these arrangements. For instance, what is the age limit of the classes? Are they operated by the resort or just for the guests of your chosen operator?
Another important thing to confirm is who’s responsible for collecting your children from ski school. If you, the parent, has to drop off and collect your children each day, it could result in a very short time for you to enjoy the ski slopes.
Catering and Costs
Most ski resorts aimed at families operate half-board or meals included. Check to see if there any child menus and times aimed at children. I know from my own children that having fussy eaters means sometimes enduring very unhappy little adventurers, so checking the options before leaving is always helpful.
Lastly, always determine whether there are child-only prices and if there are any free children’s spaces, and always remember to add up the entire package.
A ski holiday is an amazing experience to enjoy as a family, regardless of your experience on the slopes! Follow these tips to make this family holiday a smooth one from the top of the hill to the bottom.
Have you been skiing as a family? Have any tips on how to find the perfect family ski holiday? Share them in the comments!
Featured image by Flickr user Cory Doctorow.