A skiing holiday is about as big a thrill as you can provide for your young family, but a week spent whizzing down the piste with kids in tow does need careful planning. There are so many skiing destinations to choose from, and many more things you need to take care of to ensure a trouble-free trip!
Best time to go
Skiing is available throughout the winter season in Europe and North America, and in some places the powder is good for half the year or more. Nonetheless, bear in mind that Christmas, New Year, Easter and other holidays are more popular and expensive as they coincide with the school holidays. The best time to go, when it’s less busy and cheaper, is in the low season weeks throughout January, March and April. March and April will also be warmer and have more daylight hours, which makes them better months to visit when with children. Obviously, these times do not apply for those skiing in the southern hemisphereo.
Where to stay
For families it’s often cheaper and more fun to stay at a chalet instead of a regular hotel. Check for reputable names like Meribel chalets for your ski holiday.
Being on vacation, mom and dad may want to spend a few hours alone, just the two of them. The good news is that most tour operators provide nanny, babysitting and other childcare services, but the bad news is that the demand is very high. As such, it’s a good idea to book well in advance. Some chalets and tour groups sometime offer children’s entertainment in daycare groups, which gives parents another option.
Skiing and snowboarding advice for kids
Kids will need to receive lessons before hitting the slopes. Be sure that the instructor speaks the same language as your children, and also don’t send them alone – ideally they should learn with their siblings or friends. Ski school only lasts a few hours, so parents can either sit around watching or head off alone for a few hours. The lessons usually teach kids about the resort layout and map-reading competence, which is a bonus. One of the best developments to help children in the early-learning stages is the ‘magic carpet’ lift, now quite widespread but nevertheless a useful indicator that a resort is serious about showing kids a good time.
Don’t let your kids play too much
Kids being active, they absolutely love winter skiing holiday, as it gives them the chance to spend all day running around and playing outside. But remember kids, especially younger ones, are not so resilient to the cold and wearing big heavy clothes outside all day, and they can quickly get tired. Make sure they get enough rest each day.