Family Skiing Holiday – Tips and Suggestions
5th October 2015
I’ve been skiing for the past 24 years with my family, a ski holiday is one of the things that glued us together as a family. Even during the “Kevin period” my children still wanted to go skiing with me!
Family ski holidays with childcare
Now that my youngest is 17 years old and my oldest is 29, it’s been a few years since we have used any form of child care on our family ski holiday. Most ski resorts and many of the specialist family ski companies such as Esprit Ski, Ski Famille, Club Med Ski Beat, Neilson and Mark Warner offer excellent childcare within their ski chalets and are highly regarded by our clients.
Types of ski holidays suitable for Families
Catered ski chalet holidays are far less formal than a hotel and work very well for families, many have larger or interconnecting bedrooms suitable for families. It’s a good idea to share a chalet with other friends with children of the same age if you can.
Ski Line offer a good choice of family friendly chalet style hotels where in house child care is available with English speaking nannies. All staff employed by British tour operators that come into contact with children will have been CRB checked for your piece of mind.
Club Med skiing holidays have become one of the most popular tour operators for our clients with children. The all-inclusive price is a real draw, particularly during the peak school holiday weeks in February when compared to some main stream tour operators like Crystal, booking a Club Med could save you enough for a second ski holiday at Easter!
Club Med works so well for children, friends are quickly made, not just British friends, as Club Med holidays are sold around the world, they take on an international flavour. (This is also reflected in the menu) Full day ski lessons start on Mondays and run through until the Friday and are included in the price. On Saturday it’s your chance to see just how well their skiing or snowboarding has come on. The ski instructor takes English speaking groups, normally around 8 to a class and will deliver his class back to the hotel for lunch each day. (Lunch is also included) Lessons then continue into the afternoon. Are you starting to get the picture? On a Club Med holiday you can leave the wallet at home. Apart from travel insurance and equipment rental, your money can’t be spent!
Food is the other winner with Club Med for families, not just for the adults! The choice is huge, especially for fussy eaters.
Families skiing with pre-school children
The good news is that for the time being at least you can avoid the higher priced school holiday dates at least for a couple of years. Make the most of it while you can!
One of the key things to consider when skiing with very young children is the cold and altitude, very cold mountains and small children aren’t a good mix. Try to avoid travelling in January but if that can’t be avoided choose a ski resort with low lying nursery slopes and choose a resort with some south facing slopes, these catch the sun and will stay several degrees warmer than north facing slopes. Having afternoon ski lessons instead of morning ones will not only sometimes mean that the slopes are warmer, they are often quieter too. Afternoon lessons also mean that it’s not such a rush first thing in the morning to get them kitted out and ready for ski school. Instead, you can get them out and about having fun sledging and playing in the snow and watching the action on the slopes in the morning and getting them enthused for the afternoons ski session in ski school.
By mid-February the days a little longer and the sun a little higher in the sky. Spring skiing is a perfect time to ski for young families.
Most chalets offering child care will accept children from 3 months. Obviously the kind of child care required will depend of the age of the child, but child care is basically divided between children too young to ski and those old enough to start. The latter will include your child/children being collected and delivered to and from Ski School each day, several of the family specialists have their lessons arranged for the afternoon when temperatures are a little warmer.
Families skiing with children between 4 years and 7 years
Families skiing with children between 8 years and 12 years
For me this was my favourite time to ski with my children, I could still beat them in a race and they were old enough to carry their own skis! By this age children take to skiing very quickly if they are beginners. Most families feel they no longer need child care. We still have chalets and hotels where older children can be cared for after the ski school finishes and there are also several evening clubs designed to keep them happy with their piers while the parents enjoy an uninterrupted evening meal.
Family skiing with teenagers
The biggest problem with skiing with teenagers is that they want to stay out later then you and also trying to keep up with them on the slopes! The photo above is our teenage group skiing in Sauze d’Oulx last February half term.
Suggested ski holidays for young family groups needing full day childcare
Chalet Les Chats Bleus, Les Gets, France
Chalet Le Marjorie, Les Gets, France
Chalet Petit Mouflon, Les Gets, France
Chalet Eva, Reberty 2000, France
Chalet Michele, La Tania, France
Chalet Marmau, La Tania, France
Club Med Chamonix, Chamoinx, France
Club Med Serre Chevalier, Serre Chevalier, France
Club Med Villars-sur-Ollon, Villars, Switzerland
Suggested ski holidays for families for children just starting to ski
Suggested ski holidays for children now skiing but wanting to develop more skills
Suggested skiing holidays for teenagers who ski well but still learning
Club Med Valmorel, Valmorel
Club Med Avoriaz, France
Club Med Les Deux Alpes, France
Chalet hotel Tarentaise, Meribel Mottaret, France
Chalet Hotel Berangere, Les Deux Alpes, France
Chalet hotel Rosanna, St Anton, Austria
Suggested Ski Chalets where you can book a private nanny
Tips for families skiing for the first time
Make sure you have all the ski clothing you will need, while clothing is available, it’s expensive once you arrive in the ski resort. I once paid over €150 for a pair of child’s Salopettes in resort having accidently left a pair at home! Friends always seem happy to loan ski clothing so borrow what you can. Take extra pairs of ski gloves for children, they always seem to lose one, if you can you should attach each glove to a line of elastic and thread through the arms of the ski jacket to avoid your child losing them.
Never allow your child to ski without a helmet, in fact in Italy it’s against the law to allow children to ski without one. If you book your ski equipment with Ski Line we will supply one free.