There are a lot of factors to consider when planning a ski vacation with children. Here are some of the most important so you and your family can enjoy a perfect winter break.
Choosing the right accommodations for your vacation is key to you and your kids’ enjoyment. Often, a hotel can be quite restricting, as you have smaller rooms and set times for meals in the hotel restaurant. A better option may be a chalet, either self-catering or catered to your family’s needs and tastes. Many feel chalets are very expensive, but you can often secure deals that are comparable with those at hotels. In fact, chalet holidays are perfect for travelers who want to enjoy a luxury treat without actually spending a lot.
Some ski resorts are more set up for kids than others. Do some research on reputable travel sites to ensure that not only does the resort provide access to slopes that are suitable for your children’s level of skiing proficiency (there’s little point going to a wild alpine resort if our little ones have never set foot onto skis before), but also that there are activities, lessons and ski alternatives available for them. For instance, look at childcare facilities, ski schools (which are often free and with English-speaking teachers) and après ski fun, such as tobogganing and ice-skating. The best family ski resorts will have lots for kids to do besides hurtling down the side of a mountain! Be advised that some services – particularly childcare – may need to be booked well in advance to ensure your little one a spot.
Make sure you pack enough clothes – and the right ones! There’s nothing worse than a child who is either cold because his winter clothes are not thick enough, or has nothing to wear because everything has gotten wet. Don’t forget that the weather and temperature will change over the course of the day, from warm at midday to below freezing in the evening. The best tactic is to take lots of layers that the kids can put on or remove as required. And don’t forget the sunscreen, as the reflected light off the snow can quickly turn little noses very red.
Small children are unlikely to have your endurance for staying on the slopes. They will get tired and colder quicker than adults. Be responsive to your child’s wishes. You may well have spent a small fortune on a ski pass for them, but there’s no point making them stay out in the snow if they’re miserable. Regular breaks to refuel (with hot chocolate!) can mean that overall the whole family gets the most from the ski holiday.
Have you taken a ski vacation with your kids? Feel free to leave your tips below.