A family ski holiday is fantastic fun and a great way for the whole family to be active together! The environment feels so fresh and healthy, and everyone is learning (or perfecting) a new skill! We have compiled some tips to help you plan your family ski holiday.
It can be an expensive family holiday, especially when your kids are young and you have to use crèche facilities. For those old enough to ski, you have to hire a helmet (mandatory in most of Europe), skis, sticks and purchase lift passes. Then there’s accommodation and food and ski gear on top. So sit down and make a budget to include everything so there are no surprises when you get there.
2. When to Go
If your children are school-age, the obvious answer is during the holidays at Christmas, in February or Easter. These are the most popular times to ski but if your children are younger, you will save by booking off-peak. For family comfort, March and April tend to be warmer months with longer daylight hours.
3. Where to Stay
There are so many options, each with their own pros and cons depending on your children’s age. The most popular options are to book with a family friendly hotel or to rent a chalet with friends.
With many of the family resorts, you can order nappies or formula before you arrive & you have family leisure activities, like a pool, on your doorstep.
Renting a chalet with friends is a cost-effective way to enjoy a family ski holiday and is a super option if you and your friends have children of a similar age.
You might also like: 10 Best Austrian ski resorts for kids and families
4. Book Childcare in Advance
Few children start skiing under three years of age, so booking childcare is essential, especially during the busier peak-times. Kids-clubs and private nannies are popular options and many resorts will also offer Morning Clubs and pick-ups from ski-school.
“Our crèche was situated in the hotel which made our mornings a lot easier- saves you having to bundle up the little ones in numerous layers to get them there.” Niamh W.
5. Ski Gear
Ski-gear for all the family can add up so look out for sales and special offers in the months before you travel (Lidl and Aldi are good options). You can also buy second-hand or borrow from friends.
Thermal underwear and plenty of base layers are important as the kids are likely to feel the cold quicker than you.
Other essentials include
- a scarf,
- ski socks,
- 2 pairs of ski-gloves (so you have a pair while the other pair are drying)
- warm, waterproof outerwear such as snowsuits and jackets.
- A warm, silly hat is a must!
Skis, sticks, helmets, etc. can be hired at the resort and it is a good idea to book this equipment in advance.
“Make sure gear is easy for the kids (and you) to get on and off!” Niamh M.
6. Ski Lessons
Lessons are essential if you want to make sure your children get the most out of your family ski holiday. It may sound obvious but make sure that lessons are provided in your child’s language. Also be aware that lessons only cover part of the day and if you are also planning to ski, you will need to arrange childcare for before and after lessons and during lunch-time. Some resorts offer these services, as well as supervised lunches. Very handy!
If you love skiing it can be easy to forget that your kids will not have the same stamina and some find the boots and the cold uncomfortable after a while. Be encouraging. Never force your child to ski if they’re ready to call it a day, no matter how much you have spent on lift passes and lessons.
7. Other Activities
Wherever you choose to spend your family ski holiday, make sure that there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied. You never know when a snow-storm might strike, or even worse, a sudden burst of warm weather with rain. Recommended activities to look out for include
- the cinema and of course,
Skiing is an amazing family holiday and there are many tour operators who offer great support for families and will help make planning your trip as easy as possible.
Do you have any tips for planning a family ski holiday? If so, please let us know in the comments below!