Even if you skied a little (or a lot) before the kids came along, you will need to plan a family skiing holiday very carefully – it’s always more complicated than you think. Family ski trips can end up forming some of the fondest memories – they can also be a headache to organise. Doing your research before hand and looking for a few key aspects when choosing a destination makes a big difference.
To start with, check out some of the small - mid size resorts rather than the big name giants – they’ll be better value and will mean you won’t have to trek long distances with the kids in tow. For the same reason, try to book accommodation close to the ski slopes and other facilities.
When booking accommodation, look at apartments or hotels that have plenty of space, so you’re not all piled up on top of each other (especially with teenagers!). It’s also a good idea to look for accommodation that offers extra facilities such as a pool and spa in case you want to take a break from the slopes. Many of the resorts offer a multitude of après ski options – from sleigh rides to top bars and restaurants, so check that the après ski scene matches your family’s needs.
Every family is different, so great family resort for you may not be so good for someone else! Think about each family member’s different needs. In particular, a family resort should have good variety of pistes and amenities to cater for all your family's individual skill levels. As well as the above, bear in mind transfer times from the nearest airport, train station or ferry port, the reputation of the resort's ski school, and the suitability of the resort’s slopes for the differing abilities of your family.
If, like most of us, you’re looking to keep costs down, keep your eye out for specials (often occurring around Christmas and Easter) - and for beginner packages which offer ski school tuition, lift pass and rentals together.
Overall, if you look out for resorts with quiet slopes, plenty of fun activities and cheaper prices than the big name resorts - and plan well ahead of time - you’ll have a fantastic family trip.