When families come together at the end of a day after spending an eventful time on the slopes and share their experiences, it has to be one of the most magical ways for generations to create memories together. The key, however, is to do research and plan ahead.
Preparing for a ski vacation with a young family and older adults can feel like a challenge, especially if you have never done it earlier. The good news is this family winter holiday can run smoothly without any stress providing you keep these seven tricks of the trade in mind.
Book everything in advance
From rental ski equipment, boots, ski passes and ski lessons try and book everything in advance. Alternatively, look for a ski operator who will offer these services and other rented essentials, directly to your accommodation upon your arrival. This will eliminate time spent queuing up once you reach and ensure extra peace of mind for the whole family. Additionally, if you so wish, you will be able to hit the ground running as soon as you get there.
Booking your holiday earlier in the year ensures that not only you get the right flight, accommodation and resort of your choice, but also the best deals as well. Many companies offer early bird incentives like free child equipment, cheap lift passes and big discount on accommodation, with children under a certain age getting to stay free. While booking, you must ensure you use reputed tour operators. For example, if you book Family ski holidays with Ski Famille, you can be assured of a hassle free trip.
Carry the right gear
Young children heading out to alpine envy will need protection from the sun, cold, and reflection from the snow. Clothes are a critical element to be considered before heading for the slopes. To improve the overall experience for the kids, buy them waterproof clothes that are comfortable and include base layers, socks, and gloves, preferably of merino wool, to keep them warm. Use bright jackets to help in identification on the slopes and slippers for indoors.
Choose the right destination
Walking long distances in ski boots while carrying heavy ski gear will in no way get the family holiday off to a happy start first thing in the morning. The nearer your accommodation is to the ski lifts and other facilities, the more seamless will the entire process be. If you have small kids, consider the transfer time. Since short transfer is an important point to consider, so try to get one that is within two hours from where you are.
Les Gets in France, for example, has some of the most accessible and easy baby slopes in the French Alps and where beginner runs are only steps away from the accommodation. Also Meribel, one of the world’s biggest ski slope areas, has dedicated 50% of the ski domain for kids and beginners, in addition to having top-class ski schools and day-care facilities.
Use family-friendly accommodation
While hotels are the best option when having teenagers on board, if you are traveling with younger children, family-friendly chalets with a self-catering service will serve the purpose perfectly. Having your own kitchen means the fussy eaters can be attended to without any problem. Book the whole chalet for a family group to add to the fun of the vacation, but book early as they sell out fast.
Chalet Bogart stands tall in the Les Gets center and is one of the firm favorites with families as it offers all the comforts and is easily accessible to the lifts and the village. In the Reberty 2000 region, there are some popular chalets in the fabulous 3 Valley ski area. Chalet Chamois is a proper family resort that lies literally on the piste with dedicated nursery slopes to ski-in and ski-out. It has plenty of non-ski entertainment like childcare, game rooms and other family-friendly activities.
Rules regarding ski-schools and lessons vary greatly from resort to resort. Make sure to check on some important factors such as minimum age requirement, duration of the lessons and how many people are limited per session. Lessons taken as a family can turn out to be far cheaper since some resorts like La Plagne accept as many as five persons per lesson. One of the best experiences of a family ski lesson is the whole family gets to ski together with the instructor. You can observe how the kids followed what the instructor taught and reinforce those when you ski with them.
Another common mistake is to look for ski lessons when arriving at a ski destination. Many times there will be no room as these are often booked well in advance by families. When hiring an instructor, make sure they understand the kid’s language. Check on the website of the resort that displays information on booking lessons and instructors before leaving from home. Ski lessons are a must for those kids who are initially afraid to go on the slopes in order to familiarize them with gear, knowledge and the environment.
Make choice of a good terrain
Few things are more embarrassing and stressful than dragging yourself all the way to the top of the mountain with the family entourage in tow only to find out that it is way too steep for some of the members. Even an experienced skier needs to first take it easy and then gradually work up to challenging terrain.
It is essential, therefore, to have complete knowledge of the ability level, especially of the children, and of the mountain, you intend to ski and its terrain. To clear any doubts ask passerby or spend time studying the piste map thoroughly as with the responsibility of taking kids one should know where they are at all times. There may be time to do these slopes on a later date, but it will be much harder to restore shattered confidence.
Have fun on and off the slopes
Take efforts to make your family holiday skiing trip super exciting by creating memorable moments on the snow that the kids and the family will cherish forever. The best way to go about this is to involve the kids the moment you decide on your upcoming vacation. Talk to them about their expectations from the ski holiday.
Family ski vacations provide the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with someone you love, something which is sometimes difficult to achieve back home. You could be spotting deer from the ski lift while heading up to the mountain or huddling with them over a cup of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace at the resort and discuss about the day spent at the slopes.