Trying to book a skiing holiday with little ones in tow might seem like a recipe for disaster. But luckily, most holiday companies have cottoned onto the fact that many parents want to be able to enjoy ski holidays whilst also keeping the kids entertained. So here are a few things you should bear in mind when planning your trip.
Get a Package Holiday
If you are used to booking it all direct yourself, then make a change and go for a package this time round. Many skiing packages offer all-inclusive deals so you know the costs have been paid up front, which is a load off your mind. Childcare might be extra but at least you know that it is provided and many packages also run children's clubs, so whilst you are out on the piste, your little ones are running around having a great time and making new friends. Also it's great to meet other like-minded parents and families with whom you can share anecdotes and the ups and downs of parenthood. Everything is catered towards families making it a relaxed and safe environment for you and the children to be in.
Act Like a Local
Many of the French, Italian and Swiss families get their kids onto the slopes pretty much as soon as they start to walk! Whilst you might not want to go that far, there are plenty of ski-instructors that are used to supervising children and most shops are happy to hire out children's skiing gear so don't be afraid to hit the slopes with your child. The younger you start them off, the less fearful they will be and it's a great aid to their balancing skills!
Hire, Hire, Hire
Don't pay excess baggage charges to take heavy items like buggies, ski equipment, high chairs, cot beds etc, when you can hire them once you arrive. The cost of taking your own stuff will probably be much higher than the cost of simply hiring on site and it's a nightmare trying to pack everything! Check before you go what the hotel provides and what you can hire so that you have a good idea of what you need to take with you and what you don't.
Sometimes the smaller resorts are better places for family ski holidays. They are quieter and can often be cheaper, even in the summer holidays! France and Austria are the best places to start and if you don't mind a short drive to the ski slopes, you can get some bargain deals! Small resorts are often frequented by the locals which makes for a friendly, personal atmosphere and children of all ages are warmly welcomed.
Ask your tour operator about a dedicated family skiing chalets which will come equipped with everything you need. You could even enquire about sharing with another family which will reduce the price substantially. Chalets are also located close to family friendly resorts for convenience and have easy access to all the slopes.
Remember, you don't have to compromise your ski holiday just because children come along, you just need a little extra planning, that's all!
Written by John Barnes on behalf of Inghams.