Whatever resort you have in mind check the snow reports. Without snow you’ll be wasting your trip! The resorts with the best chance of snow tend to be those built either side of mountain ranges - more snow tends to be on the gentler slopes as opposed to the steep ones so the mountains don’t necessarily have to be high.
Having established the best areas for snow the next step is to consider the level of skiing you’re looking for - whether for children, beginners, advanced or a combination of all three.
For beginners you’ll need to choose somewhere that has a ski school with a good reputation and easy nursery slopes where more advanced skiers won’t be whizzing past at top speed to terrify you. You might think it’s worth considering hiring a ski instructor if it’s your first time. For the more advanced you’ll want decent runs in a challenging terrain that won’t disappoint.
Is there easy accessibility to the slopes? You might need to take public transport from your accommodation if you’re not on site – which can be tricky for a family with lots of equipment to carry – or you might prefer a more convenient resort with places to stay close by and where you can easily pop back to if you want a break.
Of course it depends on your budget and the services you need. The popular resorts tend to be more expensive and the price of eating out can be high, but you can always pack a lunch or go mid week or slightly out of season if you want to make the most of your funds.
If you have young children you’ll probably be looking for baby sitting services so you can enjoy the après ski – bars and clubs and restaurants where the atmosphere buzzes, an important part of the skiing experience! The nightlife obviously varies from resort to resort so again check out in advance what you want.
So you might be looking at Canada, USA, Europe. Here the Swiss resorts have a particularly good reputation for reliable snow throughout a long season, a diversity of runs, less crowded pistes and a vast range of facilities to suit your needs.
You’ll have a fantastic time at the après ski and the scenery is second to none – mountains and trees, charming alpine lodges, open expanses and lakes to make a skiing experience you won’t forget.
Keith Barrett likes to visit Verbier and other popular ski resorts throughout Europe. He believes that this can be the perfect combination of relaxation and active sports involvement.