If you need to plan a family holiday, the logistics, the transfers, the ski hire and finding the best value for money can quickly become stressful. Read our top tips for planning a stress-free family ski trip.
WHEN TO BOOK A FAMILY SKI HOLIDAY
A family ski holiday will always be cheaper at the beginning or end of the season. If you can avoid peak travel weeks, you’ll find the resorts to be less crowded and offer better value for money. Not condoning you take your children out of school term time, (however it could save you a few pennies!) If that’s not an option, keep a look out for ‘early-bird’ deals at the start of the season in December and cheaper rates towards the end of the season in April.
TRAVEL AND TRANSFERS
Pick a resort that is relatively close to an airport. This will reduce the time spent (and cost) in getting to the ski resort. A long three-hour transfer with children has the potential to be a nightmare. However, some resorts in the French Alps are a lot closer to airports than others. For example, Châtel in the Portes du Soleil is only a 90 minute car transfer from Geneva Airport.
RESEARCH WINTER SPORTS FOR NON SKIERS
Skiing is the name of the game however, you might find you need to cater for children or adults that aren’t so keen. Check if the resort is suited to everyone in your group. Look out for child-friendly activities such as ice skating, tobogganing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, snow parks and even swimming. These are just some of the alternative winter sports to consider when planning a family ski trip.
CHOOSE A FAMILY FRIENDLY SKI RESORT
You’ll probably be looking for a mixture of terrain (unless the whole group is new to skiing) so check the resort is suited to both beginners and intermediates. Smaller resorts that are connected to larger ones will offer the best of both worlds and keep everyone happy. The Portes du Soleil in France offers 650km of skiing suitable for all levels and it’s one of the largest linked ski resorts in the world!
BOOK A SKI SCHOOL FOR YOUR FAMILY SKI HOLIDAY
Finding the right instructor, guide or ski school can make or break a holiday so do your research and book before you travel, especially if travelling in peak season eg. school holidays. Ask for recommendations from friends who have been before and look for a ski school close to where you are staying – this will ensure your day gets off to a stree-free start. Check out ESF Chatel Ski School.
A ski holiday for the whole family can soon become very expensive. You’ll need to pay for flights, transfers, meals, accommodation, ski hire and lift passes. Consider travelling with another family you know (more the merrier!) and hire a self-catered chalet. This enables you to cook meals yourself and still have the option to eat out too. Look out for family ski pass offers, early bird offers and online deals. If skiing in the Portes du Soleil, there are two different kinds of passes – the cheaper lift pass is called the Châtel Liberté skipass which covers 73 slopes and 61 ski lifts. Opting for a shared transfer from Geneva also helps cut down the cost.
Discover Chalet la Fontaine in the Portes du Soleil, just 90 minutes from Geneva Airport and perfect for a family ski holiday.