Skiing with Children: Tips for Successful Family Ski Trips
Planning a ski holiday with your children is an exciting step for many parents. Spending time together as a family surrounded by incredible scenery and an endless mountain playground is a lot of fun and will create incredible memories, but some ski resorts are better than others at considering the needs of your children. We have highlighted our top tips and resorts to make sure you have a great time on the slopes. We want to help you make your first family ski holiday a success!
Skiing with Children: Tips for Successful Family Ski Holidays
Tips for a successful family ski trip with children:
- Choose the right resort
- Correct Clothing & Gear
- Getting Lessons
- Play & Fun
Family-friendly ski resorts
Start designing your perfect ski holiday, by selecting a ski resort that is family-friendly. For some, it may seem like a simple decision, but not all ski resorts cater well for kids. Especially on your first family ski holiday, everything will be new, so you want to make things as easy as possible for you and your family.
For a family ski trip, you will want to ensure the ski resort has plenty of areas for beginners so that your children feel safe and comfortable learning to ski. Most family-friendly resorts have a wide range of blue and green runs, which are the easiest graded slopes on the mountain.
Here’s our list of the best ski resorts for family ski holidays in the European Alps:
- Avoriaz, France
- Courchevel 1850, France
- La Plagne, France
- Lech, Austria
- Les Arcs, France
- Tignes, France
If you have already chosen a resort, and can’t swap to one of our recommended resorts, we’d suggest having a quick look on Google to find a piste map. Once you’ve found one, take a look to see how many blue and green runs are within close distance of your accommodation or the resort centre (Or ask your accommodation provider!)
That way you can be prepared for your journey from your accommodation to the slopes and back home at the end of the day. It will make a big difference to have a plan for navigating the easier slopes on your first family ski holiday.
It’s also good to note that most of the resorts listed above have free child places, where children can use the lifts for free. It’s worth enquiring about before buying a lift pass for beginner children.
Please note, we will be releasing a blog on our 5 top Family Friendly ski resorts very soon! Watch this space!
Choosing accommodation is also an important factor when planning family skiing holidays. Being right on the slopes can be great for some families, but others might prefer to be within the town.
Ski-In Ski-Out accommodation
It is commonly believed that Ski-In Ski-Out accommodation is the absolute dream, for many, it can be. However, for family ski holidays there are many pros and cons to ski-in ski-out accommodation. Let’s take a look:
Pros of ski-in ski-out accommodation
Being near the slopes can make mornings easier if you can already ski blue runs. Getting all your kit on, as well as your kids and lugging your ski kit onto a bus, before a gondola just to get to the ski area, can be exhausting. If you choose accommodation options that are directly on the slopes, all you have to do is step outside and clip in and you’re ready to go. Nothing beats skiing directly to your door either.
There is also an even greater sense of being at one with nature. Ski-in Ski-out accommodation is often a little more secluded.
Cons of ski-in ski-out accommodation
Most Ski-in Ski-out accommodation is located next to blue runs. So if you are a beginner you will not be able to make the most of this at the start of the week, it can be tricky to get to ski school meeting points in time.
In addition, ski-in ski-out chalets and hotels are normally away from the main town centre. This means you’ll need to get a lift, bus or walk into the town centre if you want to explore the town in the evenings. With kids in tow, this can be easier said than done.
Many chalets will have a driver who can chauffeur you, your family and their ski kit around the resort for ski school drop-off and pick-up times. However, it is worth checking this in advance.
[For private lessons, ski instructors can come to you and meet you wherever you like, but for group lessons, the ski school will have a central location in the middle of the resort that’s convenient for everyone to access.]
What are the alternatives?
You can make your ski holidays easier by choosing accommodation that’s near to the slopes and the resort centre. Many ski resorts are focused around the base station, choosing accommodation that is near to this will minimise the amount of walking you have to do in ski gear and mean you are already close to the restaurants and other activities.
We can help you find the right ski accommodation
New Generation Travel can help you book your accommodation for any future family ski holidays. They have a wide range of chalets, apartments, penthouses, hotels and self-catered options available, so you can compare prices and options, depending on your departure date and budget.
The best thing about booking your accommodation through New Generation Travel is that you’ll be fully ATOL protected, so if an airline cancels your flight for whatever reason, your entire family holiday is protected.
If you’re thinking about bringing your little ones out skiing during school holidays (Christmas, half term, or Easter) get in touch quickly as deals on popular dates like those get snapped up quickly. Book your family ski holidays with New Generation Travel.
Having the Correct Clothing & Gear
One of the most important things to consider when skiing with children is their safety, and this starts with their equipment. Make sure you have the proper equipment for your child, including a helmet and waterproof ski gear. Whilst helmets aren’t always the most stylish, head injuries can be really nasty. Helmets are also compulsory in most ski schools for children.
The smaller the child, the quicker they get cold, so investing in good kit is kind of a deal-breaker in our opinion. We regularly see children in cheap ski gear, that lacks any real level of waterproofing or does not fit properly.
We know youngsters grow quickly, and investing huge amounts in something that will only last a season can seem frustrating so instead, we would encourage you to rent. There are plenty of options for renting ski clothing, EcoSki being our particular favourite. EcoSki has a great selection of gear from top brands.
Goggles are another area where we commonly see mistakes. Children are regularly dropped off wearing goggles with orange lenses’, often this seems to be all that is available in shops. Orange and Yellow lenses are designed to enhance details in low light conditions.
In bright sunny conditions, they let too much light through. This can be incredibly tough on young eyes. On sunny days you need goggles that are rated to at least category 3, ideally 4. Again you can rent from EcoSki.
If you’re looking for ski hire, we work with SkiSet in France, Hervis in Austria and SkiService in Switzerland. We offer great value on ski equipment hire, saving money and time by booking it ahead of time. Then all you have to do is walk into the shop on the first day, pick up your ski boots, skis and poles and you’re ready to go! Easy. Oh and don’t forget to pick up lift passes!
Find out more about our exclusive discount for New Gen’s friends and family, depending on the resort you’re travelling to.
Signing Kids up for Ski Lessons
It’s essential to teach your child how to ski safely and stay within their abilities. And we all know that kids learn faster from someone other than their parents. So signing them up for group or private ski lessons in ski school is always a good idea.
Ski Instructors are generally young, fun and full of energy, and your little one will mimic their vibes resulting in a good time and a successful family ski holiday. Lessons allow everyone to do what they love. It gives adults time to explore and challenge themselves, in or out of lessons. But the best thing about ski lessons is that it gives your day structure, whilst still having time for quality family time after ski clubs have finished.
If you’re looking for ski lessons in Europe, we have ski schools in over 20 resorts across France, Switzerland & Austria. Book your little ones into lessons today to kickstart their love for skiing. And for older children, we have specific lessons for Teens who are just too young for adult lessons, but way too cool for kids groups. Check out our teen ski lessons.
Not sure if lessons are worth it? Check out our blog on The benefits of ski lessons for kids.
The Importance of Rest
Another vital consideration when skiing with children is their comfort level. Skiing can be tiring, and children may not be used to being in the cold for extended periods. Dress them in layers so that they can remove clothing if they start to feel too warm.
If you’re skiing and teaching your own kids to ski, it’s important to stop in restaurants or picnic spots on the mountain to ensure they are warm, happy and rested. Even partaking in snowball fights on the side of the piste to give their legs a rest from standing on skis can help.
Many catered chalets and hotels put on afternoon tea at the chalet from around 3 pm, so we’d recommend only skiing for a short time after lunch and then heading back to the chalet to get some rest. Especially as the slopes get chopped up by the end of the day, which can be tiring on little legs.
Keepin’ the Fuel Tank Full on a Family Ski Holiday
Also, make sure to take breaks often so that your children can rest and have a snack. The mountains are a wonderful place to take refuge for a quick hot chocolate and a waffle. You know it’s time for a break when your kid goes quiet – so take our advice and stop for a break.
If stopping on the mountain is becoming expensive, buy a snack from the supermarket in bulk and keep topping up your child’s pockets throughout the week. Most ski resorts have picnic rooms, too, where you can shelter if the weather takes a turn.
Ensure They are Having fun!
It sounds daft to mention this because most parents can sense how their younger kids are doing by glancing at their body language. But it’s so important to stop and ask yourself, ‘Is my child having fun? Or am I making them do this because I want them to love skiing?’
If your child isn’t having fun, it might be time to switch things up. Take a break from the ski area, and go sledging, sip on a hot chocolate or go ice skating. There are so many activities to enjoy in the resort that don’t involve snow, including swimming pools for bad weather days.
Parents: you’ll be surprised by how keen they will be to go skiing again the next day once they have had a break.
And if they still aren’t fussed about skiing with you, it may be time to book them into any local, great ski schools to change their experience of skiing for good. Letting them learn at their own pace, from ski experts who can help them have fun and improve their skiing technique. Whilst learning to ski with others of the same age group could make all the difference for future family holidays.
Family Ski Holidays
So there you have it. If you’ve been nervous about skiing with children on future family ski holidays, we hope we’ve put your mind at rest and can make you feel reassured, as after all, you are on family ski holiday!
If you’ve got any other tips, or up to date advice to share for successful family skiing holidays, let us know on our Facebook page.