Guide To Family Ski Trips in the French Alps
Alas, winter has arrived and you have the urge to take you and your family on a wonderful skiing holiday that will live long in your memories. A fantastic idea that requires quite a bit of planning, and may leave some people feeling slightly overwhelmed. Skiing holidays need lots of planning, especially when children are involved. How far is the airport? Are there any learn-to-ski schools? Is the resort child-friendly? Where to rent equipment? There is a long list to get through, but thankfully, this handy guide that we’ve put together is full of useful tips that will help to set up the perfect family skiing holiday!
Top Family-Friendly Resorts
This should be the first issue that you tackle. You want a ski resort that underlines the fact that they are family-friendly and that they have a number of gentle slopes for the little ones to help get those snow legs. Smaller resorts might be your best bet here. Ski slopes that have wide and expansive terrain to blast around in the steeps are not necessary since it won’t be of much use to your family. Regardless of whether you’re an expert skier or not, you won’t be spending much time on the slopes, so it would be a better idea to check out all the resorts that have a special beginner’s area, especially for children.
There are a lot of family resorts to choose from, with Lez Carroz and La Rosiere being regarded as ideal for families but arguably, at the top is Morzine. Hunter Chalets is one of the fantastic chalet providers that specializes in Family Ski trips to Morzine. Straddling on the Franco-Swiss border, Morzine is a ski-haven for families for a variety of reasons. The pistes are gentle and wide-ranging, the family activities available go beyond just skiing and of course, the Pio Pio club is every child’s golden ticket to learning how to ski; the nursery slope is transformed into a winter playground of tunnels and obstacles that encourage them to learn how to ski in a fun and interactive way.
Don’t Skimp on the Gear
It goes without saying that when embarking on a skiing holiday, having the right gear is paramount to maximizing your experience. No-one likes being cold or wet, especially children, so it’s important that you provide them with the right clothing. To save money, discounted stores such as TK Maxx and Sports Direct will be able to supply you with all of the clothing necessary without having to break the bank. Opt to purchase proper base layers, such as merino wool which will last for years. Waterproof gloves or mittens and a hat are a must, along with a helmet. When buying a jacket, buying your child a bright jacket would help to identify your little speed demon from the crowd. Here’s a list to of essentials:
- Gloves or mittens
- Ski socks
- Thermal base layers
- Warm mid-layers
- High Spf suncream
Check the Childcare Facilities
Most resorts these days are set up with childcare facilities, but the quality of their services will vary, You will find that some places more of an emphasis on looking after the tiny tots than others, so check what ages they can provide for. Look for chalets that can provide excellent options for childcare. Hunter Ski Chalets in Morzine for example, offer their guests great childcare options for both during the day and at night. Their private nannies can come straight to your accommodation to look after them and take them out to play.
Book the Ski School in Advance
A common mistake is not pre-booking your ski school. If you’re going on a family-friendly ski resort, then it’s likely that a lot of the ski-schools will be fully booked when you arrive. Finding the right ski-instructor, guide or school can turn an average holiday into an amazing one. So make sure you do your homework and book in advance.
Ski insurance is an absolute must. When it comes to health you don’t cut corners. The figures surrounding mountain rescue can be astronomical, with it potentially ranging between £10,000 to £20,000 on mainland Europe and easily doubling for North American ski holidays.
Drag Lifts vs Magic Carpets
Drag lifts are a convenient way of getting you up the hill but it may intimidate a lot of kids. A great alternative that won’t instill any anxiety into your little ones are magic carpets. This nifty mode of transport is great for kids since all these little tots have to do is hop on these moving travellator-style belts and let it gently carry them to the top of the mound. Easy!
Mixing it up with Non-Skiing Activities
When going on any holiday, it’s always a good idea to be involved in a mix of different activities. Children especially may not have the desire or stamina to ski for half a day so it’s always a good idea to look for ski resorts that offer many activities outside of skiing. From horse-sleigh rides and berry picking, to snow caves and indoor climbing walls, the best ski-resorts will have an array of activities for you and your family to get fully involved in! Check to see if your accommodation is child-friendly as well. Many luxury ski chalets have a special cinema room for kids to watch their favourite movies, allowing parents to wind down at the bar or spa.