Ski holidays are best booked through an agent as they can provide you with great deals, activities and extras to enjoy your trip. If you know what you want, then a travel company can put together exactly what you want. Or you can choose a readymade package holiday, which usually comes at a more reasonable price too. A Ski trip is a great thing to do with your family, but when choosing your family ski break there are some questions you might want to ask before you decide to book.
Does the package include ski or snowboard lessons?
If you are a beginner or are travelling with those who are new to skiing, then you’ll want to know if lessons are included in the price you are paying or if they are an extra fee.
On a family ski holiday, learning to ski together is a great way to bond and enjoy your time with each other. Everyone should start somewhere and having your lessons, or at least some lessons included is a must for beginners. Even if you know how to ski, you may benefit from further instruction or a guide if the slopes are new to you.
Most ski lessons take place in the morning as half day sessions and children are usually separated into groups depending on their age. Children’s lessons tend to be shorter than adult ones, so this is when you can take advantage of in-chalet childcare that some resorts offer.
Where is the accommodation situated?
Directly onto the slopes? In the resort centre? Or a remote area on the mountainside with picturesque view? When you have more than just yourself to think about you need accommodation that will suit the whole family. Knowing exactly where you are situated before you go will help you to plan how you’ll spend your break.
If you are a family with older children, ski-in and out accommodation may suit you if you plan to be on the slopes all day. However, if you have small children you may want to be closer to amenities in case you need supplies quickly or maybe you would like to be away from the noise and bustle of the centre in a catered chalet?
Another question about the location will be what the views are like too. If you are spending a lot of time in your lodgings then you might want to make sure you have a beautiful view to enjoy. Before you book make sure your accommodation is situated in the perfect place suited to your needs.
Are Ski passes included? If not, what do they cost?
There’s no point booking a family ski break and then finding out you can’t afford the extra for ski and lift passes. Sometimes passes are included in your package or you can get a discount if you book your passes early.
Your travel agent will be able to give you the options for passes, including family discounts before you go. In Les Gets and the Portes de Soleil area in the Alps there are a number of passes with different options available, so it is best to discuss your needs with the tour operator who will break down what is included in each pass.
Does everyone need a pass? If there are family members that are not skiing ask about pedestrian only passes. That way, the non-skiers can still enjoy the area without actually using the slopes.
What clothing and kit do I need to bring with me?
Is there any special equipment you need to buy and bring along or can you hire or lend items on resort? There might be clothing and equipment hire packages that covers the whole family for your break. Depending on what each person is doing will make a difference to what clothing and equipment you each need. You don’t want to go out and buy expensive gear when you won’t really wear it.
When it comes to ski equipment you are best to hire in resort and your operator will advise on what you need depending on your size and ability. The right clothing for a ski break is essential but it can be very expensive to purchase too. If you don’t think you’ll get enough wear out of your own ski suits then hiring ski wear for the family through your operator is a good plan.
If you do nothing else make sure you get decent waterproof clothing and gloves. It won’t be very fun when you are cold and wet out in the snow. Kids get cold a lot quicker and can be affected more easily so make sure they are wrapped up warm.
What other options can be included in your stay?
Are there any other activities included in your stay? If you are tired of skiing or need a family afternoon activity then it’s nice to know what you can do without incurring extra costs. It also gives you the chance to plan the days when you aren’t skiing. You may find that guided hikes, ice skating and other indoor resort activities can be part of a winter ski holiday package.
Is your chalet self-catering or do you have the option for a fully catered stay? Weigh up the options with your tour operator and confirm you have the correct catering package to suit your family. Catered chalets can be an excellent choice for families as it removes the cooking or having to find a restaurant each night.
Are your transfers from the airport to the resort included in your holiday? It can be pricey to arrange your transport especially if you have a lot of luggage and lots of people so this is an important question to ask. Alternatively, you may be driving yourselves or hiring a car, but it is best to double check all options with your agent.
And One Extra Bonus Question: Is the resort Family Friendly?
Are there things for young children to do or is it a party resort for groups and adults who want to stay out late? You don’t want to be woken by all night parties or noisy chalet guests especially if the resort accommodation is geared towards that kind of thing.
If it’s a family friendly resort there will be other families just like you and kids are sure to make friends and play together. With plenty of families comes fun activities for them to enjoy together. So, make sure you are going to a ski resort where the children won’t get bored. Small things like early breakfasts, changing facilities in restaurants and available highchairs all make a difference in a famiy friendly resort.
Can you think of any other questions?
Have we got it covered or are there some other important questions you can think of to ask before you book? Remember this is your personal family ski holiday so you need to take care that everything is just as you want it. Whether you are experienced skiers or complete beginners it pays to ask the right questions to get the perfect ski holiday for you.