Tuesday, 28 August 2012 10:08 AM
A skiing holiday can be a fantastic experience for families, thanks to the opportunity it gives to spend some quality time together and have fun while learning something new. To find out how to plan the perfect getaway on the slopes for your brood, read on.
Look for family-friendly resorts
The first step in making sure your break goes smoothly is choosing the right resort. As you would expect, selecting somewhere that is family-friendly is crucial - particularly if you are travelling with very young children. Should you be going away with teenagers, however, you can afford to be a little more flexible on this, but you will usually find resorts with a good reputation for welcoming families are best.
Among the key things to look out for are nursery or beginner slopes - which is especially important if any of your children are complete novices - childcare services and children's clubs. It is also a good idea to check the availability of other activities, such as ice skating or tobogganing, in case little ones fancy a change from skiing.
There are plenty of resorts that fit the bill, but some have particularly glowing reputations for this kind of holiday. These include La Plagne in France, which caters to people of all abilities and is known for the quality of its ski schools, while Wengen in Switzerland offers a traffic-free environment and gentle nursery slopes.
The next thing to think about is ski schools. If a member of your family has never skied before - as is likely to be the case with young children - enrolling them in beginners' classes is essential. This way, they can quickly get to grips with the basics and start enjoying their holiday.
However, even if everyone in your family knows how to ski, it is still worth reviewing what formal lessons can offer you. For example, they could help children and adults alike brush up on and advance their skills.
Whatever kind of lessons you are interested in, it is important to book early to secure a place, as these typically prove popular - especially during peak season.
Choose the right accommodation
As well as choosing the right resort, you also need to pick appropriate accommodation. Usually, this will mean looking out for ski chalets designed specifically with families in mind. When reviewing your options, there are a number of factors you should consider.
Among the most important is how close the chalet is to the pistes. After all, young children can quickly tire, and if there is a long walk from where you are staying to the slopes, they may become worn out before you even start skiing. Similarly, it is useful to be able to whisk sleepy kids home at the end of the day.
Next, you should check what facilities each chalet offers. If you have very young little ones, you might be keen to secure nursery services, while those with older children should consider the possibility of kids' clubs.
To ensure your holiday goes smoothly, it is a good idea to include a little preparation back home in your planning. For example, ensuring you and your children are kitted out with the right clothes and equipment will make life much simpler when you arrive, while booking some introductory lessons at a local dry slope can give beginners a taste of what skiing is like before they hit the snow.