What Parents Need To Know About Ski Holidays

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Oh, the weather outside is frightful for most of the UK at this time of year, and while Christmas Day may be a bit grey and wet, some families will be taking the Christmas break as a chance to get a genuine white Christmas.

How do they do it? By going on a family ski holiday in the Alps. 

A ski holiday with the whole family is something I’d love to do if I had the time to organise it, and it is something I’ve looked into. It’s not like a sunny holiday where you can throw some t-shirts and shorts in a suitcase and know that will do for a week. There’s a lot of organisation involved and things you need to know to pull it off without any hitches.

On the off chance you’re in the middle of organising a family ski trip, or you’re circling the idea just now, here are some practical tips to help you get everything for a stress-free time.

Tip 1: Get better insurance

If you already have holiday insurance covering a period of time, check it. And if you have a specific provider you always use because it’s convenient, take five minutes to see if ski-related injuries are covered. Many basic packages don’t, so make sure you’re fully covered.

Tip 2: Know that ski lifts cost money

Never been on a ski holiday before? Well, it can come as a surprise to learn that you’ll have to buy a ski lift pass separate from your flights and hotel. This is because resorts share lifts. When you’re staying in a ski resort in the Alps, you’ll usually be in a small village that has a few resorts clustered together. They all share responsibility for lifts to specific slopes as no one resort can “own” a slope. Passes can be anywhere from £20-£100+ so factor that into the cost

Tip 3: Check the resort has child services

If you’re on a ski holiday, you expect to go skiing, right?

Don’t book a resort without checking first that they provide a comprehensive childcare programme for the week you’re there, as well as ski lessons for kids. For example, ski resorts in Tignes will offer child care throughout the day as well as ski lessons solely for kids, so parents can have some free time to hit the slopes themselves.

It’s also good to see if your ideal resort will have babysitting services in the evening so mum and dad can nip off for dinner by themselves for a few hours.

Tip 4: Know that the transfer takes a while

You can’t land a plane in the mountains, and you wouldn’t want to either. With resorts being up so high and being so remote, it takes time to get there. Most resorts you can fly to from the UK will have an average transfer time of at least two hours.

I’m not the biggest advocate on tablet time during the day, but after a flight, the last thing you need are bored kids on a long coach trip, so get them charged!

Tip 5: You don’t need to buy ski equipment

How do you pack four pairs of skis, boots and helmets into four hand luggage bags? Well, you don’t and you don’t even need to bring any equipment.

Resorts will have their shops where you can hire out equipment for the week. My only advice would be to buy everyone thick socks for the boots as the sizes are different than regular shoes.

Tip 6: Double-check what the resort has

When luggage weight limits can cause headaches at the airport, much like knowing what equipment you don’t need to bring, the same goes for baby stuff.

If it isn’t listed on the resort or travel agent website, get in touch directly to find out if they provide or stock bottle sterilising facilities, cot bedding, potties and nappies. Even knowing they have nappies will save you so much space in your carry-on.

Finally, have fun

Even if it’s your first ski strip, make sure to take as many photos as possible. Just don’t forget sunscreen to help avoid rosy cheeks.