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
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
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
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
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
Tip 6: Double-check what the
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
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.