If this is your first time planning a skiing holiday now that you have children, it can be quite a mind bender as to how it will all work. Are they old enough to ski? If so, what is the best way to teach them? If not, what are you to do with them, and how can you make sure you also ensure you get time to enjoy the slopes yourself? Choosing the type of care to get for your children is obviously a very personal thing, but there are plenty of options available, ranging from half day ski schools to private nanny services.
The age ranges and service services available can vary depending on your country and resort of choice. Many resorts offer crèche & day care facilities from 6 months and mini clubs with introduction to skiing for 3 and 4 years old. Above that it very much depends on the resort and accommodation and operator you go with. There are options for teenagers to be with their peers, pre teens and young children to be out doing activities all day, including skiing, which could include a drop off and pickup for ski lessons as well as evening services for looking after your children whilst you are having dinner.
Children of this age are quite easy to cater for as they don’t cost that much and most resort have crèche facilities to care for them if parents want some time off together. Other facilities can be nanny services, including evenings, international clubs have fully qualified English speaking staff. The local tourist offices also will have a list of minders.
Usefully some of the more child friendly resorts also have companies that can rent most of what you need for an infant such as baby monitors, portable DVD players and car seats.
This age groups are probably the most challenging to take away, whilst not quite ready to be sent off skiing they do need to be kept entertained and get a fair amount of exercise. Once again most resorts offer care and supervised activities, so they can have fun in and out of the snow. These can be for half or full days and can include lunch as well. Some accommodation offerings have their own crèche facilities and offer daytime and evening baby-sitting services. You can also go for the private nanny options which can be more cost effective if there is a group of you.
This is a very exciting age to take your children skiing, they tend to be more adventurous and open to instruction. You will need to ensure there is some kind of kids club in the resort that you are going to. Most kids clubs include lessons, more appropriate for the 3,4 and 5 year olds perhaps, and you can get proper lessons as they get a bit older, where the clubs will do drop off and collection to the lessons. Half days are a good option as you will get the opportunity to see how quickly they are progressing, sometimes quicker than you!
Some kids club also include an after dinner service, which allows you to go and enjoy your dinner whilst they are being looked after.
Skiing with pre-teen children under 13 years of age may well be the most rewarding of all, as you can move off the training slopes and ski together. There are terrific Kids clubs for this age too, including lessons and lunch, half or full days and an optional evening service, so you can still go skiing with the other adults safe in the knowledge that your children are having a great time.
Tip Tip: If you're travelling with a group that has quite a few children, investigate the cost of a private nanny service. They can be tailored to your needs and with the adults taking turns as well you may not need as many hours of child minding.
If you’re looking to book a family holiday, you want to look for a resort that’s got a great beginners’ ski area – a magic carpet is a winner for children. You also want to look for accommodation that is near the lifts and near the ski school because you’ll be carrying all their gear up to the slopes every day.
When you’re choosing a family ski holiday I think the things to look for is you want a resort that’s got a lot to offer besides just the skiing and then you need to think about the location, so you want it to be really accessible for the ski lifts.
Accessibility to easy skiing pistes – that’s the most important thing.
I’m Christ Howe from Hertfordshire in England and my top tip is to book up your childcare before you go. You don’t want to turn up and waste some of your own holiday sorting it out.
My daughter came here when she was six months old and I took her on my back for 2 weeks, but that was a mistake because the crèche was shut.
It’s worth pre-booking because it’s often cheaper so, if you do pull them out to ski with you for the morning, in the back of your mind you know you’ve saved money.
It’s worth considering in a peak week like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter everything’s going to be booked out, so it’s worth doing it before you go on holiday.
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