Proper and early planning is the best way to ensure a great time on any family vacation that involves small children. It can feel overwhelming as they have many needs that require looking after and you might not know quite how to prepare.
It is best to plan in stages. Research is the first stage. This is where you identify what kind of ski vacation you want to take. Will you rent a cabin in the mountains and teach them to ski yourselves? Will you book an all-inclusive stay at a ski lodge that boasts a good ski school? Once you know how you want to approach the actual skiing part, you can begin the next stage.
Kids’ ski jackets should be purchased early so you can get good discounts. Find out what extra equipment you will need to take. Arrange for everyone to receive their flu shot over a long weekend, so they can be protected from getting ill in the cold climate.
The last stage in planning any vacation with children is to make sure that you have a solid itinerary in place to entertain them when they aren’t on the slopes. Jigsaw puzzles, movies, good books, and hot chocolate around a campfire telling ghost stories are all fantastic ways to build those lasting memories and keep kids happily occupied.
Choose a Ski School
If your children are beginners then it might be best to stay at a resort that has an attached ski school. This will allow them to gain training in skiing, safety techniques, and proper behavior on the slopes. While there is a lot you can teach them, a proper instructor may be able to get through to young children better.
Young children respect authority and will be more prone to being impressed by the skiing professionals who teach at these schools. You can be assured of your child’s safety as they will be motivated to learn and abide by the instructor’s instructions.
Most ski resorts have changed their policy so that all lift tickets have to be purchased online. Keep this in mind and purchase the lift tickets you will need a few weeks before your actual arrival date at the resort. This will guarantee you the usage of the lift as many resorts have a limited number of tickets to sell.
It is best for you to get some as the first few days on the slopes can be exhausting and you do not want to wear yourself out too much to ski by having to trudge up the mountain. In addition, the lift is part of the experience and you can take many memorable pictures of your family while using it.
Everyone is chomping at the bit to get out and enjoy a vacation after such a long period of being shut away indoors. This means that you will need to book everything well in advance of when you might normally make reservations.
This is especially important in the case of lift tickets, suite rooms for the family to share, ski equipment, and ski school spots. Make sure you find out whether it would be cheaper to rent the equipment you’ll need or buy your own. If the rental fees are high but the amount of time you can use them for is short, it might be a better investment to simply buy your own.
Now is a good time to start checking in with the resorts you would like to go to. Many places are offering competitive pricing to encourage bookings and there are many people looking to snag these offers. You do not want to lose out on the resort you especially want to go to by booking too late in the year.
Take the travel time and car usage into consideration as well. Long road trips are usually best as a separate vacation activity. If your ski resort is significantly far away from your home, then it might be best to arrange transport. Most ski resorts are located deep in the mountains and forests. It can be very exhausting to navigate winding mountain roads after a long road trip. In addition, children need a lot of snacks and entertainment to stay calm on a long road trip.
If you are flying in, you can request that the resort send a car to pick you and your family up. This will put an experienced driver, familiar with the terrain in charge of driving your family up the mountain.
Another factor to consider is whether the resort is one that you will need to drive to from your accommodations or an inclusive ski in/ski out style layout. Some people prefer to be in a cabin that they drive to and from as this gives them more privacy and autonomy over their movements. Others prefer a ski in/ski out style resort as they do not want the hassle of dealing with equipment. This also allows them to leave their accommodations and immediately be on the ski slopes.
You may not need your car if you choose the ski in/ski out types resort and keeping it out in the cold for so many days is unlikely to be good for it.