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When planning a family ski vacation, keep ages and activity levels in mind. Some ski resorts are more basic than others and may offer only a room and a dining area with a fireplace in addition to the main attraction of skiing. Consider family-friendly resorts that offer ski vacation packages, as these are more likely to include fun activities to do after the skiing is done for the day. Pick the resort that offers lessons and trails to suit each family member's ski skill set. Also be sure to look for a resort that fits your family's style, budget and expectations.
For example, if you want a non-competitive approach to learning to ski, look for this attitude in resort brochures. If you're not even sure if your children will enjoy skiing, it may be best to plan a family ski vacation in a resort that has snowy hills for tubing as well as room just to play in the snow and build snowmen together. Some resorts also have sleigh rides or other recreational activities such as fishing. Choosing a resort with a pool can also be a great choice if your family enjoys swimming. This way, even if one of your children doesn't take to skiing and cold-weather activities, he or she can still have fun by enjoying other activities.
Planning the family ski vacation with your spouse is a great idea so that you can decide on activities to do together with the kids as well as individually or as a couple. Most family ski resorts offer activity clubs for kids to allow the parents to ski together or enjoy a lunch or dinner out or some spa pampering. Many family ski resort packages include arts and crafts activities in the main room of the lodge. There may be family movie nights as well with popcorn and hot chocolate.
Carefully compare the different offerings at ski resorts to get the best value for your budget. Make sure the lessons and at least many of the activities are likely to be something your family enjoys or you're not likely to feel that your money is well spent. Do careful research such as to check for age minimums and maximums as well as the availability of certain ski classes to avoid disappointment. It's also a good idea when planning a family ski vacation to ask the resort you've picked for a packing checklist so you'll know what equipment will be supplied with lessons and what you'll need to pack.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time to book a family ski vacation to ensure availability and good rates?
According to industry experts, the best time to book a family ski vacation is during the early or late season, often referred to as the 'shoulder season.' Booking several months in advance can also secure better rates and availability. For example, booking by August for a December trip can offer significant savings and choice.
How can I choose the right ski resort for my family's skill levels and interests?
Research resorts that offer a range of slopes catering to all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. Look for family-friendly amenities such as ski schools, childcare services, and off-slope activities. Websites like Ski.com provide comprehensive resort guides and user reviews to help tailor your choice to your family's needs.
What should I consider when budgeting for a ski vacation?
When budgeting, consider costs for accommodations, lift tickets, equipment rentals, lessons, and travel expenses. Also, factor in meals, especially if your accommodation doesn't include a kitchen. According to a survey by Welove2ski.com, families can expect to spend an average of $300-$400 per person per day on a ski vacation.
Are there any tips for packing for a family ski trip?
Pack essentials such as waterproof ski jackets, pants, gloves, and goggles. Layering is key, so include thermal underwear and fleece layers. Don't forget sunscreen and lip balm for UV protection. Renting equipment at the resort can save on luggage space. Checklists from sites like REI can ensure you don't forget anything important.
How can I ensure the safety of my family on the slopes?
Enroll beginners in professional ski or snowboard lessons to learn proper techniques and safety. Always wear helmets and appropriate gear. Follow the resort's safety guidelines and ski patrol advice. The National Ski Areas Association emphasizes the "Your Responsibility Code," which outlines essential safety practices for all skiers and snowboarders.