There’s snow point in denying it; family ski holidays are awesome!
At Tots, we are delighted to introduce our new range of ski resorts which are perfect for hassle-free ski holidays with young children! However, we understand that embarking on a ski holiday can be daunting when you have tiny tots in tow- particularly if you’ve never been on a ski holiday before.
So what key details should you know? Is a ski holiday right for your family?
Tip number 1. – Only ever book a child-friendly ski resort
It can be tempting to simply choose a well-known or popular standard ski resort for your holiday, but it’s actually really important to make sure you’re booking a child suitable ski resort in order to ensure that your little ones are safe, having fun and will have everything they need.
The family ski destinations that we feature on our website have been handpicked with families in mind and are designed to be both super fun for all ages, and super hassle-free. They include benefits such as:
- Child friendly chalets which are fully equipped with key baby and toddler items including complimentary nappies and wipes, luxury travel cots, all terrain buggies and homemade purees/range of Hipp Organic baby jars
- In-chalet childcare options
- Family activities
- Child ski schools and child suitable ski runs
- Hand-picked selection of the most child friendly ski chalets available, all of which have been personally inspected and perfected by Tots to Travel
All of the chalets on our site are also located either in the centre of the resort, near the piste or have easy and quick access to the centre- we understand that trudging too far with kids and all the paraphernalia is soul sapping!
The chalets are also perfect for parents who are concerned about leaving their littlies as they go off to ski; with masses of fabulous activities for kids to enjoy, colourful in-chalet playrooms, excellent qualified childminders and more, there’s non stop fun for kids to enjoy whilst parents are free to ski as much as they’d like to!
Tip number 2. – Catered ski chalets are best for families with little ones
If you’ve got young children, ensure that your ski holiday will be as stress-free as possible by booking a catered ski chalet. Having a luxurious and well equipped chalet, PLUS all of your meals taken care of really does provide a simple and sublime ski holiday experience.
All of the chalets on the Tots website are catered and include the following benefits:
- Luxury high quality chalet in central resort location
- In chalet childcare (at an additonal cost)
- Free Wi-Fi
- Apertif, canapes, three courses, coffee and wine for six nights a week
- Specially prepared children’s menu (allergies can be catered for, please inform prior to travel) for seven nights a week
- Fun kids facilities including playrooms, toys, books and DVDs
- Complimentary toiletries, towels, bathrobes, slippers
- A hot tub, sauna or steam room
- Fully equipped with baby/toddler kit
Tip number 3. – You should think about the timing of your holiday
It’s a good idea to consider when might be the best time to embark on a ski holiday.
The opening week of the ski season, usually early December, is the perfect time to go with young children- not only can you enjoy quieter slopes and shorter queues but you can also get some excellent discounts for your stay.
As might be expected, the first two weeks of January are also a nice quiet time to go, whereas school holidays and particularly the Christmas holiday can be very busy. Understandably so however; cosying up by a roaring fire in a beautiful chalet whilst the snow falls around you is a festive dream! But if you’re after a Christmas break, do take into account that the resort will be busier during this time and be sure to book eons in advance.
A major bonus about skiing with under-fives is that you can holiday outside of these peak school holiday periods, meaning you can avoid the crowds and extra costs.
Tip number 4.- It’s a great idea to practice beforehand
If skiing is completely new to you or your family, particularly if you have young children, it can be a good idea to ease into the concept. You could take your children for some practice runs at indoor ski schools or dry slopes at home (such as the Skiplex Centres in Reading, Basingstoke and Chiswick), to help build up their confidence and teach them what to expect.
When you reach your destination, your children will be well cared for and will learn how to ski properly under the careful guidance and support of the resort’s ski schools. If your children are too young to have a go at skiing or they don’t enjoy it there’s no need to panic – the ski resorts also have plenty of childcare and activities to entertain littles ones who won’t be venturing out on the slopes.
For more information about introducing children to skiing, view the following guide.
Tip number 5.- Booking a chalet that offers childcare gives you much more freedom
If your children are too young to ski or they simply don’t enjoy it, then do choose a chalet that has childcare.
All of the resorts on the Tot’s website offer excellent optional In-Chalet childcare. A DBS (CRB) checked childcare professional with a first aid qualification will look after your children in the comfortable surroundings of your chalet, following OFSTED recommendations for day care. Sometimes sessions will be held in nearby chalets, to give holidaying little ones a chance to meet each other and make friends.
All childcare professionals are recruited in the UK and are made up of a mix of teachers, nannies and nurses, supported by experienced assistants. The childcare options are flexible and work around what would best suit your family.
Childcare options (available 6 days a week) include:
- All day Mini Marmots Club (in chalet care for 4 months-4 years)
- Morning Mountain Marmots ski lessons (for all abilities, ages 3-12 years)
- Supervised Lunch (in chalet, for ages 3-12 years)
- Monty’s Afternoon Club (for ages 3-12 years)
- Babysitting for late night childcare
You can find out more about childcare on our resort pages HERE
Examples of childcare activities available include:
- Snowy buggy strolls
- Snowman competitions
- Marmot spotting
- Plenty of games and toys
- Books and DVDs
- Arts and crafts
- Story rhyme and song time
- Sensory play
- Cookie baking
- Holiday book making
- Dedicated play rooms
- Board games
- Treasure hunts
Tip number 6.- Pre-book lessons, passes and equipment hire before your holiday
Save time and stress by letting our Tots team organise lessons, childcare, passes and so on for your family- simply ask if you’d like our assistance in pre-booking these.
If you pre-book you won’t need to bring lots of cash with you, plus you can avoid long queues – meaning you can head out on the slopes as soon as possible! It also helps to provide peace of mind, knowing everything is sorted and ready to go.
It’s important to book ski lessons for little ones, especially if they’re new to skiing. There are plenty of lesson options to choose from at the resorts we feature on Tots, all run by friendly, responsible and experienced instructors. You’ll be surprised (and delighted) at how quickly your kids can pick it up!
Ski passes are used to access the lifts that take you to different parts of the slopes. There are different options available, depending which courses you’d like to ski on. If you’re a beginner, I’d suggest going for the most limited pass option as you familiarise yourself with the courses.
There are often some free beginner courses, but it’s likely you’ll master these quickly! Our team can advise you further on which passes are most suitable for your family.
And the great news is that ski passes are free for all children aged under 5 years old!
Tip number 7. – Think about holiday gear
It’s important to make a list of everything that you’ll need for a ski holiday. Children need to be comfortable, but also warm and safe. Additionally, don’t forget to pack normal clothes for when they’re relaxing in the chalet.
If you have small children and only ski once a year or less, you should consider hiring equipment rather than buying it all, as by the next year your children will have outgrown it! Another good option can be to share ski gear with friends who have children that have outgrown theirs, or who are going skiing at different times.
Ski gear you’ll need for little ones includes…
- Waterproof ski gloves
- Thermals (merino wool base layers are a great way of keeping kids warm and also still smelling fresh all week!)
- Ski goggles
- Thick socks
- A warm hat
- Ski jacket
- Long sleeved tops
Avoid cotton where possible as it doesn’t absorb sweat, which can cause your children to get cold.
When it comes to you and other adults going skiing, there is an overwhelming amount of expensive superior ski gear available to buy- but take my advice, you don’t need it!
Unless you’re serious about competing, exhibiting the latest ski fashions or professional skiing, all you really need for a ski holiday is a warm waterproof, waterproof trousers known as salopettes, waterproof gloves and then plenty of normal fleeces and layers to put underneath. You’ll also need goggles and a good hat, but you can pick up these cheaply or borrow them if need be.
Tip number 8. Remember to think about skis and boots
If you’re new to skiing, definitely rent skis and boots. Until you’re completely sure that you’re in love with skiing (just a matter of time, my friends…) it doesn’t make sense to invest in them yet as they can be pricey. Borrowing them from friends is also not a good idea as it’s unlikely they will fit you properly.
Ski equipment rental can be pre-organised before your holiday so it’s one less thing to think about when you get there.
TOTS EXCLUSIVE: If you book your equipment at the same time as booking your holiday with Tots, your children will be able to hire their equipment for free!
Tip number 9.- Pack an emergency ski pack
Kids are unpredictable at the best of times; don’t be caught out.
Bringing an emergency pack with chocolates, tissues, plasters, sweets and spare hats and gloves can be a life saver if your little one starts to get upset.
It’s also important for both children and adults to stay hydrated, so do take drinks or stop for regular breaks so that you can grab a drink from one of the nearby cafes.
The big question – is it too dangerous?
If you ski, it is a given that you will fall over! However it will usually be at a very slow speed and into a soft bank of snow, so you’re more likely to give the rest of your family a chuckle rather than injure yourself. Skiing obviously becomes more dangerous if you decide to take on very advanced courses or go extremely quickly, but for the most part it’s a perfectly safe and totally child suitable sport.
In fact it’s your pride that’s most at risk – as long as you can accept that there will almost definitely come a time when you’re lying flat on your back as a group of confident five year olds whizz merrily past, you’ll be fine!
What is there to do if you don’t like skiing?
There is plenty for non-skiers to enjoy at these family friendly ski resorts…
Les Gets Resorts
- Bowling alley
- Over 100 shops, bars and restaurants
- Ice skating rink
- Snowshoe walks through the beautiful scenery
- Spa pass for the Marmot Chalet Hotel
- Mechanical Music Museum
- Hot air ballooning
- Husky pulled sled rides
- Indoor climbing walls
- Olympic bob sleigh, luge and skeleton course (speed controlled!)
- Glacial grotto with ice sculptures
- 3 cinemas
- Shops and restaurants
- Chance to drive a ‘Piste Basher’
- Swimming pool
- Skidoo snowmobiles
- Giant zip slide
The Three Valleys Area
- Roc n Bob and Speed Mountain toboggan runs
- Roc n bike mountain biking
- Skidoo snowmobiles
- Aqua pool with sauna and Jacuzzi
- Soft play fun park
- Restaurants and cafés
- Dog sledding
- Childrens night sledging
These are just some examples; resort staff will make sure there is plenty to do for guests who don’t want to ski. In addition, as mentioned above there are plenty of children’s activities, kids’ clubs, childcare and more to entertain little ones.
When you book the following ski resorts through Tots, flights and airport transfers are included in your stay. You can find more detail about this on the resort pages below.
- One of the top family ski resorts in the Alps
- Perfect for beginner and intermediate skiers
- Lovely small resort with excellent ski schools
- Breathtaking views and stunning chalets
- Plenty of activities for non-skiers to enjoy
- Skiing and snowboarding available
Accommodation at La Plagne 1800:
A lovely brand new chalet with a piste-side location, just five minutes’ walk from the children’s ski school. The chalet sleeps up to 20 people in five bedrooms, plus has a shared hot tub, a log burner and a private playroom to enjoy. The price includes flights, transfers, chalet rental plus catering.
- Ski resort designed with families in mind
- Close to the biggest linked ski area in Europe, the Portes du Soleil
- Perfect for beginners, with lots of green and blue runs, but also some incredible runs for advanced skiers if required
- The most traditional of the ski resorts, based in a picturesque Alpine village with lovely local market
- Children’s ski area with American-Indian village theme
- Christmas village during certain dates
- Ski-Joering (Ski whilst a pony pulls you along! Available for all ski ability levels) plus lots for non skiers to enjoy
Chalet Les Chats Bleus
A truly luxurious chalet with an Alpine feel, Les Chats Bleus sleeps up to 13 guests across four bedrooms. There is also a play room, open plan living area and stunning terrace with incredible views. The price includes flights, transfers, chalet rental and catering.
Chalet Le Marjorie
Located in the heart of the village, Le Marjorie has 6 bedrooms sleeping up to 21 guests. Enjoy a huge open plan kitchen, a steam room plus a lovely play room. There’s also a cosy fireplace and interconnecting library area. The prices includes flights, transfers, chalet rental and catering.
Chalet Bogart & Bacall
These two identical chalets have balconies with hot tubs, a huge second floor playroom plus beautiful living spaces. They each have four bedrooms and the price includes flights, chalet rental, transfers and catering.
- Charming ski resort made up of smaller village satellite resorts
- Purpose built for high-altitude skiing, in the Three Valleys region with great access to the whole ski area
- Ski in/out chalets, ideal for experienced skiers, plus easier runs for beginners
- Ski lift to France’s highest ski resort of Val Thorens
- Lots of alternative-to-ski activities
Chalet Katie 1&2
These two chalets are almost identical and share a playroom and spa room with sauna and hot tub. Both have a family suite, two doubles and a twin room plus Katie 1 has an additional triple room whereas Katie 2 has an additional twin room. Both also have a cosy safety-guarded fire pit, plus balconies. Price includes flights, transfers, catering and chalet rental.
Spread across four floors, Eva has sociable living spaces, a spa room and seven bedrooms. There are beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy, a sunny terrace and a lovely open fire. Price includes flights, transfers, chalet rental and catering.
Chalets Le Corbeau and Aigrette
Each with six rooms, these huge shared chalets have an excellent playroom, terrace with a hot tub, basement cinema and Wii U room and living room with a fireplace and pool table. Price includes flights, transfers, catering and chalet rental.
Which resort is right for me and my family?
Check out our handy resort comparison tables…
Visit www.totstotravel.co.uk to begin creating your perfect family dream today…
Tots to Travel offer baby friendly holidays and child friendly holidays both in the UK and abroad. Our range includes child friendly villas, including perfect villas for kids, baby friendly cottages, baby friendly villas and more!