A family ski vacation can be one of the best trips to take with kids. Being outdoors, being active all day as a family, and making amazing memories with a gorgeous backdrop just can’t be beat. There is a lot of planning involved though and some things we have learned along the way that can make or break your family ski vacation. We’re here to share our tried and true tips for making it the best family vacation ever!
1. Choose the right resort.
Choosing the right resort is the first step in planning a family ski vacation. You want to make sure the mountain you will be skiing on has something for everyone. Imagine a new skier with only difficult terrain to choose from. That just sets them up for failure. Our advice is to pick a mountain that has runs with a variety of difficulty that everyone can enjoy!
2. Consider time zones.
If you are flying to and from different time zones, be sure to plan enough time for everyone to adjust. This is important when arriving on vacation and also when you head home! Our advice would be to pick flight times in the middle of the day. This gives time in both the morning and evening to get adjusted.
3. Where will you stay?
Some families prefer condos or rental homes so they have more space while others prefer hotels for the amenities. Pick what is right for your family, but do consider location. Do you want to have to drive to get back and forth from a location that is further away from the base of the mountain? Would you rather stay at a ski in/ski out type of property where you can easily walk to the lifts? The second option is what we usually opt for, but that does often mean walking a bit while carrying skis and poles. After a long day on the mountain, that can be really hard for little ones. Just think about what would be best for your family and go through route.
4. Rent equipment ahead of time.
There is no need to buy skis, boots, poles or helmets if you are only skiing once a year. Especially for kids who will quickly outgrow their ski equipment, renting is the best bet. Book online ahead of time to ensure they have gear reserved just for you and when you arrive the professionals will be there to help you get fitted.
5. Book ski school or lessons before you go.
There are only so many instructors so we highly recommend booking ski lessons ahead of time. We can’t stress enough how important we think some sort of ski school or lessons are. Even if you are an experienced skier, teaching you kids how to ski is a whole other ballgame. Just trust us, it is better for everyone if they learn the basics with someone else. Instructors have so much patience, do this for a living and know just what to do to help kids become successful on skis! We suggest a least a few days with an instructor and that still leaves a few days of family ski time.
6. Get geared up.
In addition to the equipment, you’ll need a lot of cold weather gear and clothing for each member of your family Make sure to write a list and double check that everyone has everything they need. From thermal base layers and waterproof pants to the right kind of socks and gloves, skiing is an activity that requires a lot of gear and can make or break your trip. No one is happy if they have cold feet. Also keep in mind that ski clothing for kids can be purchased at consignment shops or from friends who might have outgrown it. No need to break the bank for expensive clothing they will probably only wear for this trip before outgrowing it.
7. Plan for some breaks.
As much as you want your kids to love skiing all day, the truth is they probably won’t be able to hang as long as you want them to. We think it is best to plan for breaks. Maybe that means a hot chocolate break after a few runs or it could be that they need an entire day off. Be sure to look into other activities offered around the resort like tubing or even just souvenir shopping. It is best to have some back-up plans and to just be flexible so that everyone enjoys the trip!
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