Skiing With Children
Skiing with your family can work out expensive-lift passes, accommodation, equipment not to mention flights and then there's food and drink! But you can do it cheaply, here we explain how to grab a bargain when skiing with your children.
Skiing as a family can be the best fun you ever have together. And an added bonus is that your children may even want to ski with you when they are teenagers! But costs can soon rack up, so how can you ski as a family without breaking the bank? Here we give you some ideas on how to get the best deal on your family ski holiday.
Choose Where You Ski Very Carefully
As much as you may love to whiz down the Swiss slopes with your family Switzerland and France can work out expensive. Why not choose a cheaper holiday destination like Bulgaria, Germany or Andorra? You can still get great snow, good English speaking instructors but you won’t pay the high rates for the luxury of it being in the Alps. Cheaper resorts for families include Pamporovo in Bulgaria and Soldeu in Andorra. A family ski holiday, despite the faff that can be involved, can be one of the best holidays you will
Go When It’s Cheap
You can save a fortune if you avoid Christmas, New Year, February half term and Easter. Essentially if your children are pre-school avoid all school holidays! If they are school age and you don’t want to incur the wrath of your head by taking them out of school then opt for the Easter holidays as this time is definitely cheaper than February half term and Christmas.
Whilst we would all like to stay in either a 5 * hotel on the slopes or a fully catered chalet if you want a good deal you will avoid both of these. Self-catering will work out cheaper, particularly if you stock up on food outside of the resort. Supermarkets in resort can be expensive. You can also be canny and take spices with you from the UK. When looking at eating in resort try picnicking on the slopes, much cheaper than eating in restaurants on the slopes, and your children will find it fun. Chalets can look expensive on paper but if you are willing to share them with another family they can work out reasonable and give you more flexibility as a family. Many also come kitted out with all you need when travelling with children. Do also consider apartments. The key here is to avoid slope side accommodation as it costs more. A 5 minute walk from the slopes could save you a fortune.
If you want to get some time to yourself on the slopes then you need to look at childcare. But this is fraught with concern. You may worry about leaving your child with a stranger and it can be costly. What you may want to look at is holiday packages that include childcare or crèche provision. Failing that why not holiday with another family and share the childcare for free between you? Or you could take a grandparent along to help out, or a teenage friend of the family?
With many airlines charging more and more for luggage what can look like a cheap air ticket can soon spiral out of control when you add your family ski luggage in. When packing for children don’t pack many clothes. They will be in ski gear most of the day and when indoors many will just strip down to their base layers and chill out in these. Avoid bulky clothing, layers are often the order of the day.
Ski lessons for children can work out quite expensive. Again look to see if this can be part of your package, if it isn’t you may want to consider teaching your child yourself. If you do follow this option you will save a lot of money but do take the following into account. Start off with the nursery slopes and look for child friendly ski lifts. And don’t assume that because you are a great skier you will be a great teacher! It may save you money but you don’t want to spend the day arguing with your child!
Pre Order Ski Equipment
You can save up to 30% on the cost of skis, boots, helmets etc. simply by pre booking before you leave home. You then simply collect your order in resort, saving much hassle!
Lift Pass Deals
Lift passes can be one of the biggest cost of a ski holiday. So look for a holiday package that includes your lift passes or you may see some that offer ‘2 kids for the price of 1’. If you are booking a holiday that is not package then do your research. Some resorts offer ‘children free skiing’ on the slopes. Keystone in Colorado for example offers all children under 12 free lift passes. In Les 2 Alpes children under 5 ski free, Saas Fee in Switzerland children 9 and under ski for free. Many resorts also offer good savings on family tickets and Chamonix offers an amazing deal for families whereby the first child ages 4-16 skis for half price and then any additional children ski for free(where they are with 2 adults).
Unless money is no object never buy brand new ski clothing for children. It’s expensive, they grow out of it quickly and if it’s their first time they may not even like skiing. Always check out good second hand bargains on sites like e bay. If you look after the peak season times of Christmas and the February half term you can grab a bargain.
We would never pretend that skiing is cheap. But when travelling with your family you can make significant savings by looking for packages that offer free lift passes for children, by not selecting slope side accommodation and by doing your supermarket shop outside of resort. These are just a few examples of the very realistic ways to save money yet still have a great family ski holiday.