Family Ski Vacations

family ski vacations

For outdoor winter fun, family ski vacations are a great way for everybody to enjoy the snow. Many ski resorts are family-friendly, but check first. Some have nothing but expert slopes and don't allow beginners anywhere near the lift. Here are some things to look for when researching where to take your family ski vacation.

Family Ski Vacations: Lessons
Ski instruction varies among resorts. Some limit their ski schools to specific age groups, others cater to children as young as 2. Make sure the programs are appropriate for the ages and skill levels of your family members.

Family Ski Vacations: The Slopes
If your family ski vacation lasts a week or more, even the novice skiers in your group may be ready to tackle more difficult slopes after a day or two of lessons. Look for a ski area with a variety of beginner-level slopes and terrain to add variety to your experience.

Family Ski Vacations: Child Care
Check into child care options, especially if Mom and Dad want to experience a mountain village's night life or enjoy a quiet dinner together.

Family Ski Vacations: Off-Slope Activities
Only the most dedicated will spend an entire family ski vacation on the mountainside. Look into organized activities and programs for the age groups of your children, or adventures the whole family can enjoy. Sleigh ride, anybody?

Family Ski Vacations: Lodging
Get on the Internet and investigate the lodging scene around where you'll be skiing. You may want to save money by staying in budget accommodations off-site, and driving or taking a shuttle to the slopes. But you might be surprised at the deals you can get from a resort. Many offer "ski and stay" packages where you pay one price for your room, lift tickets and maybe even equipment rentals or a meal or two.

Family Ski Vacations: Dining
You'll need to makes some decisions about this before your family ski vacation begin. Will you be eating at restaurants? Do you want to pay a little more for lodging to find accommodations that include a full kitchen so you can make your own meals? Maybe a little of both? Whichever you decide, it will affect the bottom line of your vacation budget.

Family Ski Vacations: Amenities
Decide what else you need to make your family ski vacation the best possible. Would you like a fireplace in your room? If you are driving, is it important that you have secure or underground parking? If you are cooking your own meals, you might want to make sure there's a nearby grocery store for supplies. Folks on a fitness program may want to book a room in a hotel or resort with exercise facilities.

Family Ski Vacations: Getting there
Will you be driving or flying? If driving, make sure your car is in tip-top shape with the proper tires or snow chains in case the weather makes driving tricky. If flying, find out where the nearest airport is and make sure you arrange transportation to the slopes.

Family Ski Vacations: Reservations
After you decide where you want to go on your family ski vacation, be sure to check on any reservations you need to make, and make them as early as possible. Ski schools and popular restaurants can fill up quickly during ski season, and you might get a discount on lift tickets if you buy them ahead of time.

Photo by Gerard Walen

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