The popularity of skiing holidays continues unabated. But for those who have enjoyed school trips and holidays with friends can often find the idea of family skiing holidays somewhat daunting. How to have the peace of mind to actually enjoy the slopes - and the apres ski - when the safety and care of young children becomes the prime consideration?
The good news is that these days, ski tour operators are mindful of the need, and have developed complete, family-friendly ski package holidays. These are designed to address the needs of adults and children alike, meeting the energetic and disparate needs of both!
What sort of accommodation? Choice of accommodation is a very big element towards the success of any family skiing holiday. Most family skiing specialists provide chalets chalets rather than hotels. This is mainly because a chalet has a homely and more relaxed feel, avoiding the structures and timetabled rules of half-board hotels, for example. Staying in a chalet means that adults can remain close to the children in their care, exactly as in the family home.
However, by choosing a chalet, it is important to ask questions of the operator about their policies. A truly family-friendly operator will ensure, for example, that if your group does not fill the chalet, then the additional space will only be sold to families with children, so that everyone knows what to expect - that children running about and getting excited will be the norm.
Also it is important to confirm that the chalet is arranged with families in mind, so that staff can provide the all-important child-friendly equipment including stair-gates, baby monitors, cots, and high-chairs etc, as well as making sure thathazardous items such as cleaning products or drinking glasses are kept out of reach.
Childcare provision Many ski chalets and ski operators provide childcare or babysitting. However, this is not a complete indicator that they specialise in children and families. It is important to find companies who employ staff who are qualified or experienced with different age groups, have the correct language skills for reassurance, and can help children settle into their new surroundings quickly. Ideally, you should find an operator or chalet company with crèche spaces, outdoor play areas and all the relevant infant and child equipment.
In short, a ski holiday can be one of the most memorable family holidays, as long as you research it wisely and find a company set up for families. A search on "ski family holidays" on your favourite search engine is an way to start - the number of companies listed is growing.