18 Oct Planning a family ski holiday: Itineraries for all the family
Planning a family ski holiday means thinking about activities both on and off the slopes. If you are travelling with young children or older adults, it is especially important to plan ahead and make sure the day is broken up with regular breaks.
How to Plan Your Days
Think of splitting your day into morning, lunch, afternoon and evening, and remember that there is more to a skiing holiday than spending all day on the slopes. You know your children best, so think about how quickly they get tired, and how long they are likely to stand the cold before needing an indoor activity.
Morning Activities for the Family
If you have a busy day of activities planned, make sure you begin with a good breakfast and some relaxing family time. Rushing around getting everything ready can be stressful, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get all of your equipment together. If you're staying at Le Chardon, don't forget to make the most of services such as tea or coffee in bed, and a family breakfast cooked by your personal chef.
With breakfast out the way, it is time to hit the slopes. The green pistes are the easiest, and most likely to be suitable for the whole family, however, it is still worth thinking about skiing lessons for your kids if they haven't been before. Depending on who else is in your group, and how adventurous you plan on being with your skiing, they might only need a few hours of tuition to learn the basics, or may wish to enrol in a course that will gradually see them building up their skills throughout the week. If you are an avid skier you may enjoy our fun infographic related to skiing lessons.
If you are looking for a non-skiing activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family, try a walking trail or a few hours at the Aquasportif centre for swimming pools, spas, indoor football centres and more. Val d'Isere also offers an abundance of wildlife and frozen waterfalls. It can be educational as well as fun, so is well worth doing with your children.
Plan your day in advance, so you know where and when will be best for your family to have lunch. If you have small children, returning to your lodge for a bit of a longer break is a good option.
If you would rather eat out, look into lunch venues before you head out or ask your Chalet Host for some good recommendations. Think about what time your children are likely to become hungry, where you will be around that time, and check out the menus from the restaurants in the area. Once you know where you want to eat, call up and book in advance, so you won't end up having to wait for a table while your children stand around hungry and grumpy.
If your children are older and you are planning a more active day, a packed lunch is a good way of minimising down time. Skiing uses up a lot of energy, so make sure you choose something both nutritious and filling. Stock up on fruit and nuts which can be snacked on throughout your morning.
Afternoon Activities Other than Skiing
Ski resorts have plenty on offer aside from skiing, so don't be afraid to try something off the pistes. Not everyone will want to do the same thing, so there is nothing wrong with splitting up for a few hours in the afternoon so that everybody can have an enjoyable time.
Older family members – after a busy morning, you might find that any older members of the family in your group will appreciate some time to relax in the afternoon. This could be a long lunch followed by a relax back at your lodge with a service of afternoon tea and cakes.
Teenagers – it can be difficult to keep energetic teenagers amused while on holiday, especially when travelling with either younger children, or older adults. A snowpark is a great alternative to downhill skiing, and will give them the chance to learn some new skills, such as rails and jumps. You should find these are colour coded in the same way as pistes, so head over to the green area first.
Young children – young children might find a full day of skiing tiring. After an active morning, you may find they need some time to rest. If you don't fancy heading back to the lodge, there is always plenty going on off the slopes. Swimming or watching a film at the local cinema are slower paced alternatives to skiing that will get them away from the cold for a little while or a babysitting service could be arranged freeing up some time for you to head back to the slopes for a couple more hours.
Enjoying the Evening Together
The evening is the perfect time to have some quality family time and enjoy a meal together and most in-chalets chefs will cater to the whole families needs. They could even arrange an earlier dinner for the younger ones so you can enjoy time with the older kids and family later in the evening once the little ones are off to bed.
Follow up your family meal with an activity that everybody can enjoy, such as a board game, or family movie. While it might be tempting to stay up to the early hours once the kids have gone to bed, you might want to turn in early yourself if you have a busy day ahead planned.
By having an idea of what there is to see and do before you leave, you can spend more of your holiday making memories as a family, and less time worrying about keeping the kids entertained.