A family skiing vacation
We’re all going on a…family vacation
Booking a family vacation all seems very straight forward at the time but then as the big departure beckons, the stress levels invariably start to rise and sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that you’re supposed to be on vacation and enjoying yourselves! February is a busy time in ski resorts, but by thinking a little outside the box and making a few plans in advance you can avoid the crowds. And as family vacations are our specialty, we have compiled our list of tips for making your family vacation as stress-free and as fun as possible:
• Check in as soon as online check-in opens. Select your seats and ensure that you are all seated together.
• Book valet parking to make life easy at the airport – pull up, drop the car off kerbside and go straight to departures. No waiting for buses.
• Load up plenty of films/ favorite programs/ books on your iPad before travel – great for keeping everyone entertained on flights and transfers. Don’t forget the earphones!
• Pack plenty of snacks to keep the energy levels up – eating is sometimes the most fun part of sitting on an airplane – especially if there are ‘special treats’ on offer.
AT THE AIRPORT
• Look for the family fast track lane at airport security. The staff are well versed with dealing with families and there’s more space for collapsing pushchairs.
• Head for the dedicated play areas to keep little ones amused. At Gatwick North Terminal this is behind Boots and at T5 by gate A7. On the way home, the ‘nursery’ at Geneva is well worth a visit – it’s on the 1st floor above the shops and is ideal for little ones needing to let off steam after a transfer from resort.
• Ask about family lift passes – most resorts now offer discounts for these.
• Super Saturday – it’s the main transfer day and usually one of the quietest on the pistes. Head for the less popular areas – Fornet and Brevieres in the Espace Killy, Stuben and Sonnenkopf in St Anton, La Tania and 1550 in Courchevel and in Zermatt, the Sunnegga, particularly the red run no. 15 off the back of the Rothorn cable car leading down to Patrullarve.
• Ask your Chalet Manager or Resort Manager about First Tracks programs – the chance to get first lifts half an hour before they open to everyone else.
• Book your tables well in advance for lunch on the mountain or evening meals in resort. Our resort team can do this for you even before you travel if you know where you want to go.
• Go for afternoon ski lessons – it’s usually warmer, cheaper and less busy.
• Don’t forget to explore the activities happening away from the slopes - leisure centers, climbing walls and toboggan runs – and there’s always time for a good old snowball fight!
• Go for a hot chocolate – there’s something rather special about taking the kids for a ‘hot choccie’ to warm up after being out in the fresh air all day. Plus it always tastes much better than at home.
• Staying in one of our chalets gives you the opportunity to enjoy some really good quality family time. There are plenty of games to keep everyone entertained and the best part is you tell us when you would like us to give the children their tea and then you can relax and enjoy your own evening meal with the kids safely tucked up in bed.
• We recommend packing your own family first aid kit to include Calpol/Nurofen, Arnica for bumps and bruises, digital thermometer, Antihistamine for allergies, sunscreen and plenty of antibacterial hand gel and hand wipes.
• Make sure your children are carrying a card with appropriate contact details on it in case they get lost.
• Layer up to ensure warmth on the slopes – this applies to both children and adults. A combination of thermals and fleeces is the way forward.
• Pack two pairs of gloves and ensure that the kids have waterproof and warm snow boots and a pair of indoor shoes.
Our recipe for the perfect vacation:
Equal measures of...
• Friendly staff
• High levels of service
• Attention to detail
Mix until all ingredients combine and top up with relaxation, mountain air and a twist of fun.
Serve immediately for the perfect vacation experience.