We've toyed with the idea for years but never really had the money. I'd love to take them skiing/boarding next year but what's it gonna cost? We're certainly not flash so don't need anything fancy, also we'd probably self cater as the 8 yr old is such a fussy sod!
Skiing with kids. Best/chespest resorts?
Depends a bit on how many you have and what level they ski at. If they are good they need one of the bigger resorts and the lift passes get rediculous but some resorts (eg Chamonix) have a family pass where the 5 child effectively goes free. That makes a huge diffence. If they ar beginners then a more basic resort such as Le Tour (again chamonix valley) will have enough to keep them entertained but keep the costs down. Finally sometimes you can stay in more out of th way villages such as Brides-les-brains but still have access to th big ski areas (trios valleeys)
It's never cheap though :(. (unless you take them out of school...)
I always budget a grand per person! If you're lucky there may be change
Club hotels set up for schools are cheapish. Not self catering but there's always top-up pizza.
And, for an 8yo, you'll be looking at school holidays so supply & demand applies. I'm looking at new year for our family trip and it's not looking good price-wise.
No it'll be the first trip so novices. Mrs as well. I can board. Not sure if it would work out well as a "family holiday" with everyone being in different groups?
Snow dome beckons firstly I think...
It can be fine with a mix. Kids go in ski school in the morning and everyone else goes their own way. All meet for lunch and then have mellow afternoon together. Be careful of ski schools if you are trying to just book a restricted ski pass as sometimes the school can be in a different area - phone first.
It goes like this:
You carry all their gear to lessons, burn around all morning, round'em up, buy their lunch, run up and down nursery slopes until they're zorsted, carry them AND their gear back to base, grab last hour on the slopes while mum does bath time. You'll all sleep.
Have a look at Livigno. It's a bit cheaper than a lot if the main resorts, has lots of nursery slopes close to the town and also has some more interesting stuff higher up. It's a long transfer though and that is the main negative for a lot if people.
We've got friends with kids who run their own chalet in Slovakia. We'll be going there towards the end of the season. Prices are cheap and although the resort (jasna) isn't as big as the Alpine resorts, there's enough there to do for experienced skiers/boarders but for novices, it'll be perfect.
The chalet has sledges etc too for family fun.
They're based I the town with a transfer to the slopes every morning, which means the après ski is good. There are local hot spas/swimming resorts too (google tatra land) which the kids will love. Food and drink out there is proper cheap.
This will be our 4th time to la plagne, perfect for family ski-ing, I have two boys 5 and 10, it's cost me up to £6k before, managed to do it for less last year, not a cheap holiday, especially if you're eating on the mountain, catered chalet can be cheaper thAn self catering though.
I'm like a broken record but go to Austria. Much cheaper than France, friendlier and a better traditional Alpine experience.
Take a look at Levi in Finnish Lapland. Very low key and perfect for families. Can get very cold certain times of the season.
We are going back at Christmas for 4th time.
We stay in self catering accommodation that is close to slopes.
Email in profile if you want any more info/pics.
Edit: Cost 3.5k this year booking early with a free child Place. Price for 4 and includes ski hire, ski school and lift passes for all. 7 nights over Christmas.
How long are the flights and transfers Eskay?
Flights 4 hours ish and transfer about 45 mins
Cheers, we like short transfers, will investigate further.
Eskay - how much day light in December?
I've been to Bansko quite a few times with the wife and daughter.
It can work out quite cheap if you get a free child place, always booked via Balkan holidays and the last time I was there worked out about £1300 half board, including ski hire/tuition/passes and just a lift pass for me.
Cheap enough to eat out as well.
Only a few hours of daylight but slopes are well lit, it all adds to the atmosphere of the place.
My advice would be to choose a resort with the quickest access to the slopes you can afford. Long walks or ski buses with kids in ski boots and (you) carrying all their skis are not fun in my experience.
We use Val Cenis. It is much cheaper than many French resorts and we save a fortune on half term flight prices by driving. And get one and a half extra days skiing. Six day lift passes are just 165 euros. Our accommodation 20 metres from the snow costs about 1300 euros, there are usually apartments from about 750 euros but they involve longer walks so aren't good for kids.
Book ski hire online for discounts. Last winter Decathlon did vouchers in store giving an extra discount off their Skimium hire rates online.
February half term week cost us about £3500 for a family of 5 all in, including ski school and ski hire for the kids, some private lessons, food, tolls, fuel, hotels en route, the lot. We tend to eat in. Smaller resorts in the valley, like Aussois or La Norma would be adequate for a first trip and probably even cheaper.
Last two years we've been to Borovets in Bulgaria and Bardoneccia in Italy with Neilson, both about £1100 all in (kit, lessons, passes and half board) plus spending money for me and my son. During term time but that's a whole different thread. Possibly going back to Borovets this winter.
We spent £1600 all in (incl everything we spent) for a family of 4 last year during half term in haute nendaz Switzerland. We drive, and don't take lessons and bring our own kit. Lessons we take at our local ski club, they are "free" as I volunteer at the bar. Kit is mostly bought used for the kids and then sold on. Some of our kit is new, but lasts years. 2 of us just ski, 2 ski and board.
We booked late (December) last year as well. We get an apartment (not a really small one) and self cater. We normally have lunch/Coffee and cake on the mountain.
Booked morzine for next year, week before half term as holland/Paris/uk all share holiday this year. Booked a large 9 person Appartment for 1100 euro for the week. Near both lifts. We will share with few other people (hopefully), so next years trip should not be too badly priced either.
Good luck and enjoy!
OP you will definitely maximise holiday time by doing some lessons here first, so that's a good plan.
I would second the fact that a chalet holiday can work out as cheap as self catering, you'll get a big breakfast and llkely massive dinner (with wine) add in the cake when you get off the slopes and there is NI need to be spending money in mountain restaurants. The chalet staff will probably knock up some baguettes each day too for a few euros.
Most normal French families don't frequent the big resorts (ie the ones we Brits go to) there are lots of smaller places which are much cheaper. Places like Grand Bournand (near La Clusaz, short airport transfer) where TdF went this year or La Saises / Areches Beaufort (near-ish Megeve I was there with Trail Addiction Dest X for biking) or even Sainte Foy with the excellent White Room Chalet (they of the mtb holidays) I went with them last year and cannot believe I'd never been to this little gem of a place before, would be very family friendly I think. Downside with smaller French resorts may be ski lessons are with French kids only so potential language issues.
Without being a party pooper you really don't want to ski during French school holidays in February or at Easter. If you fancy a quick intro try and sneak away before Christmas or atter New Year depending on when kids break up / go back
We loved Slovakia - loads cheaper than france etc- kids had lessons before but loved ski school then we met up in the afternoon to ski together- great holiday
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