Planning a skiing holiday for the family is not an easy thing to do but as soon as you’ve decided on your destination, the rest will fall into place easily. If you plan a couple of months ahead of time, you will increase your chances at finding flights and accommodation at the best prices. In this article we will give you some useful tips to help you plan the trip of a lifetime to the snow-capped mountains.
Decide on a date
Take your time when deciding the dates of your holiday. Planning a successful ski trip means that you’ll have to try and avoid the crowds and even though most of us are dependent on our children’s school holidays, the December period and other peak-season dates will be the busiest and most expensive periods in terms of flights and accommodation. Browse the internet for the best flight deals or all-inclusive family ski holiday packages.
Decide on a destination
Once you’ve decided on the dates, how many people you’ll be travelling with and what their individual levels of experience are, start browsing online for the best ski resorts. If you and your family will be skiing for the first time or if you have young children, make sure you choose a resort which has ski areas for beginners with wide open terrain that is not too crowded. Enquire whether they have their own, dedicated ski lifts that are easily accessible and safe for children. Many ski resorts offer discounted package deals during off-season periods which typically include accommodation, tickets for the ski lifts, lessons and equipment rental.
Put together an itinerary for the family
Planning and scheduling activities ahead will be very useful. Evening activities as well as where you will be having your meals are good things to plan in advance. Especially the more popular ski resorts will be quite booked up so making reservations before your arrival will be a good idea. Keep in mind that most young children tire easily after only a few hours on the slopes while teenagers will probably be on the mountain first thing in the morning and the last ones to come back, so some planning is advisable. You could, for instance, enrol your younger ones in a kids-camp to keep them busy with various activities so that the adults and teenagers in the group can ski full days.
Ski equipment and clothes
Although you won’t find many shops in South Africa that stock ski equipment and clothes, there are a few and it may save you substantially to buy (at least some) ski gear instead of renting them at your destination where you’ll pay much higher prices for the convenience. Items that you will need are:
· Ski boots
· Ski poles
· Helmets for kids
· A few turtlenecks and jerseys
· Long (thermal) underwear
· Ski socks
· Ski hats
· Ski pants
· Ski jackets
· Mittens for children
· Ski gloves for adults
· Ski goggles / sport sunglasses
· High-factor sunscreen lotion and lip balm
Make sure you pack some clothes for après ski and other activities such as shopping or excursions. Swimsuits as well as flip-flops will come in handy when you want to make use of the resort’s indoor pool or hot tubs.
Skiing can bring tons of enjoyment for the whole family and with a little advance preparation you and your children will learn to love the experience of hitting the slopes over and over again. Make sure you don’t forget to take your camera to capture those unforgettable moments so that you can cherish them for years to come.