December to February is going to be busy, so research your ski domain in advance. Find out the best runs suited to your family needs and other activities, as well as directions on how to get there, so that you can relax and enjoy your holiday when you arrive. It could save you precious ski time if you know the best routes.
10 tips for family snow holidays
Make the most of December to February on the slopes with our exclusive guide
Long summer school holidays from December to February are the perfect opportunity for families to take on a snowy holiday in the alps. It's high season during these months and snow conditions are optimal so more runs are open, there’s plenty to do on and off the slopes and there’s a fantastic atmosphere around the ski stations. To make sure you have the best possible holiday, here are ten simple tips.
Skiing between the months of December to February is hugely popular among skiers from all over the world. If you wait until the last moment, there’s a risk that some family rooms, resorts and chalets with shorter transfers times may be booked up. So make sure you reserve everything in advance, from skis and boots to tables at your favourite restaurants. The earlier you book, the less stress you’ll have on your holiday and the more chance of picking up a bargain.
If you’re concerned about spending money during your holiday and just want to relax without worrying about the price of food and drinks for the family, plus the ski expenses of equipment hire, lift passes and ski/snowboard lessons, you should consider going all-inclusive. You may pay more as an initial outlay, but it could be worth it when you add up what you’d spend in the domain.
Whether it’s your family’s first time on the slopes or you’re all Olympic standard, it’s worth booking a few sessions at a dry ski slope for a pre-holiday warm-up. There are slopes across the snowy mountains, some of which use proper snow, so you can practice your skiing and snowboarding technique before you hit the real slopes.
Ski clothing can be expensive in the domains so make sure you don’t forget to pack everything you need to keep you warm and dry on the slopes. Gloves, hats, socks, neckwarmers, all have a habit of being left behind. Oh, and pack fleece layers – lots of them.
You may not be a compulsive organiser during normal life, but it’s worth sticking to a routine when on a long ski holiday. Save yourself hours of searching for lift passes by keeping them firmly attached to your jackets or inside your pocket, and minimise complaints by drying out ski socks and gloves the night before.
Most lifts open at 9am – and some even earlier – so get up early to avoid the queues and the crowds on the more popular slopes. And since you started early, you can give yourself an early lunch and an early finish to avoid the rush hour journey home at the end of the day. Having an early lunch also means you can be back on the slopes during the lunchtime rush hour of 12-2pm.
Your kids may be used to the slopes but they’re still likely to take a tumble or two, so take a selection of plasters and tissues, as well as some comforting chocolate, to get them back on their feet and raring to go.
If you’re an experienced skier, go straight for the less crowded slopes – the ones at the outer edges of a domain or the more challenging runs. If you’re unfamiliar with your domain, ask your Club Med travel advisor for advice.
Taking your family skiing is a great experience, but there’s a danger it can turn into a week of schedules and military-grade organisation. So build in time for yourself to relax and unwind. Whether it’s hitting the spa, tackling some of the more challenging runs by yourself, or simply finding a quiet spot to read a book, make sure you grab some ‘me time’ so you feel refreshed and raring to go.
Club Med resorts feature equipment rental and onsite ski rooms, with some being ski-in, ski-out to make your journey to and from the slopes even easier.