OROKO’s Guide to skiing with young children
There are certain elements that make for a great family ski holiday. We all want to introduce our children to ski in the most seamless way possible and that they enjoy it from the get-go. In general, European ski resorts are excellent as they mean a shorter travel time, similar time zones and no jet lag. They are also home to outstanding kids’ facilities, family-friendly properties and perfect slopes for beginners. Here at OROKO Tailored Travel, we have a lot of experience when it comes to travelling with children and creating luxury family ski holidays from Ireland. So, we have put together our top tips that make for a memorable family ski trip.
Consider a shorter transfer
Before choosing a resort, consider your preferred transfer time. With older children, you can opt for a longer transfer as they can easily be kept entertained. However, with younger children you may have to choose a shorter transfer in case they tire easily. One of our favourite resorts for this is Megève. It is just 75 minutes from Geneva airport and the slopes are perfectly suited for beginner to intermediate skiers.
Choose a resort suitable for their ski level
When holidaying as a family, consider everyone’s ski level. If some of you are intermediates while others are complete beginners, make sure to choose somewhere that perfectly challenges everyone. The Three Valleys are ideal for all ski levels while Verbier and Zermatt are best suited for advanced skiers. For beginners, both Megève and Zell am See are wonderful resorts. Megève offers miles of well-groomed pistes and Zell am See is renowned for its lovely wide slopes, both of which are perfect for easy cruising. The beginner slopes in Meribel and Kitzbühel are also great for those getting back into skiing or enjoying their first skiing experience.
Take part in a range of non-ski activities
Each of our hand-picked resorts offer excellent non-ski activities but some are more suited for children. Resorts like Kitzbühel are ideal as they offer excellent kids’ clubs perfect for younger kids when parents want some alone time on the slopes. Make sure to make time for activities other than ski like dog sledding, outdoor ice skating and snowshoeing. If you are feeling adventurous, paragliding is always an unforgettable experience.
Proximity to the slopes
Children tire easily so long journeys to and from the slopes are best avoided. Though we always offer properties with shuttle services or dedicated chauffeurs, it can get stressful carrying the little ones’ ski equipment as well your own. There are certain ways to avoid children tiring and proximity to the slopes is definitely one. Perfect examples of excellently situated hotels include Kempinski Hotel das Tirol in Kitzbühel, Hotel & Spa L’Helois in Meribel and Hotel Stadt Wien in Zell am See.
Lessons with ski schools
Of course, it is always fun to teach the little ones how to ski. That said, we do recommend incorporating half-day ski lessons during the holiday. Children won’t tire too easily as they will have the afternoon to relax and enjoy some non-ski activities. Plus, it means that parents and teens have time to enjoy the slopes without worrying about the kids and maybe even have a bit of time of time for a pampering treatment at the spa. Children learn at a fast pace and love making new friends, so we recommend group lessons with children of similar ages. At the end of the holiday it is always nice to arrange a family group lesson where everyone can show off their skills.
Consider a chalet stay
Chalet stays can often make family holidays more enjoyable. Perfectly suited for larger families or a family group holiday, they not only provide more space, but they come with luxuries like a private chef, bespoke menus and dedicated children’s menus. This means you don’t have to worry about planning meals or searching for restaurants that everyone will like. With a private chalet host, babysitting services can be arranged so you can go out for a romantic meal or relaxing cocktail. You won’t have to worry about transport either as our handpicked chalets have a dedicated chauffeur service meaning you can reach anywhere in a moment’s notice.