Parallel Trails is all about family ski holidays and skiing as a family. We are passionate about skiing and families who love to ski. This ski travel website aims to help you enjoy the perfect family ski holiday. It includes tips and advice so families can enjoy skiing holidays in parallel with their children - the team behind Parallel Trails love to ski as a family so we know how good it feels to go skiing with your children. Parallel Trails is an independent ski travel site for the family ski market, offering practical and honest articles on family ski holidays and family skiing. Why don't you join us on our online family snow & mountain adventure. Happy family skiing! © Parallel Trails 2017
1. Choose your resort carefully
Long transfers after a long flight seem never ending to a child. In Europe there are many great, family-oriented resorts within 1-1.5 hours of Geneva or Chambery. And if you are driving, choose a resort that is not too far off the motorway. Check also for a resort that has a good mix of beginner and intermediate runs – you don’t want to find yourself negotiating endless reds and blacks if your children are still learning.
2. Webcams and snow reports
There are a wide range of webcams and snow report providers out there, so use them when planning and preparing for your family skiing holiday. Webcams allow you to see which resorts have the best snow cover at the time you are thinking of going – they are also useful for final preparations in the weeks leading up to your holiday. Snow reports keep track of recent snowfalls and base levels at resorts – you can also find year on year comparisons (again useful when choosing a resort).
3. Find practical accommodation
Children walking long distances in ski boots while carrying skis and poles does not make for a happy equation. Ideally go for ski-in/ski-out accommodation or, if you or they are complete novices, find a chalet close to the ski school meeting point and nursery slopes.
4. Go self-catering
Self-catering can be a brilliant solution to a family skiing holiday, offering total flexibility around meal times and bed times. It also allows you to experience buying local produce – always a great educational experience for children. And if you are travelling with a big group of family and friends, employ a dinner rota - that way you’ll not find yourself cooking every evening.
5. Drive yourself
Self-drive trips often make the best family ski holidays. Having your own wheels means you can react easily if snow conditions aren’t the best in the resort you are staying in. If you have your own ski gear, throwing it in the boot or strapping it to the roof is a better option than flying with it. Driving through Europe is also a real pleasure and a great experience for children – you can make it even more of an adventure for them by breaking the journey with an overnight hotel stop. Just make sure your vehicle is checked and prepared for the journey (with spare bulbs, fuses etc.) and invest in snow chains.
6. Get kitted out
Beg, buy or borrow the best gear you possibly can. If your children are warm and comfy, they’ll be happy, which then allows you to concentrate on enjoying your own skiing and holiday. All-in-one suits for small children may seem a great idea but they do make it difficult for them to go to the toilet.
7. Keeping it all together
Offer a reward to your children at the end of the holiday if they can hang their helmet, goggles, gloves and glasses in a bag at the end of their bed each night. This will help your sanity in the morning when you are rushing around trying to get to ski school on time.
8. Lift passes
Most modern lift systems now use hands-free lift passes, which means your child can keep it safely in their pocket. Even so – consider using needle and thread to sew the pocket shut to avoid anything dropping out accidentally. And to economise on the cost of ski passes, look for advance booking special offers and family discounts.
9. Ski school
If you’re not a confident skier then taking your children out into the potentially hazardous mountain environment will only increase your stress levels. So leave it to the pros! Your children may well kick up a fuss at first but will soon make friends and their skiing will come on in leaps and bounds. Native ski schools such as ESF are great for some children but others may be happier in classes run and staffed by British instructors.
10. On piste picnics
While it’s a treat for children to enjoy lunch at a mountain restaurant, your holiday budget will stretch that bit further with a picnic on the piste. A rucksack full of baguettes is easy to carry around and the children will actually enjoying spending time with mum and dad during a mountain-top lunch break. And fill up those little rucksack and jacket zip pockets with hidden chocolate snacks – to give tired little skiers a boost on the slopes.