Top 10 Tips for Family Skiing Holidays
10 Tips for Family Skiing Holidays in France
Family skiing holidays can be expensive and stressful if taking younger children. So here are 10 tips to help you save money on your skiing holiday and make it as stress free as possible!
1. Stay in Cheaper Satellite Resorts which Link Up to Bigger Skiing Areas
Not only will the accommodation that you are staying in cost you less but you will also save money on eating out and shopping. Some good examples of satellite resorts are Samoens, Morillon and Les Carroz which link up to Flaine in the Grand Massif, Vaujany and Oz en Oisans which link up to Alpe d’Huez and Peisey which links up to Les Arcs.
2. Choose Cheaper Lesser Known Resorts
Cheaper, lesser known resorts such as Aussois and Termignon in the Maurienne Valley are great resorts for saving money on eating out, shopping, lift passes and ski school. These resorts haven’t been hit by mass tourism so have maintained their traditional style and low prices. It also gives you a chance to experience the “real” French resorts. These are great resorts for beginners or low intermediate skiers but not as suitable for those more advanced as they may find the skiing area too small. They are also excellent for children with many of them having good child facilities and the resorts being compact enough to have everything close at hand.
3. Famille Plus Resorts
The French Tourism Ministry has created a national tourism label to approve the facilities and services available to families with children. Famille plus aims to improve resort facilities and services for families with seven commitments;
- Tailor made infrastructure for families
- Entertainment and activities to suit all ages
- Prices to suit everyone
- Activities for adults and children
- Nearby medical service
- Children to be taken care of by professionals
- To take clients requirements and suggestions into account
- There are many ski resorts with the Famille Plus label so look out for this when you are choosing your resort.
4. Go Outside School Holidays
If you have small children then travel outside the French and UK school holidays. This will save you lots of money and it will also be quieter giving you more time on the slopes and less time queuing for lifts.
5. Self-Catering Accommodation
This can be a great way to save money, especially if you are only planning on eating out 2 or 3 nights. The best way to save on your food shopping is to stock up on food in the big hypermarkets as this will cost you less than in the resort.
6. Stay in Accommodation Close to the Slopes
Walking in ski boots can be difficult especially when you are carrying heavy skis. This is even more so for smaller children and can tire them very quickly. Either stay in accommodation close to the slopes (ski-in ski-out books up early) or somewhere with a ski bus that runs from outside the door of the accommodation to the lifts.
7. Drive Instead of Flying
Driving to the French Alps is by far the cheapest way to get there. With many resorts less than a 9 hour drive it doesn’t take too long and there are plenty of places you can stop en route to break up the journey. You can also take more with you such as skis, boots etc and not have to pay extra to take them plus there isn’t the cost of a transfer or car hire when you get there. Diesel is also cheaper in France than in the U.K. Buy fuel in the big hypermarkets to get the best prices as the fuel on the motorways tends to be more expensive.
8. Take Advantage of Some Great Offers
There are many offers for booking early which include Christmas, New Year, Half Term and Easter if you look around. There are even those which run throughout the duration of the season.
9. Family Lift Passes
Many resorts have family lift passes available and you can save a lot if you purchase these rather than individual passes. In other resorts there are free lift passes for younger children. The age varies between resorts, so do check this. If you are a beginner it is advisable to purchase the smaller area lift pass if there are various passes available as you will not use the larger area. Some resorts have free drag lifts on the nursery slopes so if this is the case don’t buy your lift pass until you’re moving onto other lifts that require a pass.
10. Clothing and Equipment
To save money borrow this if you can especially for younger children as they will grow out of it quickly. Have a good look around different shops if you are buying clothing as there are lots of bargains out there. Getting clothing in the end of season sales is the best way to take advantage of bargains. With regards to skis, snowboards and boots it’s best to hire these in resort for children as they will outgrow the equipment quickly. It also saves you having to take all your equipment from the UK