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Family Trip Options

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looking to book a family trip for March 2020 for 2 adults and 2 children (4 and 6) - probably the week before Easter holidays in the hope of avoiding a slap on the wrist from school. I have looked around but am a bit overwhelmed by all the choice so was hoping for recommendations/experiences from other snowheads on Club Med/Neilson/Esprit vs. DIY, ideal locations, fly or drive, what's most important, etc. Also any pointers on when to book for the best deal. Thanks in advance.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@michaelf, Loads of Snowheads will come on with the usual stuff about go high, Esprit best child care etc,etc so I'll leave that to them. With young families the driver is usually cost, so Self Drive, Self Catering and consider family deals on things like Lift Passes will make a huge difference. The Ski Amade are in Austria does free lift passes after 14 March for Kids so a €300 saving straight off. Have a look at our Facebook page for more info and ideas and note the snow cover on 17th April this year. https://www.facebook.com/TheRedandWhiteSkiCompany/
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Depends on your budget... starting point could be La Thuile in italy, ski to door, swimming pool, self catering or half board ..have a look on crystal holidays..
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
There is no right answer - do what you will be happy with

For us it was driving and renting an apartment. It would be others idea of hell
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@michaelf, at 4 & 6 you would probably want lots of kid friendly activities in case they have one of those days. A good pool etc. Yes Esprit La Plagne worked for us but so did VIP ski. Later we got board of package holidays and went diy to various places in Austria. Better child care options for diy we felt (Obergurgl, Kapl probably the best two).

Friends go to Kinder Hotels and love them. https://www.kinderhotels.com/en/hotels/austria.html
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Everyone will have their own ideas and over the years we've tried a whole range of options, starting when ours were 6 and 3.

When the children were young I prefered:
-ski to door (adults will be carrying kids kit),
-self catering (which meant when we came back from a days skiing we could bath kids, put PJs on, cook whatever they fancied, a few family games and then an early night,
-often a package (booked early to get discounts, also meant kids usually in tour operated ski lessons with other English kids)
-short transfer

At that time Italy was a favourite as it was very good value, kids often getting free lift passes or for a nominal amount, and the instructors were very accomodating to the kids.

We went to Sestriere, Bondonecchia and Sauze (probably better when they can ski). We've not been as late as Easter but we've always been prepared to do other stuff if snow not great.
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@michaelf, when ours were that age - for us we preferred the Esprit setup. Especially as the children have snow rangers going with them and helping them in the lessons and then get to play with their friends in the snow clubs when they weren’t skiing.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Would echo @Bennyboy1, - Kappl a good option for the ages of your kids
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Keep the children happy and there is a high chance of everyone enjoying the holiday. Have the children skied before? At that age and/or with beginners or almost beginners, I suggest a ski resort with accommodation close to the beginners area, with something for the younger ones if they want to take a day out mid week. In the first half of March Ellmau would suit, especially if the accommodation is close to the beginners area. The Kaiserbad leisure pool complex was great for our children. Late March might mean the lower slopes have less snow for beginners. Maybe somewhere like Wildschoenau or Skijuwel would suit. Or as has been said, SkiAmade area.
For travel and accommodation our family preferred the self drive and self cater. Keeps the costs down but you can obviously eat out if preferred. We liked the ability to take a lot of things in the car to keep the younger ones happy with familiar books and games and foodstuffs. Break the journey to make the journey a part of the holiday rather than an endurance test to get to resort.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
If you can travel between 21st and 29th March 2020, then SkiStar are offering free group ski lessons, free skipass and free ski hire for kids 6 and under at their Scandinavian resorts.

https://www.skistar.com/en/offers-and-campaigns/Campaigns/valles-family-weeks/

Scandinavian Mountain airport will be open in December 2019 and will make Trysil and Sälen more easily accessible and cutting transfer time to 30-45mins.

https://scandinavianmountains.se/en/

Sälen is a great resort for small families and beginners.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Bianchigray wrote:
Everyone will have their own ideas and over the years we've tried a whole range of options, starting when ours were 6 and 3.

When the children were young I prefered:
-ski to door (adults will be carrying kids kit),
-self catering (which meant when we came back from a days skiing we could bath kids, put PJs on, cook whatever they fancied, a few family games and then an early night,
-often a package (booked early to get discounts, also meant kids usually in tour operated ski lessons with other English kids)
-short transfer

At that time Italy was a favourite as it was very good value, kids often getting free lift passes or for a nominal amount, and the instructors were very accomodating to the kids.

We went to Sestriere, Bondonecchia and Sauze (probably better when they can ski). We've not been as late as Easter but we've always been prepared to do other stuff if snow not great.


This to me is pretty sensible, though we have skied in France rather than Italy. If its your first ski holiday with kids I would be inclined to go for a package to a decent sized resort. Someone like Mark warner/Ski Espirit/Neilson will all have decently located chalets with good child care and a nice social environment for you.

We did a TO and then a Catered Chalet for our first couple of family trips, but the last couple of years we have self catered. The first couple of trips let us work out what our kids wanted and enjoyed (swimming pool, sledding, snowman building), which meant that when we were choosing a resort we looked for these things. Self Catering is great - you are on your own timetable, so no need to rush the kids off to kids tea or rush down to the meeting place so they can be taken to ski school. You also get free choice of ski school, which is important as not all ski schools are the same. We self catered in Tignes this year and it was perfect!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@michaelf,

main question is how much child care do you want. I'd start from there.

At that age we used Mark Warner and ski VIP because of creche and nanny cover. Both allowed for a day like this:
Breakfast and get the kids ready
Hand over to nanny who escorted kids to ski school
we skied through to after lunch
Nanny collected kids and fed them, played with them
we picked them up early afternoon for a little ski or play in the snow.

last bit is much easier if you are ski in ski out or nanny can rendezvous with you piste side.

At that age we found that logistics and child care was much more important than the ski area, food, accommodation, etc. If the kids are having fun and you are getting SOME skiing in then that defines success.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Thanks for all the pointers. Appreciate there's no 'right' way to do things so very useful to get a range of opinions/experiences which we can now weigh up.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
snowbizz was brilliant for us and we went for several years.
you have to self-cater which i think helps with kids because you eat to their timings. the flats are on the slopes so no trudgiung and carrying of skis etc. great childcare.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I really like Les Gets and think it it's perfect for a family holiday. the only slight risk is that is late in the season but have been at Easter and loved it. The ski area is very friendly and would be hard to get lost in but the runs very interesting.

If you want to do yourself, a good hybrid option might be staying at the https://www.alpensport-hotel.com/fr/ It has a swimming pool, you can have breakfast in your room as it has table. We stayed there for a long weekend with our son when he was 5 or 6. .It's right in the centre of town, beside nice snack bar restaurant and beside a bakery, town nursery and/or esf piou piou couple of doors down. You can rent your skis from ski berthet http://berthet-sports.com/ which is right at the bottom of the slopes and allows you to leave your skis there overnight, It is also a lovely shop with nice people. This avoids any walking with skis.

if you have a car you can take it up to Avoriaz one night to the indoor swimming which is great fun.
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I took mine aged 5 and 8, we didn’t get ski to door but we got lockers at the bottom of the chairlift, so we could dump kit and walk 2-300m back to apartment without dragging all the heavy stuff with us (El Tarter).
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Spoon wrote:
If you can travel between 21st and 29th March 2020, then SkiStar are offering free group ski lessons, free skipass and free ski hire for kids 6 and under at their Scandinavian resorts.

https://www.skistar.com/en/offers-and-campaigns/Campaigns/valles-family-weeks/

Scandinavian Mountain airport will be open in December 2019 and will make Trysil and Sälen more easily accessible and cutting transfer time to 30-45mins.

https://scandinavianmountains.se/en/

Sälen is a great resort for small families and beginners.


I was just about to mention Trysil as a good option, we took our 6 and 8 year olds there for their first week of skiing and it couldn't have gone better really. The Radisson Blu Resort hotel (as opposed to the Mountain one which is also good but not quite as nice) is brilliant for families being ski in/out, plus it's got a nice pool, games area and 10 pin bowling to keep them occupied in the evenings. The buffet evening food is also very good but bizarrely its significantly cheaper to go B&B and then pay for it daily than it is to add half board to your room in advance.

The resort itself is really beginner friendly with lots of nice easy and generally empty blues to practice on and the lessons they had were really good. The only minor negative is there's a few more button and drag lifts than what you find elsewhere in Europe although they can largely be avoided especially when you're not being too adventurous whilst learning.

Food/drink is expensive but that's more than offset by the rest which we've found to be cheaper than the usual European destinations, we did 8 nights there the week before Easter this year for about £3,700 for all of us including flights, car hire, B&B at the Radisson in a Deluxe Apartment, lift passes, kit hire and lessons. Food on top was ~£100/night on average so around £4.5k all in
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