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The Ultimate Family Ski Trip Guide

March 04, 2024  · 
The Ultimate Family Ski Trip Guide

Planning your trip

There’s a lot to think about and take into consideration when planning to go away as a young family. You want to make the trip memorable for your children, but it's also your holiday too – and you want to make sure you have enough time yourself to relax and unwind. There are many needs and preferences to keep in mind when booking your trip, and sometimes it can become a little overwhelming. 

So, what should you prioritise when planning?

Family Friendly Resorts

Location is key, and probably one of the first things you will consider when starting to plan to get away. Take care to choose a resort that will be a good fit for your children, paying mind to ski schools and childcare facilities, the number of beginners’ slopes, and the variety of non-skiing activities suitable for children. 

Les Arcs, France

The Family Plus-accredited Les Arcs comprises four villages, each with its own atmosphere and facilities. Arc 1950 is a popular choice with families, with ample childcare facilities and plenty of entertainment catered towards families. Arc 1800 is full of action, with its Mille8 Leisure Centre and events throughout the season. Each village has its own beginners' area, with gentle slopes for children to build up their confidence on. 

San Cassiano, Italy

Located in the Alta Badia region of the stunning Dolomites, San Cassiano is a quaint Italian mountain town. The winter activities aren’t limited just to skiing; San Cassiano has a terrific toboggan run called Tru liösa Foram whilst the wider Alta Badia area has facilities like an ice skating rink and indoor swimming pool. There are also dedicated Kids’ Funparks, spaces for children to let loose and try their hand at various obstacles. 

Saas-Fee, Switzerland

The relaxed, welcoming atmosphere means Saas-Fee is the perfect backdrop for a family getaway to the mountains. This beautiful Swiss resort is car-free, making it an especially safe location to stay with children. With lots of beginner-friendly pistes to choose from, it’s a great place for young skiers to enjoy the snow.

Val d’Isere, France

Part of the Espace Killy with Tignes, Val d’Isere holds the Family Plus label, recognising it as a great resort for families. With plenty of gentle and beginner-friendly runs, Val d’Isere is an ideal environment for children to find their footing on the slopes. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Val d'Isère offers a range of off-slope activities that are suitable for families with young children, including tobogganing, ice skating, swimming, sledging, and snowshoeing. 

Lech, Austria

Part of the Arlberg region, Lech is home to a number of ski schools and gentle beginner’s areas, making it a great resort to visit with children. The resort also offers various non-skiing wintery activities, meaning there’s fun for the whole family to have even when not out on the slopes. 

Avoriaz, France

The Portes du Soleil ski area also encompasses the French resort of Avoriaz. Like Saas-Fee, its car-free nature makes it particularly safe for young children, whilst the resort is home to plenty of beginner-friendly slopes, with plenty to be done away from the pistes. 

What should you pack for your child?

Work out if you are renting or buying your clothing, and where to to rent ski equipment. Renting ski equipment for your children is a particularly good idea – children grow quickly, and it's likely the ski wear you buy them won’t fit them anymore by the time you next visit the mountains. 

When dressing your child for skiing, keeping them warm, dry and comfortable is paramount. It’s a good idea to dress them in multiple layers, just as you would dress yourself when skiing, so that they can put on or remove layers throughout the day.

Dress your child in:

  • Base and Mid-Layers: Dress them in a thermal long-sleeved top that is tight-fitting and made of a warm, breathable fabric. 
  • Long-sleeved Fleece: This helps to trap body heat, but is also easily removable with a zip, allowing them to adjust layers whilst out on the mountain
  • Thermal Leggings: A tight-fitting, breathable fabric finishing just below the knees or which meets the top of the ski socks. If they go down to the ankle, hoist them up so that they aren’t tucked into the ski sock.
  • Ski Jacket: Waterproof and well-insulated, with pockets for suncream, snacks, and lift pass.
  • Ski Pants: Ensure these are waterproof too, and reinforced at the knees, which will help keep your child dry and warm. Don’t tuck the trousers into the ski boot; make sure they go over the outside of the boot instead.
  • Ski Socks: Just the one pair of socks will do!
  • Gloves or Mittens: Waterproof, and ideally a pair that your child will find easy to take on and off. Try and get a pair that has wrist straps to avoid your child losing a glove on the mountain. 
  • Balaclava: We can’t recommend this enough! It makes wearing a helmet much more comfortable, all the while keeping their neck, face, and head warm. Plus, it keeps hair out of the eyes, meaning you’ll have fewer knots to deal with at bath time.
  • Helmet: Most ski shops rent helmets with children’s equipment; if you buy a helmet cover, it’ll help make your child more easily identifiable when out on the slopes.
  • Goggles: The sun's reflection against the snow can be harsh and damaging, so make sure your child wears goggles or sunglasses. Goggles are a better choice, as they help keep their face warm. 


Booking Ski Schools

With New Generation Ski School

Look into the ski school options available at the resort in advance of your trip. If you’re due to travel during a busy period - such as Christmas or half-term - spaces will book up quickly. Allow yourself enough time to do your research, and familiarise yourself with the sort of lessons available so that you can choose the right option for your child, such as group lessons and private lessons. 

It’s natural to feel nervous about enrolling your child in ski school for the first time, especially if they’re young. But it’s definitely worth doing so; your child will be in the safe hands of an experienced instructor, with years of training behind them. 

New Generation Ski School has ski schools across 19 different resorts, from Lech to Avoriaz, Courchevel 1850 to Verbier. They run a dedicated group for beginner skiers aged 4-5 years old. Each group is small, with only two to six children per group, allowing them to mingle with others their age whilst benefitting from dedicated learning time with their ski instructor. 

Tips for sending your child to ski school

Before your child’s first ski school lesson, we recommend taking the time to let them play in the snow. This will help them familiarise themselves with the snow and will show them that it's not something scary but rather something fun

Make sure that your child has had their boots and skis correctly fitted at a rental shop before they embark on their first lesson. This will ensure they don’t experience any discomfort throughout the session. 

It’s also worth letting your child get used to their skis and boots. Let them walk around inside wearing the boots, or clip into their skis on the carpet in your accommodation. It’ll help them get used to the gear they’ll be wearing during their lesson.

When taking your child to their first lesson, be excited! Your child will mimic your behaviour, setting up the first day of ski school to be a fun, positive experience. 

Skiing with your child

Of course, you’ll want to enjoy skiing with your child too! That’s an activity that comes with its own set of considerations. Safety will be at the forefront of your mind, as well as how to ensure that it’s an equally enjoyable experience for everyone.

Don’t take your children on anything too steep. You want to teach them to control their speed using the shape of their turns, not by making a wider snowplough. Nursery runs and gentle beginners’ slopes are your best bet, with easier declines for young skiers to tackle.

Pack a toy into their jacket so they can share their skiing adventure with a friend. 

Make sure you take plenty of breaks and stay hydrated. Skiing can be tiring, especially for children. Take regular breaks to rest, warm up, and refuel with snacks and drinks. 

Teach your children basic safety rules for skiing, and ensure they know how to use ski lifts properly. It’s a good idea to come up with an emergency plan together so that they don’t panic and know what to do in an emergency. 

Be patient with your children as they learn to ski and adjust to the mountain environment. Allow them to progress at their own pace and be flexible with your plans to accommodate their needs and preferences.

Find the fun in everything – because, at the end of the day, that’s exactly what skiing is. Encourage your children to have fun with you, create new memories and laugh lots.

Non-Skiing Activities

Having fun in the mountains isn’t limited just to skiing. There’s plenty to be done off the slopes, whether you’re looking for something more chilled after a busy few days of skiing, or if you’re seeking a different type of adrenaline rush. 

  • Snowshoeing: A great opportunity to explore the scenic trails and backcountry areas of the Alps at a more leisurely pace than skiing. Many resorts offer kid-sized snowshoes and guided snowshoe tours suitable for families.
  • Ice Skating: An activity suitable for the whole family, but if skating isn’t quite your scene, it's an easily supervisable activity. If you’re visiting at Christmas time, this is a particularly fun, festive experience – and best followed up with a warm mug of Hot Chocolate.
  • Snow Play Areas: Resorts often have designated snow play areas where children can build snowmen, make snow angels, and take part in the odd snowball fight.
  • Sleigh Rides: Kids can experience the magic of a horse-drawn sleigh ride through snowy landscapes, bundled up in blankets and enjoying the scenic views.
  • Tobogganing: A fun, easy way to experience the thrill of going downhill. Many resorts have dedicated toboggan runs. The longest toboggan run in Europe can be found in Val Thorens, and is free for children aged 5-9 if they are riding on the sled of an adult.


Our Favourite Family-Friendly Luxury Ski Properties

Lodge des Nants

Morzine, France | Sleeps 15+1 | Catered

“Fantastic base for a family ski trip to Morzine.” – Previous client

Lodge Des Nants is an impressive chalet that rightly takes its place as one of the top luxury properties in Morzine. Spa facilities are in abundance including an indoor swimming pool, hammam, spa treatment room and rooftop hot tub.

Spanning five floors, space is ample with seven large bedrooms and two living areas. There is plenty of storage for your ski equipment in the large boot room at the entrance of the chalet with heated boot and glove racks.

Heinz Julen Penthouse

Zermatt, Switzerland | Sleeps 8 | Catered or Self-Catered 

The Heinz Julen Penthouse is a contemporary, luxury chalet featuring bespoke handcrafted furniture, designed by renowned artist and architect Heinz Julen.

The property proudly shows off splendid aerial views of the village below, whilst the Mischabel Mountains are visible from the large, impressive windows and stylish glass roofs.

This chalet sleeps up to eight guests in four fashionable double bedrooms, each with an en suite shower room. Access to the penthouse is under a ten-minute walk from the Omnia Hotel lifts, for which guests will be provided with a private key, making this chalet one of Zermatt’s most conveniently located. 

Grand Choucas

Val d’Isere, France | Sleeps 5+3 | Catered

Grand Choucas is a stunning apartment in the very centre of Val d’Isère. Set back from the high street, this charismatic second-floor home provides a superb balance of seclusion and convenience. 

The décor is contemporary Alpine style: sleek, chic and elegantly restrained, yet still wonderfully warm and inviting against the chill of mountains in mid-winter. Grand Choucas is ideal for families looking for a home from home, with plenty of toys for those inclined, a flat-screen TV, DVD, WiFi and even a cutting-edge and eco-friendly ethanol fireplace. 

The Amethyst Apartment

Courchevel 1850, France | Sleeps 6 | Catered or Self-Catered

One of nine beautiful luxury apartments situated in the five-star Grandes Alpes Hotel in Courchevel 1850. Located on the first floor, the Amethyst Apartment consists of a very large open-plan dining room and living room with fireplace, both south facing with views over the slopes, a professional kitchen, wine cellar and three en-suite bedrooms (including a 43 m² master bedroom). There is also a Jacuzzi on the terrace where guests can unwind with a glass of something chilled.

Guests of the Amethyst Apartment have access to all the Grandes Alpes facilities, with direct access to the relaxing spa and swimming pool, and the slopeside restaurant and bar to take in the surrounding views of the Alps.

Chalet Banja 

Zermatt, Switzerland | Sleeps 6+2 | Catered

Chalet Banja is ideally located in the Swiss resort of Zermatt, just a five-minute walk to the Matterhorn Express gondola and with the possibility of skiing back to within 100m of the door for much of the winter. 

This chalet provides for a level of comfort, design and convenience seldom seen in private ski accommodation. In addition to a host of luxury facilities, Chalet Banja has its own private ten-metre swimming pool and “wellness” area with a sauna - the perfect way to finish any day.

Our Favourite Family-Friendly Luxury Ski Hotels

Hotel Les Airelles

Courchevel 1850, France | 5* 

Tucked away in a pretty forest in Courchevel 1850, the Hotel Les Airelles is a winter wonderland for children and adults alike. 

With an ice rink, ice grotto, game′s room and swimming pool, this luxury ski hotel has plenty to keep all members of the family busy during their stay.

The Hotel Les Airelles offers ski-in/ski-out access in Courchevel 1850 onto the gentle pistes of the Jardin Alpin that run toward the centre of the resort.

Hotel L’Apogee

Courchevel 1850, France | 5*

The Hotel L’Apogee is the first luxury ski hotel from the Oetker Collection, offering an ideal ski-in/ski-out location in Courchevel 1850, along with superb facilities including a large spa, indoor pool and great restaurant.

The Hotel L'Apogee in Courchevel 1850 is perfect for adults looking to relax and unwind with fantastic dining and well-being options, as well as families with excellent children's facilities.

Hotel La Chaudanne

Meribel, France | 4*

Ideally situated in the centre of Méribel, a short stroll from the pistes, La Chaudanne offers warm and welcoming Alpine-style accommodation for families and friends. 

As a guest here you can enjoy the many facilities, relax in the spa or enjoy a drink in the cosy bar. After a busy day on the slopes and enjoying the hotel facilities, the 64 rooms and suites provide a welcome respite, with a lovely modern décor whilst still in keeping with the mountain environment 

The Chedi Andermatt

Andermatt, Switzerland | 5* 

The Chedi Andermatt is a luxurious five-star hotel set in the traditional resort of Andermatt in the Swiss Alps. This exclusive hotel is beautifully designed and combines traditional elements with modern architecture.  The hotel is located in the largest Ski Arena in central Switzerland with 180km of slopes and 33 ski lifts connecting Sedrun and Disentis. 

The hotel’s Spa and Wellness Centre is outstanding and a truly relaxing retreat with hydrothermal baths and an impressive glass-roofed swimming pool.

Hotel Le K2 Chogori

Val d’Isere, France | 5*

Located in the heart of the village on the high street, just a short walk from the Font de Neiges, Le K2's 21 stylish rooms and suites offer excellent views across the village to the Bellevarde and Fornet valley, split over two chalets. 

The traditional Savoyard exteriors hide an elegant, sophisticated interior that is both cosy and comfortable. Temporary exhibits of contemporary artists complement the bespoke furnishings to create an understated haven of natural materials and restrained colours.

Hotel Altapura

Val Thorens, France | 5*

The Altapura is a luxury 5*hotel in a great location in Val Thorens and is truly ski-in/ski-out, with the Plein Sud chairlift literally passing the front door! It′s location is hard to beat.

The hotel has a modern contemporary style throughout, with huge glass panoramic windows giving you spectacular views from your bedroom. There are 88 rooms in total, of which 16 are suites. Cleverly designed with great family room options and beautiful spacious suites.

Speak to our experts and let us plan a true experience tailored around you.
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We have been designing and delivering luxury ski holidays for 25 years. Our experience in the industry is unparalleled. You can trust us to create the perfect trip for you and your family.


Our team live and breathe skiing and are passionate about the destinations we sell. We work with only the best chalet and hotel providers. All are regularly inspected to ensure our exacting standards are met.


Each Oxford Ski Company booking includes our complimentary pre-arrival concierge service. Your specialist will help arrange the all-important finer details that are part of planning the perfect ski holiday.


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