Thinking of taking the children skiing this winter?


Thinking of taking the children skiing this winter?

Family ski specialist Esprit Ski, offers packages flying from Southampton to Chambery and Geneva with easy access to some of the largest ski areas in Europe.

Here’s some words of wisdom from them on what to think about before you go:

What to think about when taking the children skiing:
• Flight times out of UK – are they a civilised hour for children?
• Check distance/time from arrival airport resort.
• Choose an operator with plenty of experience and that offers a choice, not just limiting families to a particular resort where they “do” child care.

Child care questions to ask:
• Is it the resort’s or the Tour Operator’s?
• Are the child carers qualified?
• Is the nursery in the chalet or do you have to traipse your child round the resort?
• Activity clubs – what do they do, are they just video clubs or do the children get out and about?
• Any evening activities for children?
• Any babysitting provided?
• What are the age ranges for nursery or child care?
• What are the catering arrangements?

Nursery Care for babies and toddlers
Not many Tour Operators offer their very own Nursery care and attention needs to be paid to what exactly you are booking for your infant.  If it is a local resort nursery, do the carers speak English?  Will they follow your child’s routine? What will they do?

Ski School for children
Many holiday packages offer children’s ski classes but it is important to know whether or not the classes are just the local ski school’s or if the operator has any special arrangements.
Some operators just book children into the local classes, which may then have anything up to 16 children in them and be taught in the local language!  Also worth checking is whether the parents have to take to and collect their children from ski school.  It can severely restrict a parent’s time on the slope.
Another factor is whether to have all day skiing for your child or just the morning.  Younger children or beginners benefit from half a day skiing and half a day having fun bum-boarding/snowman building/snowball fighting etc.  Older and more experienced children want to be out most of the day.    Does the operator offer such combinations?

Location of properties
Where the chalet or hotel is situated will have a big impact on the enjoyment of the children.   Ski in/out is ideal for parents but for children who will be in ski lessons it may be advisable to look for properties where the ski school meeting point is close by.

Skiing with children can be expensive.  Some child friendly operators do not have child friendly prices!  Check the discounts according to children’s ages and up to what age they are applicable and also the number of children allowed.
Many operators only allow 2 children at a child’s price and thereafter charge adult prices.  Always work out the whole package price before deciding which is better value – an operator with the most expensive adult price may turn out to offer the best whole family cost.
Often sharing the parent’s room gives the greatest discount for children but if you want separate rooms for the children you will not get much of a discount from some operators.  Brochures/websites that do not give any child prices are questionable.
Booking certain dates with some companies may give good offers – free children’s places etc, but again it is suggested that you work out the whole package before getting excited about a great deal!

About Esprit Ski
Esprit Ski is a family specialist of over 30 years and knows what makes children happy!  Esprit Ski has chalets and Chalet Hotels in superb locations for families, and their extensive child care programme is run in 13 top alpine resorts.  They make taking children on a ski holiday a pleasure, not a stressful experience.

They offer a dedicated and exclusive Esprit Nursery in each resort, staffed by British qualified Nursery Nurses and managed by experienced Child Care Managers.   For parents, Esprit Classic Child Care means being able to leave your accommodation after breakfast to head for the first lifts, only needing to return after the last one shuts. They look after your children completely throughout the ski day and offer a wide range of ski classes and activity clubs to suit age ranges from 17 weeks to 12 years. Children are taken outside when weather is suitable and given every opportunity to experience the mountains, subject to their age and parental consent.  Lunch and all refreshments are included and a daily diary is kept to ensure you can keep up to speed with your child’s day. 

For further information call the friendly Esprit Ski team on 01483 791 900 or check out their website to see what actually goes on during an Esprit Ski holiday!

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