When winter rolls around, you probably want to stay inside by the fire and drink hot tea all day. What if you could do that after a day of exploring part of the mountain range that played home to the Winter Olympics in 2006? It’s practically a guarantee you’ll have some better scenery than staying at home bundled up.

Skiing is great fun, so is checking out the Alps. You can bring the whole family along and create some really fantastic memories together. In this article, you’ll read about planning a skiing holiday altogether, what to do on the Alps and best tips to make your holiday smooth.  

Know the Alps

Before you start planning your holiday to the Alps, here’s some information that will get you better acquainted with your future destination and a few tips.

  • The Alps span over 1,200 km through 11 different countries, so you have your choice of countries to choose from when planning your holiday.
  • Some areas have snow well into April to give you more opportunities to schedule your holiday.
  • Remember to check the area’s expected weather and your airline’s baggage policy. You’ll want to dress in layers to beat the colder temperatures, which means you’ll likely be packing more than for a warmer holiday.
  • If you decide to drive to your destination, check to see if it is recommended to you tire chains on your vehicle. Research when and how to put them on. Doing so incorrectly can do some major damage to your tires.
  • If you’re wardrobe doesn’t include some key items for cold weather, check out this guide to winter activewear for recommendations.

Get Equipped

In addition to having the proper clothing, you’ll need to have the right equipment to ski the Alps. If you possess your own snow gear and are traveling by air, check the airline’s policy for checking sports equipment. If you don’t own any equipment, consider renting gear to bring with you if that’s more cost effective.

Otherwise, most ski lodges and resorts offer ski equipment for rent. You might save yourself some stress by reserving the equipment your family needs in advance to guarantee it’s available when you arrive.

Plan with a Specialist

Save yourself some more stress and opt to plan a large portion of your trip with a company that specializes in family skiing holidays. Here’s what may be included when you book with one of these companies:

  • Airfare and other transportation to your lodging
  • Resort or chalet accommodations for your family
  • Activities and care for your children, may include ski school

Be sure to ask if your package include lift tickets or if you’ll need to purchase them separately.

You can always look for your own accommodations. Here is a list of chalets to get you started.

Before You Hit the Slopes

Once you’ve arrived at your destination and have all your equipment, you’ll want to hit the slopes as soon as you can. Make sure to remember these important steps before setting out for the day.

  • It might be cold but the sun is still shining, which means your skin can get burned. All that white snow acts as a mirror for the sun so make sure to apply sunscreen to any exposed areas and reapply as directed.
  • Keep a lip balm with SPF in your jacket pocket.
  • Have a water bottle on you at all times. You will be sweating even if you don’t realize it and want to stay hydrated.
  • Don’t forget to dress in layers. You may be cozy at the start of the day, but once your blood gets pumping, your body temperature will rise making you want to lose a layer or two.
  • If your group splits up, decide on a time and place to meet up for lunch or at the end of the day.

Consider a Locker

If the ski lodge has lockers available to rent, ask yourself these questions when considering whether you want to get one for the day or not. The extra expense can mean more time skiing and less weight on your back.

  • Am you bringing food with you that you want to store somewhere?
  • Do you have anything special that you don’t need at all times but want quick access to without going back to the resort/chalet? (Ex. medication, children’s toys, extra water and sunscreen)
  • Is the walk to your locker shorter than the walk to the resort/chalet?
  • Do you want a place to keep your cell phone or other devices while skiing?
  • Where will you keep equipment if you decide to take a break? Not everyone is comfortable leaving their equipment in public and it is done at your own risk.

Other Winter Activities

Maybe skiing isn’t your thing and you still want to experience the grandeur of the Alps. There are other options besides skiing to do on your holiday.

  • For a different kind of downhill fun, you can search for places to go sledding with your family. You can also inquire if the lodge offers a slope for tube sledding.
  • If getting pampered is more your style, look for a resort with a spa on the grounds or nearby. Schedule a massage to keep your spirit warm and body relaxed.
  • Don’t miss the views just because you don’t want to ski down the mountain. Ask if you can ride the lifts without skiing down. You may not be able to see as much, but this is a great alternative if available.
  • Schedule your holiday around a popular festival being held nearby where you’re lodged. Visiting the festival can be a great break from the mountainside whether it is for the entire day or after you’ve finished skiing.
  • Visit a museum or schedule a food tour to get in touch with the local culture where you’re staying.
  • Explore one of the Olympic Parks that calls the Alps its home. Here is a list of all the Winter Olympics locations to see if one is near you.

Now that you know what it takes to plan your family skiing holiday, grab your hot beverage to go and find a place that suits your family best. Maybe even invite another family along to lessen the cost and increase the memories you all will make together.