Where to go? When grandparents come along as babysitters but don't ski...
Choosing the right family skiing holiday needn't be a problem. Over the years family situations change and different resorts suit the various life stages - from the days of needing childcare, to when your teens overtake you on the slopes.
More and more families are opting for three generation holidays, where grandparents fill the childcare gap so that parents can enjoy the slopes. A resort like Seefeld is an ideal choice for all generations. It is perfect beginner territory for children to take their first turns, it has enough to keep parents happy on the Gschwandkopf and Rosshuette and grandparents can enjoy winter walking or a trip to the nearby city of Innsbruck on their 'day-off'.
Stay at the 4* Superior Full Board Hotel Alpenpark Resort and Spa in Seefeld, with prices starting from £3,106.00 for a family of 4, based on children under 12 sharing their parent’s room in January or March 2014. Price includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, FREE childcare and soft drinks, child discounts of up to 35%, flights from Gatwick and resort transfers.
Call Neilson on 0845 070 3460 or visit www.neilson.co.uk/seefeld
Where to go? For a child's first ski trip...
When introducing a child to skiing for the first time, it is important to choose a resort where they can experience both skiing and non-ski activities. They are eager to play in the snow as well as well! Quiet, convenient and just over one and a half hours from Innsbruck airport lies one of Austria's most sought after and best loved resorts, Obergurgl, offering extensive snow-sure skiing and an excellent kindergarten with English speaking staff. The family ski specialist, Esprit Ski, offer the only family catered chalets in the resort with their own in-house Nurseries, Children Activity Clubs and exclusive ski lessons.
Stay in at the Chalet Verwall in Obergurgl with Esprit Ski for seven nights, with prices starting from £639 per adult with free child places available. Prices include return flights from GAtwick to Geneva, transfers, free wifi, free babysitting, free ski hosting and seven nights catered accommodation with a cooked breakfast, afternoon tea, children’s high tea and 5-course dinners with complimentary wine. Esprit Classic Child Care is available from £199 for a week of exclusive ski lessons.
Call Esprit Ski on 01483 791900 or visit www.espritski.com
Where to go? When you want to be looked after as well as the kids...
The Kinderhotel group are a collection of hotels, aimed purely at families, with as much focus on the parents as on the children so everybody gets a relaxing holiday break. While mum and dad are racing down the red runs they can to be safe in the knowledge that their children are being well cared for. Located in the heart of the Alpbach valley, the 4* Hotel Galtenberg offers parents free childcare (up to 56 hrs a week), skiing to the door, indoor soft play area, cinema and a wide ranging programme of activities. Due to open in 2011, a brand new pool and spa will have special areas 'only for children' and 'only for adults'.
Stay at the 4* Hotel Galtenberg in Alpbach, where all-inclusive prices start from €158 per adult per night in a small family apartment and prices for babies and children (up to 16) range from €27-50 per night. All prices include breakfast, lunch and dinner, 56hrs childcare per week, wine or beer with meal and airport transfer from Innsbruck airport. Innsbruck is served by Easyjet from Gatwick, Liverpool and Bristol and by British Airways from Gatwick.
For further information visit www.galtenberg.com; www.kinderhotels.co.uk
Where to go? When the kids are getting older and costing more money...
When the kids reach the grand old age of about 12, they start costing more - with most resorts charging full adult prices for accommodation and lift passes. It pays to do your research and pick a place that offers a higher child age limit, so you can keep costs down for at least another couple of years. Fresh snow, flattering slopes and friendly ski instructors provide the perfect recipe for a family skiing holiday and you can find this and more in the Tirolean resort of Niederau in the Wildschonau.
Stay at the 3* Hotel Austria in Niederau, close to the slopes. The hotel offers child discounts of up to 25% for children up to the age of 17, when sharing their parent's room. Children up to the age of 16 still pay child lift pass prices. A week's stay on half board for a family of 4, starts from £2327.50 in January 2014, including flights from Gatwick and resort transfers.
Call Inghams on 01483 791 114 or visit www.inghams.co.uk
Where to go? Once teens have left their parents behind on the slopes...
It happens to every parent in the end. It seems only moments since you watched them carve their first turns, but now they are whizzing past you on the slopes and leaving you way behind. The most important challenge is to keep them happy, entertained and, of course, safe. St Anton in the Austrian Tirol is considered one of the best high alpine ski resorts in the world. Why not enrol your ambitious teen on a Piste to Powder course (www.pistetopowder.com), with highly experienced guides who will teach them to be safe in the mountains? Prices start from €90 a day, including guide and safety equipment (transceiver, shovel and probe).
Stay seven nights at the 3* Hotel Rendlhof on half board, with prices starting from £806 per person in March 2013, including flights from Gatwick and resort transfers. Child discounts are available for ages two-14 inclusive.
Call Crystal Ski on 0871 231 2256 or visit www.crystalski.co.uk