HOW TO DO AN EXTENDED FAMILY SKI HOLIDAY

Categories Families, Our Top Tips
Group ski holiday

Kids, teens, parents, grandparents – families come in all shapes and sizes. Make the most of your time together and round up the whole clan to share your love of the mountain next winter.

We caught up with our group expert, Alana, who goes on a multi-generational family ski trip every year, to find out how to do it right.

Why do you love extended family ski holidays?

Alana: It’s the one time of the year that the whole family gets together and gets to spend the whole week doing what we love most – ski! We’d pick it over a summer holiday every time.

So who goes on these trips?

Alana: We did our first holiday back in 2010 with just my immediate family of four. But the group’s grown over the years and now there’s about 30 us – grandparents, cousins, even family friends, ranging from 18 years old to 62. Having everyone along makes it even more special.

Where’s your favourite place to go?

Alana: We’re all skiers and there’s a mix of abilities from beginners to experts, so the quality of the skiing is the top priority when we pick a resort. We love going somewhere different every year, from Avoriaz in France to Selva Val Gardena in Italy. But our favourite country is Austria – and not just because it’s the capital of après-ski. It’s got high-altitude resorts, good snow and lots of challenging runs. I especially love Saalbach because the Skicircus area offers so much variety for a big group, as well as things like snow parks, floodlit pistes and toboggan runs.

Saalbach in Austria
Saalbach, Austria

And when?

Alana: We always aim to go in the first two weeks of March because of the promising snow cover and bluebird skies – this is the highlight of our year so we want the best conditions possible. It helps that there aren’t any kids in our family so we’re not limited to school holidays.

What kind of accommodation do you stay in?

Alana: Chalets and self-catering apartments are great for big groups but we usually stay in half-board hotels. Everything’s taken care of for you, there’s lots of facilities and buffet meals can be more flexible for people with dietary restrictions – our group’s requirements include gluten-free and vegan. We just need to book early to make sure we can get all the rooms we need (especially single rooms, which can fill up fast). I’m keen to try a self-catered cabin one year though, where we could all take turns cooking.

What does your typical ski day look like? Do you all stick together?

Alana: We start early with a big breakfast and then head straight out to take advantage of the fresh powder and quiet slopes, splitting into groups based on our different ability levels. We ski all morning – maybe with a quick stop for a hot chocolate with Baileys – and then we all try and meet up for lunch in a mountain restaurant. Nothing beats catching up on the day’s triumphs and falls over a plate of traditional Tiroler gröstl. Later on, the parents and grandparents relax back at the hotel. But for the younger crowd it’s all about the après, so we always look for a resort with lots going on, from little local bars to lively clubs.

Tiroler gröstl
Tiroler gröstl

Have you got any holiday planning tips?

Alana: Organising a holiday for a big group with lots of different ages is always a challenge, so as soon as we get home from one trip, we start planning the next one. We’ve all still got that holiday buzz so we’re eager to get next year’s confirmed as soon as possible. And booking early means we’ve got a better choice of hotels too. I recommend keeping everyone involved in the planning process and being really clear about the details, and it’ll be sorted before you know it.

Ready to make winter part of the family and hit the hill en masse? Check out our latest deals and give us a call on 020 8610 3123 to speak to one of our group holiday experts.

Writer for Crystal Ski Holidays.

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