Skiing with Children – the perfect family ski holiday

Skiing with children and the thought of planning a family ski holiday can bring many parents out in a cold sweat. Cue images of temper tantrums, long transfers and lost gloves. But it needn’t be that way. Taking children skiing can be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences. You just need to plan ahead and ensure that you pick a family friendly break, that all the family can enjoy.

Skiing with children

Skiing with children – don’t leave things to chance. Book ski school at the same time as booking your holiday

Skiing with children starts with choosing a family friendly ski resort

First off you need to consider the resort to choose. This is the most important choice, and one that will make or break your holiday! Important things to consider when choosing the best resort to ski with your family:

  •  How long is the transfer time from the airport? The shorter the better to avoid over tired tots and frazzled parents.
  • What level of skiers does the resort cater for? Are there sufficient beginner slopes if your children are starting out? Ideally with a magic carpet or at least an area away from heavy traffic with skiers returning to resort.
  • What ski schools operate in the resort? Ensuring they have the best first experience on skis is crucial to the future of your family ski holidays.
  • If required, are there creche or childcare options that suit your needs?
  • Are there many après ski activities which are family friendly? Sledging, carousels, soft play areas, bowling, swimming and ice skating options are available in many resorts, but it’s worth checking before you book.
Skiing with children

Skiing with children – there is nothing like a ski holiday to make your children happy and smiling

Choosing the best time for a family ski holiday

The second most important decision to decide early on is when to ski. With children you will most probably be restricted to the key holiday weeks. Half term is the obvious choice for many with the best chance of good snow. But the price generally reflects this and it’s often one of the busiest weeks of the year on the slopes. Likewise New Year can be pricey and busy as holidaymakers come out in force. This leaves Christmas and Easter as two of the best options.

If you’ve never spent Christmas in resort then you’re missing out! The lights and decorations give an instant festive feel and most of the chalets and hotels will inject some Christmas magic, without you being stuck in the kitchen all day. So you can enjoy the week with the family without the stress which often accompanies this time of year. And despite the poor press, snow conditions are generally good by Christmas week and the prices are much lower so you can grab yourself a bargain.

Last but not least is Easter. Think long days and sunshine and it’s easy to see the appeal. Yes, leaving it a little later can bring some risk to the snow conditions but the price reflects this risk and you have the added bonus of warm temperatures, great for little children who get cold quickly.

Choosing the best ski school is vital when skiing with children

To ensure their first time is not their last it is important to think ahead with regards to ski school options. Especially during peak weeks when things book up fast. Aside from booking your holiday, this should be one of the first things you arrange to ensure availability and avoid disappointment. When choosing the ski school to entrust with this all important first experience it’s worth considering the following:

  • How big are their group sizes? Large groups will limit their learning and also possibly their enjoyment so aim for groups with a maximum of 8 children.
  • Are their lessons taught in English? Unless your children are proficient in a second language it’s worth checking that their instructors speak fluent English and that the lessons are taught in English to ensure your child can understand the instructions and can socialise the others in the class.
  • Are their instructors fully qualified and experienced? Don’t be afraid to ask this question of any possible schools.
  • Do they put an emphasis on fun? Do they organise any activities or games throughout the week or on the last day which will leave your children grinning from ear to ear?
  • And what sort of client feedback do they get? Many schools work with independent feedback systems such as Feefo, so you can see how past clients rate their services.
Skiing with children

Skiing with children – choosing the right ski school is so important. Get that right and the rest is easy

Resort chosen. Holiday booked. Ski School arranged. Who said going skiing with children is something to worry about? Now all you need to worry about is how you’ll find space in your bags for all their Christmas pressies and whether that well used onesie you wore as a child might also fit in.

Written by Sara Fernie-Jones, New Generation Ski & Snowboard School

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Ski train holidays to the Alps

Our website features an ever increasing number of independently run catered chalets. We like the personal service these companies provide. Another advantage is the freedom they give us to organise your travel separately to fit in with your preferences, be that driving, flying from your local airport or taking the ski train.

Ski train to the Alps

Ski train arriving in the Alps

With Eurostar tickets for the forthcoming ski season now on sale, it seems a good time to review the various rail travel options for your journey to and from the Alps. There are now three different routes giving access to a bigger range of resorts than ever before.

The first of these is the direct ski train from London St Pancras to the French Alps, which stops at Moûtiers, Aime La Plagne and Bourg Saint-Maurice. This provides convenient access to resorts such as Courchevel, Meribel, La Plagne, Les Arcs, Val d’Isere and Tignes. As well as the daytime train each Saturday there is also an overnight train on Fridays, which returns the following Saturday night and allows for eight full days’ skiing.

The second option this winter is a new direct Eurostar train running from London to Lyon every Saturday in just over four and a half hours. This route will provide easy access to the Southern French Alps, in particular Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes.

If you are looking to travel to the Northern French or Swiss Alps, Eurostar has also introduced a service to Geneva with one easy change at Lille, a journey of just over six hours. Many resorts are easily reached from Geneva, including Chamonix, Morzine and Verbier. Tickets for this route go on sale on 15 October.

Just as with flying, booking early can ensure you get the best prices on tickets. A return to the French Alps costs from £149, with fares to Geneva from £127 return and those to Lyon starting at £89 return. There are no additional costs for luggage and ski carriage is also free.

So if you don’t like flying, hanging around in queues at airports, or long airport transfers, the various train services to the Alps provide some credible alternatives to consider.

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Ski Travel Agency – Dreaming of a white Christmas

A question I often get asked is “what do you do all summer?” well the simple answer is that I put my feet up, play lots of golf and tennis and generally have a jolly good time…Oh if only that was the case. The end of one season means a new one is just around the corner and although the pace in the office is not as hectic during the summer months, there are plenty of things going on behind the scenes that need to be implemented as we head into another busy booking period.

Ski travel agency - The Boss hard at work

The Boss hard at work

We have installed a new phone system; we have added lots of new and exciting chalets to the website; we have started recruiting new staff; we have put in place a marketing strategy for the next few months. All this as well as dealing with our larger groups who tend to book early to get exactly what they want for their next winter ski holiday.

As we head into our twenty third year as a specialist ski travel agency , the question I have often ask myself is how do we differentiate ourselves from other brokers or so called agents. When I started in the ski holiday industry there were probably four maybe five specialists. Today with the internet having taken over the way people research their holidays there must be over thirty agents all purporting to be the number one agent!

Alpine Answers are certainly not the largest agent by any means, however by employing great staff all of whom have worked seasons in the Alps and have demonstrated a passion for skiing, by training our staff in the art of customer service (friendly knowledgeable service with a smile), by making sure our chalet portfolio is diverse yet constant in terms of the standard we know our clients expect, keeps us ahead of the game. I really believe that by keeping standards high and our team a manageable size allows us to oversee a successful business. “Bums on seats” is not a winning philosophy with regards to the market we work in.

We are here to help you get the most out of your ski holiday, so whether it’s going back to an old stomping ground like Val d’Isere, or you want to try something new get in touch as we would love to hear from you.

Happy skiing from Earl Knudsen, Partner



If you want to ski in early to mid December don’t book now, wait and see what the snow is doing.

Christmas will be a cheap week to go. The slopes are always empty until the 26th December.

If you want to go for New Year or Half term– Don’t delay as these weeks will be sold out soon.

Try a ski weekend – you get all the fun and don’t have to take so many days off work.

Try a new resort. These are some of my favourites – St Martin De Belleville, Serre Chevalier, Gressoney, Madonna di Campiglio, Engelberg, Andermatt, Saalbach.

Look us up on Facebook and Twitter too!

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Smart skiers book their ski holidays for winter 2015/16 now….Why?

Gosh, we are in the middle of the current ski season and I find myself writing this blog encouraging you to consider booking for next season already – are we bonkers? Well not really, we have been selling ski holidays for over 23 years now and there are too many compelling reasons why you should be considering booking for next season now!


Ski Holidays - Luxury Chalet Marco Polo, Val d'Isere

The heated chalet dining area over looking the resort

CHOICE – no need to compromise, as we will be able to book something to fit your exact requirements. So whether you are after luxury with a ski-in ski-out location, an indoor pool, Jacuzzi and gourmet food, or a large chalet for 2 to 50 people to celebrate the New Year now is the time to start looking. Our tailor-made approach means no stone is left un-turned and we can accommodate pretty much any request whether it’s a standard 7 day itinerary, a short break, a European or North American ski holiday we have the answers.

PEAK DATES – every winter is the same; Christmas, New Year, February half term and the Easter weeks sell out faster than you think. By getting in early you will guarantee the best choice of accommodation to suit your budget and requirements. Let’s be honest there are few things in life that beat the excitement, exhilaration, and sheer joy of spending time in the Alps. We say don’t delay! Round up your friends and book a chalet for New Year and you could be sitting in a hot tub on the deck, with a glass of champagne while watching a spectacular fireworks display while the snow comes down, it does not get better than that.

Ski holidays - Skiing in the Italian Dolomites

Skiing in the Italian Dolomites

DEALS, DEALS, DEALS…..yes its true there are some great deals to be had by booking early, so as my title suggests early birds do catch the worm. Groups can get as much as one in five people going free; couples can save £120 for a week in the Alps; there are plenty of “buy one get one free” on lift passes as well as up to 50% off ski hire. These types of early booking incentives don’t last forever so hurry and get you next ski holiday booked up and have something special to look forward to.

Ski holidayS - in Breckenridge Colorado USA

Ski holiday in Breckenridge Colorado USA

As the UK’s foremost ski holiday broker we deal with 100’s of operators who all offer incentives, the only problem is they don’t offer the same incentives, so to help you decipher who offers what,

please feel free to call us and one of dedicated members of staff will be able to find you the best deals the market has to offer or alternatively have a look at our Alpine Answers website. 

Make sure you check out our Facebook and Twitter page!

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Beware cheap imitations

With the ever growing use of the internet to conduct holiday research and holiday bookings we advise people to be vigilant and beware cheap imitations! There is virtually no barrier other than time and a bit of development cost to creating a half decent looking website that looks for all the world like it sells lovely holidays but which in fact is completely bogus. With clients quite happy to pay tens of thousands of pounds for a luxury ski chalet it would only take one unfortunate purchaser to fall into the bogus website trap for the criminals behind the fake website to turn a handsome profit from their endeavours.

You may think that these sites are not out there, or perhaps are so obviously fake that no one could fall for the trap. However, you would be surprised. About 12 months ago we were approached by a distressed man who had just discovered he had paid many thousands of pounds for a New Year ski holiday that did not actually exist.

Just last week our attention was brought to a website called, Ski Moar. This website looks real enough and the luxury chalets featured on it look lovely. The chalets are all renamed to throw the hapless booker off the scent as this site, according to the real chalet owners, is allegedly completely bogus. If this is the case any money you might pay to them would not be securing a holiday at all. Instead it would be going into the pockets of the Chinese gentlemen who built the site.


Ski Moar - real or bogus?

Ski Moar – real or bogus?


Of course it’s entirely possible that this site is the real deal in which I owe them a large apology. However, experience tells me otherwise. The tell tale signs of a fake:

1) Obvious spelling mistakes on the home page – “PREMIUM SKI ACCOMODATION” maybe what the site is selling but premium grammar it is not.

2) There are no travel industry affiliations – There are plenty of bona fide travel companies without official affiliations with ABTA, ATOL, ABTOT or AITO etc. However, a website without any obvious connections with an official travel organisation should be approached with caution.

3) The postal address – I am sure that Aultbea in the far reaches of the Scottish Highlands is a charming place (it looks it on Google ‘Street view’) but it is a strange place to find a specialist ski chalet agency.

4) The lack of a visible telephone number – Most real businesses would be delighted to hear from their clients so it’s strange not to be able to find one for Ski Moar.

5) Some quick research on the named principal directors of the business – This would reveal that they actually work for a ski company called, The Family Ski Company, based near Worcester. As you can imagine they are mighty annoyed that their names have been associated with Ski Moar.


Beware Cheap Imitations

We are all aware of the phrase, “caveat emptor” but this has never been more pertinent than in today’s internet world where a wolf can be dressed in sheep’s clothing.

The scary thing is that although we know there are fake websites out there hoping to get their greasy mitts on your money there is nothing the international law enforcement community can do about it until someone actually loses their money. Since holidays are booked and paid for usually two months before they take place the crime can go undetected for a considerable length of time. And by the time the crime is discovered (usually when the client arrives in resort) the perpetrators are long gone.

So in this season of festive good cheer and general ‘bonhomie’ please be aware that there are sadly plenty of unscrupulous people out there. Our advice is that you should always conduct a little bit of due diligence on the holiday company you are about to pay considerable sums of money to. As is so often the case it is better to be safe than sorry – beware cheap imitations – they are out there.

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