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Choosing a Ski Holiday.

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Skiing - How to choose the right holiday for you and your family

Going on a skiing holiday is a popular choice of vacation for adults and children alike, but how do you know where to go, and which resort will be the best for your circumstances? This guide will hopefully help you to decide which are the most important to you, so that you can make an informed decision.

Are you taking the children skiing with you?

If you and your children are all at the same level and you all want to ski on the same slopes and for the same length of time, then childcare will not be necessary. Alternatively, you may wish to teach your child to ski yourself - however, in this instance it would perhaps be a good idea to put your child into a ski school in the morning, to allow you to ski properly, then spend time with your child in the afternoon. With very young children, childcare will need to be an essential part of your ski package.
Check out the available childcare options with the holiday companies before you book, and book the childcare / ski school at the same time as you book the rest of your holiday. A point to note - not all ski schools have English speaking ski instructors - you may wish to check this when you book.

What type of ski resort should I choose?

In Europe, there are two types of ski resort - the first being quaint little mountain villages that have been around for a long time, with quaint wooden chalet housing, which tend to be built at a height of around 2000m. There may also be other facilities for holiday makers who don't ski, such as shops, eg Kitzbühel.

The second type of ski resort is the "purpose built" resorts that have been built eg in and around the Three Valleys in France. The architecture of these resorts often owes more to concrete than it does to wood. However, for the real ski enthusiast they offer excellent skiing, usually directly from the door of your accommodation, a vast network of slopes, an excellent network of ski lifts and a consistent quality of snow.

If you are considering going further afield than Europe to Ski, eg the US, bear in mind that you will spend more time flying to your destination and you will also be jet-lagged when you arrive.

What's the best season in Europe?

It's best not to go before Christmas - there may not be any snow, unless the resort is very high, and the facilities may not yet be open. Christmas and New Year and the most popular and therefore most expensive times to go, but again, snow is not guaranteed except in the high resorts.

January is a good time to go - it is cold but there is usually snow and holidays are usually cheaper as this is the low season. February is probably the best month, and if you are wanting to take the children with you then February half term would be a good bet. Half term holidays book up quickly though, so make sure that you reserve your holiday in plenty of time.

In the higher resorts, March can be a lovely time to go as the days are growing longer. The lower resorts may no longer have snow though. It is expensive and crowded around Easter time, even if the snow is good.

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