Whether your family lifestyle is a little extreme, or more serene, a family ski vacation is a great way to have fun and bond with your kids. Family ski vacations can be as wild or as subdued as you like, and with options available for all budgets, it’s easy to plan a winter getaway for your clan.

Once you’ve all agreed that a family ski vacation is the way to go, you can start planning the details. Skiing isn’t as expensive as you might think, and there are many great resorts that cater to families with money-saving packages available. The biggest problem your family will have is choosing a location.

Most ski resorts have websites, so begin your planning process online. Assess the various resort sites and compare the accommodations to decide which resort will be most suited to your family’s needs. Don’t choose a resort based on one or two attributes, but consider many different points. If someone in your family will need ski instruction, look for resorts that offer skiing lessons by qualified instructors. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a resort where one or more of your family members won’t be able to join in the fun because they’re not good skiers. Many resorts offer on-site instruction but some don’t, so take the time to research and choose carefully.

To make the best choice for your ski vacation, compare the available lifts, slopes and trails. The destination you choose should offer something to please every member of your family. If the resort only caters to beginners, more advanced skiers will quickly become bored. If you have a snowboarder in your group, and there are no snowboarding parks or terrain, that snowboarder will not be happy. Some resorts cover all of the winter sports bases, so shop around for a place that will cover all of your family’s interests.

Lodging is another very important consideration. Remember, you’re going to be on vacation, so you want to feel comfortable day and night. You’ll often find a hotel right at the base of the slopes, but it may not necessarily be the best or most affordable place to stay. Search out all available lodging options in your destination area, and choose the one the fits your budget and suits your family. If the accommodations you choose are located away from the slopes, make sure that you arrange to have easy access to transportation each day.

Even if everyone in your family is an avid skier, you’ll likely want to explore other activities while on your family ski vacation. Find out if the resorts on your list offer other activities. Sleigh rides, dog sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing horseback riding and even tobogganing can all offer a fun twist to liven up your week at the slopes. Not all resorts offer additional activities, so be sure to ask before you book. Check into winter activities at the resort, as well events taking place in and around the town you’ll be staying.

A family ski vacation is a great way for kids and parents to get active and have fun. Compare resorts, be sure you find the accommodations and amenities you need, and create a family ski vacation you’ll all remember for a very long time.

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