The best time to go on a family ski holiday is very dependent on your personal preferences and time. Each part of the ski season has it’s own advantages and compromises. Whether you go early, mid or late season, in term time or not. The guide will give you an overview of each part of the ski season.
School holidays vs term time
The first decision/consideration is whether you go in school holidays or not. You may not have a choice. However if you have the flexibility I would strongly look at skiing outside of school holidays, as:
- It opens up a lot more of the season
- It’s cheaper
- It’s less busy
Skiing in school holidays
However skiing in school holidays is not all doom and gloom.
The first thing is to do a bit of research to see if any of your holidays different to the majority of the UK.
Other things to look at are flying out on a Friday and staying in the valley for the night. Which will also gives you extra ski time. In February half term last season (2018/19) if you flew late Friday afternoon from Leeds Bradford you could save £200 on flights. Then book a hotel in Moutiers for around 100€.
Which school holiday should I go skiing
Whether you chose to ski at Christmas, February Half Term or Easter really depends on three things:
- Your budget
- Tolerance for crowds and queues
- Your need for more reliable snow.
Christmas and New Years
Everyone wants a White Christmas and what’s more perfect than going on a family ski holiday.
If your kids are pre-teen Christmas is probably not the best time for a Family ski holidays as the weather can be unpredictable with a strong likelihood of snow and cold temperatures. The last thing you want is miserable shivering kids on a chair lift.
Skiing wise it depends when the snow starts to fall, if like the last couple of years the snow comes early you will have amazing snow cover. However there have been years when the snow has come late and it can be like Spring Skiing.
The resorts are not as busy as February Half Term, but you pay a bit of a premium for being there over Christmas.
Read more in here, Where to ski – Family ski holiday at Christmas and New Year.
February Half Term
February Half Term is the peak of the ski season, the snow is normally good, the weather has balanced out and is typically cooler. You’ll also have a good chance of fresh snow whilst you and your family are skiing. Though unfortunately the prices and volume of skiers reflects this.
If you are lucky enough that price isn’t an issue and snow conditions are all important then February Half Term is the best option for your family ski holiday.
However with flights and accommodation prices often double compared to going a couple of weeks later in March or a third higher than Easter. Personally I would take the chance with the weather and ski then.
Read more here, Where to ski – family ski holidays at February Half Term
With sunny days and warmer conditions Easter is the cheapest option for a Family Ski Holiday during the school holidays.
The snow conditions are more unpredictable due to the warmth, but on balance for kids it’s better than freezing on a ski lift. There is also nothing wrong with kids learning to ski in varying conditions.
The key to Easter skiing is to head high and take plenty of clothing options, it could be fleece or hoody one day and jacket the next.
Read more here, Where to ski – Easter Family Ski Holidays.
Skiing in Term time
I know it’s a dirty word, but taking your kids out of school and skiing in term time is a lot cheaper, less crowds and you still get great snow. There’s basically two options:
- January/ Early February
- March/ Early April
Most of February is Peak price, because between the British Counties and French Schools their half terms cover a three week period. You’ll also find that prices rise the closer you are to February.
January/ Early February
Early January is the cheapest part of the season to go and you tend to get great snow, the trade off is there’s a good chance of cold weather of snowy days.
Also because it’s so close to Christmas the resorts are generally quieter and you can find some great deals on accommodation.
Mid January would be a good option for teenagers, but pre-teens may find it pretty cold and miserable on the lifts.
March/ Early April
For me March is the best time to go on a Family Ski Holiday:
- The February crowds have gone
- The weather is warmer
- The days are longer, so you get more skiing time
- The snow is great
Like 2018/19 it can warm up early so you’ll get some slushy conditions or it could be like 2017/18 when there was fresh powder every day.
For more information, read the psste article Where to ski – March Family Ski Holiday.
So when is the best time to go on a family ski holiday????
It’s really up to you, my suggestion would be:
- If you need/have to go in the school holidays aim for Easter and head high.
- If you can go in the school holidays March is the best time, but aim high(ish) to give you the comfort of more dependable snow.