‘should I go on a ski holiday now I have a baby?’
Having a baby doesn’t mean you have to forgot your precious ski holiday this season. With a wide choice of quality baby care options available in the mountains, there was never a better time to enjoy a ski trip with your baby. You don’t have to wait until your little one is old enough for ski school to enjoy a family ski holiday….
Family tour operators
By far the most convenient way to take your baby skiing, is to book into a family friendly ski lodge or chalet, run by UK ski operators offering babycare. Mark Warner and Esprit Family Holidays are two of the UK’s top family ski holiday operators, who offer onsite crèche facilities in lots of their European chalets and chalethotels. You can conveniently book your little one into the operator run crèche with British nannies, at the same time as booking the holiday package. Six full days childcare costs £285 with Mark Warner and £315 with Esprit, on top of your holiday cost. You will need to be staying at a Mark Warner or Esprit property to take advantage of their childcare. Neilson Holidays also operate two clubhotels in Les Deux Alps in France and El Tarter in Andorra, both of which have Neilson run crèche for babies from four months.
If you book by 30th September then Mark Warner are offering FREE lift passes on all peak season dates!!
Check out Esprit Ski ‘Baby & Todder Weeks’ with free infant places, half price creche, half price toddler clubs and reduced under occupancy charges, so you can upgrade your rom to less and have a room with a separate sleeping area for the baby. These can offer really good value if you are travelling with little ones although dates will be outside school holidays so may not work if you also have older children in school.
Club Med are renowned for luxurious, all inclusive family holidays and they have crèche facilities in some stunning properties across the Alps. The original ‘All Inclusive’ holiday operator, when you book a ski holiday with Club Med it includes flights, transfers, luxurious accommodations, all food and drink, ski school, lift passes . Crèche or babyclub from 4 months to 23 months is £280 for the week. All childcare is with experienced and qualified French nannies and childcare staff. Check out the exclusive and luxurious ‘Chalets du Valmorel’ arguably the most luxurious baby friendly ski accommodation in the French Alps.
For the most discerning skier, where luxurious accommodations and personal service is more important than price, then Powder Byrne offer a bespoke ski experience with Luxurious hotels and lodges and exceptional personal service, in resorts in the Alps. They offer top quality crèche facilities with experienced British qualified nannies.
Private Ski Nannies
If you don’t want to stay in one of these specific hotels or chalets run by the tour operator, you can arrange private nannies. These are available in most of the main European resorts and many are British operated, with British qualified nannies. Your personal nanny will come and either stay in your chalet each day with your baby, or come by and pick them up to take them to the Nanny service private crèche where there may be other children. Prices for six full days start at around the £600 mark, so it can add significantly to your holiday cost. Snowbabies offers a great service in Val D’Isere, Tignes and Kitzbuhel. They offer a flexi hours service where you pay for a certain amount of hours but can split this between daytime and evening care. Of course, you may be lucky enough to already have a nanny for your kids in the UK, you can take with you.
Local Ski Creche
If your budget cannot stretch to a private nanny, you can choose a resort that has a locally run drop-in nursery. Many of the major resorts in Europe will have a convenient nursery and prices range from £185 to £350 for a week, so considerably less than a private Nanny. These are a great option if you want to take advantage of cheap ski apartments and save money but still get quality childcare. Make sure you choose accommodation that is close to the nursery. Most will offer a drop in service, but its usually best to pre-book, especially if you want a full week. If you don’t want to commit to full days childcare, you can book your little one in for half days. Some will provide lunch for a small fee, although some will ask you to provide this. Some resort nursery’s are operated by ESF, France’s main ski school.
There are very good local drop in nurseries in Morzine, Avoriaz, Courchevel, Val D’Isere and Verbier to name just a few, accepting babies from 4 months. You can always ask us if you want to find out where others are, as we have an extensive list of European resort nurseries.
If you don’t want strangers looking after your precious baby, then share the load. Daddy could hit the slopes in the morning before swapping with Mummy in the afternoon. This can be a lonely option though, if you are not travelling with other friends or family.
Finally, one solution for childcare that may not suit everyone, is to take Granny and Grandad, although this is becoming increasingly popular but make sure you pick a resort with plenty to do if you are not on the slopes. If you are planning a trip with a large group, maybe ask any non-skiers to help look after your little one. Perhaps treat your niece or nephew to a free holiday, in return for a little babysitting. This may work out cheaper than hiring a nanny.
For more information on any ski holidays mentioned or details on crèche or nanny services in the Alps, contact www.family-trips.co.uk 0844 811 8489
You may also be interested in ‘THE BEST LUXURY HOTELS IN EUROPE WITH A CRECHE’.