17th February 2019


February half term is here. For thousands of Brits this is one of the most hotly anticipated weeks of the year – the family ski holiday. For thousands of resort workers, it’s time to knuckle down at work, make some extra tips, and avoid the heaving slopes.

But whether you’re heading to the slopes for your annual snow fix or living in resort, here are some time tested tips on how to not only get through one of the most chaotic weeks of the season – but enjoy it too.

For the family heading out to the hills

Firstly, choose Morzine, Avoriaz or Les Gets! Not only are they fantastic family resorts, with brilliant terrain, but they’re insanely close to Geneva airport. This means transfer times well under 2-hours. When you have kids in the party, this can make all the difference.

Organise as much as you can in advance. Transfers, ski and snowboard rental, ski passes. Your chalet company, or your tour operator will often be able to arrange these to be ready for you as you arrive.

Our friends at Doorstep Skis will deliver your kit to your door, and take it back from your accommodation at the end of the week – no more trudging through resort with heavy snowboards or skis, and no more smelly ski basements trying on boots.

Most importantly, book your snowboard lessons in advance

The great thing about school holidays, is you know when they are, way in advance. So you can plan your annual trip with plenty of time to spare, and avoid the inevitable ‘fully booked’ email responses.

Our advice? As soon as you know you’ll be heading out to resort, get your snowboard lessons booked. We fill up quickly, sometimes a season in advance for these busy weeks. So if you know you’ll definitely be heading out next year for your family ski holiday, why not book now?

Packing Essentials

Family packing can be chaos. So try CJ’s ‘toes-up’ method for each person you’re packing for, and you’ll get to resort with everything you and your family need.

It’s simple; start with your feet, and work your way up until you’re fully dressed with the kit you plan to take.

  • Ski Socks – We recommend Stance, they’re comfy, durable, warm, and technically outstanding
  • Snowboard boots – If you’re bringing your own
  • Thermal base layers
  • Salopettes 
  • Tee shirts as under-layers
  • Hoody or riding shirt as a mid-layer for cold days
  • Snowboard jacket
  • Gloves or mitts
  • Neck warmer or face mask
  • Goggles – Check out the latest Dragon goggles available this season for the best eyewear on the hill
  • Sunglasses for apres action – always protect your eyes, snow blindness is no fun
  • Beanie
  • Helmet
  • High SPF suncream and lip balm
  • Rinse and repeat for everyone you’re packing for

Get up early, head to the edge of resort, and ride through lunch

The closer the slopes are to the nearest resort lifts, the busier they’ll be. Our advice is to get up early, and head to the outer reaches of the resort where the crowds venture least. 

Consider taking an early lunch, or eating a pre-prepared baguette on the lifts. Lunchtime (12-2pm) can be a brilliant time to enjoy the pistes whilst everyone else is sat eating their €20 spagh bol. If you have your own picnic, just find an awesome view, and stop when you want!

For the seasonnaires

The lifts are going to have queues like Disney Land, your favourite bars will be full to the brim, and you’re going to trip over kids in the street.

Our advice? Get some rest. Between extra busy work shifts, half term week is the perfect time to give your body a break, so you’re ready to shred when the crowds die down. Catch up on sleep, hustle for your guests to make a little extra money, enjoy the down time without feeling the FOMO on the hill.

Heading out next half term? Book your beginner, improver, intermediate, or private lessons with REAL Snowboarding on your next family winter holiday to Morzine, Avoriaz or Les Gets, and learn to ride the REAL way.

Simple instruction. Stylish snowboarding.

Book your snowboarding lessons today:

Photo credit: @samuelmcahon