9 Things to Know Before You Go for Your First Ski Holiday Trip to France

FasterSkierOctober 1, 2022
Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France (FRA):
Martin Fourcade (FRA) – IBU world cup biathlon, sprint men, Annecy-Le Grand Bornand (FRA). www.nordicfocus.com. © Manzoni/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.

With the holiday season just around the corner, families, couples and even solo travelers would be preparing for their upcoming trip. France is definitely among the top choices for many families and couples that would want to spend a memorable time and even witness white Christmas, if possible. The best part about France is that it has something to offer to everyone and therefore you can make the most of the time you have.

While France is popular for its French cuisine, popular fashion brands and apparel, best-known museums and diverse landscape and geographies it also attracts a lot of families and adventure-lovers that come here for ski holidays. Today, you can find many ski resorts in France that offer you the best accommodation and skiing experiences. While there are many options in France and Avoriaz, even Morzine ski holidays are very popular as they offer the best family ski holiday experiences.

However, if you are heading to the French slopes for the first time you need to have clarity on how you can make your family ski holiday trip memorable and convenient.

Tarjei Boe (NOR), Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA), Johannes Thingnes Boe (NOR), Erlend Bjoentegaard (NOR), (l-r) during the IBU World Cup 12.5 k pursui in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France. (Photo: NordicFocus)

Know What You Want

When you are heading to France, you can find plenty of ski resorts and hotels that can help you spend quality time with your family. However, not ski resorts are the same and offer similar experiences. Hence, you must understand what you expect and want from your forthcoming family ski trip. This would allow you to make the right choices and book the right resorts that would help you make your trip memorable.

Choosing the Right French Ski Resort or Chalet

With ample options to choose from booking a ski resort in France can be overwhelming especially if you are booking it for the first time. If you have little to no experience with skiing you can look for low-altitude resorts that offer mild slopes that are ideal for beginners. This would help you save your money because you don’t want to invest in ski resorts that offer steep slopes and plenty of run areas. You need to compare the facilities and amenities that these ski resorts have to offer. You can also opt for catered or self-catered luxury chalets that offer more convenience and comfort.

Traveling to Your Choice of Resort

Most French ski resorts offer better connectivity from different parts of Europe and the UK. Most international visitors flying from different parts of Europe and the UK would land in Lyon or Geneva. These resorts would usually offer transfer services or you can hire a rental car. Also, you need to know that airport transfer services are either private or shuttle where private airport transfer can add to your budget. If you are choosing shuttle airport transfer you need to be clear about the departure time from the airport. Similarly, you can also use the rail network in France and Europe from London or Paris to get to your resort.

Buying the Right Travel Insurance

When you are heading to France for your family ski holidays you need to think of better protection for your loved ones. When you are participating in various snow activities there is a probability and risk of injuries and accidents. For this, you need to upgrade your travel insurance policy to get the right cover for those activities. Even a minor mishap can drastically impact your budget considering the heavy cost of airlifting off the slopes and dropping to the nearest hospital or medical facility. Hence, there are things to keep in mind when purchasing a travel insurance policy. For this, you must talk to your insurance company and get more details on how you can stay covered while you are skiing with your family on the French slopes.

Kikkan Randall’s son Breck waits happily next to their bags as they depart for a winter in Europe for the World Cup Races. (Photo: Instagram @kikkanimal)

Prepare a Checklist for Your Luggage

Packing for ski holidays is a bit different than packing for your summer holidays. Hence, you need to prepare a checklist in advance to ensure that you don’t miss out on items at the last moment. You must pack essentials for cold weather travel that can help you stay layered. Apart from packing for the cold weather you need to focus on packing passports and important documents, sunglasses, sun-block cream and suitable footwear.

Prepare Your Body

Even if you are a novice skier you need to focus on how you can prepare your body for the cold weather and snow activities. For this, you need to train your body on how to tackle the challenges that you will face when you are balancing as you ski down the French slopes. Skiing and other snow activities can make you feel tired and weak which would ruin most of your day. Hence, you need to exercise for conditioning, flexibility and strength to ensure that you can tackle all kinds of slopes and still have the strength to make the most of your holiday time.

Buying Ski Lift Pass

Understanding how to use various facilities and amenities can help you make the most of your first ski trip to France. Knowing how you buy and use a ski lift pass is vital. This is essential for accessing various slopes. These days you can buy them online to avoid queues when you reach the skiing area. Also, you need to know what type of passes you want to buy as you can also buy non-skier and family lift passes. The rates of ski lift pass in France are more affordable than in other countries like Canada and the United States.

Understanding Ski Slope Ratings

Various ski resorts in France would provide you with information about slopes through various indicators and therefore you must know what they mean. When you are choosing ski resorts you should look out for slopes that best suit your skiing skills and level. This would allow you to have more fun without compromising your safety. You can look out for color coding right next to the piste which is a good indicator of the steepness of the gradient. This would help you keep yourself and your family safe before you ski down the wrong slope.

Focus on Non-Skiing Activities

It is likely that you will not be skiing all the time and therefore you need to book ski resorts that offer other non-skiing activities like dog-sledging or husky rides, snow-shoeing and even ice fishing. You can go après ski with everyone else. Also, you can make use of the spa and sauna facilities that these resorts have to offer. You can also look for ski resorts that are close to villages which you can visit especially if you are not skiing on a particular day. Here you can explore local cafes and restaurants and enjoy the best local French cuisine and spend quality time with your loved ones.








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