Having brought infants, toddlers, school children, teenagers and parents on holiday, ensuring they enjoy their holiday means Happy Days for all. Be prepared for the cost of skiing with children, especially in catered accommodation where the price for children is often as much as the parents. Tuition should also be factored in, together with baby sitting. Because the type of holiday depends on the children's ages, family holidays can be broken down into the following categories:
New-borns and infants
Surprisingly easy as they're not mobile, but very portable and don't need tuition. A holiday to Morzine with our 4 month old was relatively simple apart from the nocturnal habits of feeding. Child care was shared between parents and a Grandmother, but the local creche (l'Outa 00 33 450 74 72 72) would have also been a good port of call. Had this been full, another alternative would be contacting the Tourist Office who have a long list of child minders and their telephone numbers.
Recommended holidays: Club Med in Villars.
These guys require much more. The travel element puts parenting skills to the test, whether keeping them on the flight and transfer or travelling by cat/train. If you really want to travel with them and combine your skiing with them in child care, Meribel and nearby Val Morel are a good bet.
By now these hotshots are in school back home. They will also be at their most receptive and the kinesthetic abilty to learn a technique will be very high. This enables you to put them into ski school which is probably better than trying to teach them yourself. You will not want to miss skiing with them and half a days ski school is a good balance.
This group is very rewarding and skiing on the baby slopes will just be a memory. Instead you will be able to enjoy whizzing around the higher terrain all together. At this age you need to factor in additional costs for ancillaries, clothing and food. Also still be prepared to allow for the extra time it takes each morning to get ready, so choosing a purpose built resort with all the practical benefits and snow sure conditions is still recommended.
This connoisseur group will provide more adult company and appreciate the skiing holiday, but will still want to let off steam after a long school term. Feeding them at lunch time seems to be a never ending source of funds especially as they seem to eat about four times a day, so having an apartment near the slopes is a great advantage. After dinner they will probably want to be let loose with other like minded youngsters, but it's a fairly safe assumption that roaming the streets of a ski resort is a safer environment than your local suburb or village back home.
Three generations of family
This is an interesting dynamic but can work relatively well. Grandparents who do not ski can enjoy a resort which caters for the non skiers, and combines the holiday of curling, playing bridge with meeting the family up the mountain in between their skiing. Traditional resorts such as Kitzbuhel, Wengen and Arosa work very well and provide an abundance of character and a very complete holiday.