Skiing in the Alps or Dolomites may sound like the adventure of a lifetime, but it can be more than a dream vacation for your family. Begin with the lift prices, which can be half of prices at equivalent ski resorts in the United States or Canada. And the difference between adult and youth tickets is far greater, so the savings can be significant for a family.
The range of lodging prices in and around ski resorts compares to those in North America, but early planning can yield reasonable rates even at some of the most famous resorts, such as Zermatt. In general, expect higher prices in Switzerland, lower in Italy and Austria. Overall, you’ll likely find the cost of a vacation in Italy is usually lower than at ski resorts in France or Switzerland.
Italian ski resorts have a relaxed atmosphere and easy pace, where the emphasis is on having fun, and combined with lower ticket prices, this makes Italy an attractive place for families to take a ski vacation. While lift prices are generally lower in Italy, in the Dolomites (which includes the famed Cortina d’Ampezzo and its surrounding resorts) the Dolomiti Superski pass adds an extra layer of savings.
The Dolomiti Superski pass costs $69 a day for adults and $48 for children over age 8. Children under age 8 ski free with a ticketed adult (one child per adult). If your vacation is Jan. 7–Feb. 1, the Superski pass is even cheaper. Compare that to rates exceeding $100 a day at resorts like Breckenridge and Mont Tremblant.
This pass, available by the day or in multiday units that brings the price even lower, includes the full use of lifts and trails of Cortina d’Ampezzo and the 11 other resorts in the Gruppo del Sella peaks. Of these, Alta Badia is popular for families with beginning and intermediate skiers, with good gentle beginner terrain, and about 50 percent of its trails rated as intermediate. Hot-shot parents won’t be bored here, though — the Gran Risa slope is one of the most technically difficult in all the Alps.
Families with beginning and intermediate skiers will also find plenty of terrain at Cortina d’Ampezzo, where there are slopes and trails for beginners, and about half the skiable terrain is intermediate. Elsewhere in Italy, at the smaller resorts with less international fame, rates can run as low as $20 a day, and children are often less than half the adult rate.
Lift rates are higher at the big-name resorts in France, but still lower than those in North America, with Chamonix and Courchevel running about $60 a day for adults. Smaller French resorts have tickets as low as $25 a day.
Although prices of everything tend higher in Switzerland, especially at iconic resorts like Zermatt, there are lodging deals if you book early. Also at Zermatt, children up to age 9 ride free on the mountain lifts if accompanied by an adult with a multiday pass. Better yet, the free Wolli Card, valid for one year, includes access to the Gornergrat Bahn lift and free lodging in some Zermatt hotels.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Minneapolis, Minnesota, with us.
Embark on a family journey through The Last Frontier with Celebrity Cruises® and experience an unforgettable luxury vacation in the untouched natural beauty of Alaska. The breathtaking landscape of this pristine wilderness sets the stage for every memorable moment from up-close, awe-inspiring views of glaciers to observing native wildlife, including whales, bears, bald eagles, and moose. This corner of the world offers not only spectacular scenery, but also opportunities to learn about the history and culture of Alaska — from the native people who’ve lived here for centuries to the adventurers seeking their fortunes during the gold rush. No matter which sailing you choose, you’ll journey through the ever-popular Inside Passage — one of the most popular experiences on any Alaska vacation — and visit Hubbard Glacier or Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.
It’s not too early to plan holiday family travel, and those bound for the Grand Canyon region might want to consider booking tickets now for Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel’s popular Polar Express. Tickets are going fast!
Family travelers spending time in Riviera Maya, Mexico, cannot miss Xel-Há, a park offering an extensive list of activities, all surrounded by the pure natural beauty of the region. The beginning of fall marks the perfect time to visit the park, with more than 20 unique experiences.
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Qatar may not seem like your typical wintertime family travel destination. After all, you won’t find many snow-capped peaks or ski resorts in the world’s desert nations, but the country’s newest winter attraction will make sure you have so much fun you won’t even think about snow. From roller coasters and merry-go-rounds to cotton candy and ice cream, there will be something for everyone at this nightly, winter-themed entertainment park.