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.
As the new year quickly approaches, family travelers are busy making lots of plans for a year of great travel and a healthier 2024. And what better way to combine the two than with a beautiful hike through nature at one of California’s most beloved state parks?
Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.
Last month, Comfort Hotels, part of Choice Hotels brand, unveiled its first Rise & Shine prototype, a game-changer for family travelers seeking safe, comfortable and fun stays on the road. The new Rise & Shine was revealed in the opening of Comfort Inn & Suites in Mountain Grove, Missouri, located near Mark Twain National Forest.
When the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., sent its three pandas to China in November, it left only one other U.S. zoo with these fascinating animals. Families now must travel to Atlanta to see pandas, but even those will soon return to China.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
If you haven’t heard of Light & Nine, you’ve been missing out on great travel gear designed by a mom with kids in mind. The line of duffels with side shoe compartments, roller bags, backpacks and garment bags come in fun colors including Blossom Pink and Bistro Green. Made from easy-to-care-for perforated materials, they also come with Nimix characters and motifs, so your small travelers can customize their travel gear with movable/removable icons ranging from race cars to rocket ships, skateboards to paper dolls, rainbows to unicorns.