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Family skiing holidays without breaking the bank: tips and tricks

Where should you start with skiing holidays? Costs can escalate quickly, and keeping everyone happy is a huge challenge. Which resort should you choose? What do you want to do? A half-day skiing? Here are some of our tips and tricks to help you make your budget go further.

1. Choose a Famille Plus resort

This French label, created in 2006, means families can choose resorts just for them and where everything has been designed specifically for families with children – activities and prices for all ages, for both children and adults to do together or separately, great access to shopping facilities, and much more. Go to www.familleplus.com for more information.

2. Half-day skiing

Although it's difficult to keep ski pass costs down, it's worth choosing a pass that best suits your needs. For example, with little ones, you'll not want to ski all day. You're therefore better off choosing consecutive half-days for skiing, meaning you can spend the mornings or afternoons enjoying other mountain activities. Why not practise your sledging, go snowshoe hiking with the children, enjoy the inevitable snowball fights or build amazing snowmen together as a family?

3. Winter holidays are not just about the skiing

A week in the mountains with the family or the perfect opportunity to try out cross-country skiing, snowshoe hiking or ice skating? It's often the case that the costs for hiring equipment and any passes for these activities are much lower or even free. It's worth keeping our top tip of skiing for half a day in mind.

4. Before you head off on holiday

You can book your equipment online before you leave – saving you time and money, which is a huge bonus when arrival day is already hectic! Think about your food for the week and do some shopping in advance. Again, you'll save time and money, which is no bad thing. You can also go for picnics and have lunch out on the slopes, which has the added benefit of avoiding huge mountain restaurant bills. Buy your and your children's clothes second-hand, or borrow them from friends and family. Children grow so quickly that it's worth sharing wardrobes!

5. Take the train

Arrive at the ski slopes by train – it's fast, easy and can be part of your low-budget plan. On Saturdays in winter, Thalys Snow can sweep you away to Moûtiers, Aime-La Plagne or Bourg-St-Maurice; TGV® also connects numerous French towns to winter resorts. You can find more information on our Winter Sports page. The following Famille Plus resorts are included among those served by Thalys Snow or TGV® trains: Valmorel, Les Ménuires, Val Thorens, Méribel, Courchevel, La Rosière and Val d’Isère.

To the slopes!