When the first snowflakes fly, Canadians react in two different ways. “Yikes it’s snowing; I’d better book a sun holiday!”, or “Yay it’s snowing; I’d better book a ski holiday!” Whether the flurries make you run for your swimsuit or dash for your snowsuit, both sun and ski holidays have their up sides, and things you want to consider before booking.
Benefits of a sun holiday:
- It’s hot! This is of course the number one benefit. Out of the cold and into the heat.
- Some resorts have activities and kids’ clubs included, which can be great from a budget and a “things to do” perspective.
- Usually food and drinks are included at sun resorts; helps to budget, try new and local foods, and not worry about additional costs.
- Little kids love digging in the sand, jumping in the waves, and paddling in the pool. Great, easy, fun.
- Bigger kids have access to sports like kayaking, sailing, canoeing, and pool sports.
- Because you’re just packing your swimsuit and a few summer clothing items, you can likely fit everything into a carry-on bag and not incur extra luggage charges.
Things to consider when booking a sun holiday:
- Because food and drink is often included in your price, it’s very easy to overeat and drink too much, coming home much unhealthier than when you left.
- The older kids can get bored as Teen Clubs rarely appeal to them. It’s far easier for them to be on their phones (most resorts have free Wi-Fi) than actually doing something, or spending quality family time together.
- Sun resorts can be very expensive at peak times; once the snow falls, bookings go through the roof. It’s all supply and demand.
- Due to the strong sun, babies and toddlers can get sunstroke and sun burns quite easily if parents aren’t diligent with sun coverage.
- Many resorts serve only buffet style, which can be tricky if you have allergies or food intolerances.
Benefits of a ski holiday:
- It’s a super active vacation. Everyone gets a work out and crisp clean mountain air. It’s a great way for the whole family to get active together.
- All ski resorts offer ski schools, and often lessons are included in your booking package. The kids get to improve their skiing and make new friends, and the adults get ski alone time.
- Taking the chair lift with your teenager is a great way to catch up with them. They’re trapped! And no phones allowed on the lifts or slopes, right?
- The kids are exhausted (in a good way) at the end of the day, so you can all relax and chill at your ski condo or hotel.
- Many ski resorts have a good inventory of condos and cabins that come with kitchens so you can cut down on your food costs and eat in the convenience of your residence.
- There are usually other activities at a ski resort besides skiing, for the non-skiers, including fat biking, snowshoeing, and sledding.
Things to consider on a ski holiday:
- The equipment can be a hassle to take, and alternatively, expensive to rent on site.
- The snow conditions can vary wildly, and the temperatures can get uncomfortably cold, particularly if you don’t have the right ski clothing.
- You are exhausted at the end of the day; hopefully the kids are worn out too, but an active baby or toddler who has been in a daycare all day can be hard to manage when you’re tired.
- Most ski resorts are not all inclusive and costs of food and drink in ski resort villages can be high.
- You usually have to check your luggage as you have warm winter gear and potentially ski equipment packed. For a family, these extra luggage charges can add up, and you’ll have an even bigger expense if your luggage is lost or delayed.
Whichever type of holiday you decide to book, don’t forget to take along your Kobo Aura One; it’s waterproof so it’ll be perfect for either the beach or the après ski hot tub.
About Kathy Buckworth
Author, I Am So The Boss Of You (Random House)
Chief Family Advisor, PCFinancial & PCPlus
Columnist, “Parent Hacks” Post City Magazines
Travel Feature Writer, Metro News
TV Columnist, “Get Set, Go!” CHCH Morning Live
Radio Columnist, “How She Travels” on What She Said Talk Radio