Planning ski holiday for family that doesn't cost a month salary

I’m looking to plan a ski holiday with the family, about 4 to 6 days in February 2025. We are 3 adults and 3 kids (below 10). We went once in Anzère but the slopes were really not family friendly and the kids area was super small with 2 lifts, one barely usable without help. The rest of the domain is mostly red and not the easy ones.

We are willing to travel a bit if necessary, we live in central Switzerland, we could go to Valais, Mittelland or even travel further to Austria if it’s interesting.

I found some possible resort, in Mittelland or Lech/zürs/St Anton in Austria, close to Switzerland, but when it comes to find an accommodation on the tourism website or booking, price start at 1000frs per night (often 2x500frs as we would need 2 rooms, or a larger apartment). I know ski holiday are expensive, but it couldn’t be that the only options, more than 6 months before, are only in the 500+ range per night.

Am I doing my research in the wrong way? Is there other resources to find affordable accommodations at ski resort?
Any tips on a resort that is great for families and not too expensive when counting accommodation, ski abo, ski school, some foods outside other than sandwich everyday…

Check out St. Luc / Chandolin (moderate prices, older lifts but no problem in my opinion) or Sörenberg (very family friendly slopes, not to say boring slopes for good skiers).


I’d check the Aletsch arena - it was not overly expensive for an ad-hoc weekend in the middle of the last season for us.
Accommodation is decent, ski passes are reasonable (I guess because not easily accessible on a daily basis from larger towns), and the slopes are wide and of solid blue-red variety.

Edit: Not sure about the ski school prices though.

Hotel Fiescherhof, 5 nights Feb 8-13, for 2+2 = 850 chf.
Sounds reasonable to me.

I think one of the main tricks is to find cheap accommodation is to not use things like, airbnb, etc. What I found weird but it is still the case in many swiss resorts that there is no single aggregator for apartments (not sure whether you are looking for hotel only), usually every resort has it is own way to find it. For example, already mentioned Chandolin, there is one agency which is managing the most of the properties and you have to call/email them to get an offer.

Another point is that affordable apartments are rented usually for 7 days minimum Saturday to Saturday.

We liked Chandolin (went there last 2 years) but you have to be ready to take a bus / car to the lift. St-Luc area could be a bit more accessible and with more blue runs. The big plus that there was snow!!! both years comparing to other places which something you have to keep in mind now and becomes more and more risky.

One place I will mentioned specifically for kids which are not good at ski yet is Leukerbad, they have beginners area directly in the city which is quite big and almost free if you stay there (covered by city tax if I remember correctly) but then the main area is a bit advanced and not too big.

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I’ve been planning and going on group ski holidays to Zillertal for 10+ years, since long before moving to Switzerland. It’s our go-to option because it’s easily reached from Germany (but also reasonable from Zurich by Railjet), and because I’ve yet to find a better price-to-value alternative in the region.

The further down the valley you stay, the more affordable your options will become. Your week pass will still let you ski everything between Fügen, Königsleiten and Hintertux. With a valid ski pass, you can use reliable public transport (buses and the train) for free.

more than 6 months before

This is where it gets difficult. We try to book accomodation for the following year before we go home, and even then we sometimes don’t manage (owner changed platform → same week one year later already booked).

Between, Interchalet, but also, we’ve been through various booking platforms, and I wouldn’t be able to give a clear recommendation. I would check them in that order.

If you travel by car, e.g. (Hoch-)Schwendberg could be a in interesting, affordable option with easy access to the Mayrhofen ski resort via the new Möslbahn (opened in 2018). That’s where we’re going for a week next February. EUR 3k all-in, 2 apartments for 11 adults + 4 small children. Owners claim room for 19, but some of the room layouts are ridiculous and there are only 2 bathrooms:

To elaborate some more wrt moving “down the valley”: Kaltenbach / Hochfügen is the most beginner / child friendly area IMHO. Maybe look into Fügen/Kapfing/Uderns. 10 mins max. by train + 10 mins walking to the ski lift. For rest days, there’s a very nice yet affordable pool & spa nearby (Erlebnistherme Zillertal).

edit: A few more changes because I somehow managed to confuse St. Anton am Arlberg with Mayrhofen im Zillertal :joy:


Camping/campervan can be a chaper option.

We sometimes also do shorter day trips skiing then you don’t have accommodation costs - assuming you live near a suitable slope.

Thank you all for the valuable information. I just didn’t think to contact local immo agencies, I’m really not used to these ski holidays as I was living in the mountain as a kid and was just skiing there all winter, then I stopped skiing for years and want to start again with my kids.

I was looking at Austria as a cheaper option, but it looks like only the resort far from Switzerland are affordable, the 3-4 ones close to Lichtenstein looks horribly expensive (at least for housing), or we are too late already. We might stay in Switzerland for next season probably. St-Luc looks quite nice, kids area seams conveniently located, the slopes for us, adults, are enough, we have anyway just a couple hours to fully enjoy without kids in the morning, we cannot ride across a huge domain and risk to not be back on time for the end of the lesson. Thanks for the tip @IL-BOSCO .

I’m looking for housing with a local agency, it looks like our week is quite busy, even if it’s not the same week as Vaud/Valais holidays as far as I know.

The second option could be Aletsch as mentioned by @dbu I don’t find anything below 1500frs per week (for 6) but I will have another look, maybe also with a local agency, still much better than the 5’000 to 15’000 I have seen in Austria St Anton :money_mouth_face:

Also zillertal, Interchalet and piaunddrik are new to me, thanks for these new source @prodent .

I also found Reka apartment at Hasliberg but right the week we are is full (there is only one for handicapped person but they don’t allow to rent it if you don’t need these special equipment as I understood), as it’s the school holiday in the region, so no surprise, maybe for the following year if we book even earlier.

Maybe you can exploit different cantonal holidays. For example during Geneva or Vaud school holidays everything in Vaud and French speaking Valais is full but if Basel holidays are on a different week there can still be spaces (might be lower price). You can find the cantonal holidays online

For this we are lucky, we are living in Solothurn and only Zug seams to have holidays the same week. But still a lot of resorts are full already (at least first price are gone), people are booking right when they leave for the next year already most probably. I will see the answer from the agencies I contacted.

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I would recommend Reka apartments, but they fill out basically the moment they open reservations on the internet. We reserved in summer 2023 for winter 2025.
5 min after reservation opened they were already gone.
Quite insane.

The main problem is snow. You can gamble and go to lower altitude regions but risk the lack of snow (or only artificial snow).

I liked for families Toggenburg (churfisten). I think you can find something payable there, maybe even look into the Reka Feriendorf there.
There is a railway going up to a snow garden, then a couple of easy slope for kids.

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