TIPS ON FAMILY SKIING HOLIDAYS
5 tips for skiing holidays with toddlers and young children
If you love to ski, and now have a young family, you may be feeling apprehensive at the idea of taking your toddlers or young children to the mountains for the first time. Ski Famille have put together 5 top tips to makes skiing with young children hassle free and ensure you enjoy your first family skiing holiday.
1. Book a Child Friendly Ski Resort
Research any potential ski resorts and find one that’s not only family friendly, but also has activities and clubs purposely set up to cater for young children. There are lots of ski resorts across Europe that are great for families, some better than others, so it’s worth doing your research. Look out for resorts that are good for mixed ability family holidays, with excellent ski schools, confidence building slopes, and some more advanced runs to keep the more adventurous members of the family happy. Our favourites are Les Gets, La Plagne, and Les Menuires, which was recently announced as the best family ski resort in the 2015 Telegraph World Snow Awards. We also advise that you look out for accommodation that is specifically designed for families as they will often offer facilities and services such as those listed below. Not only will this mean you won’t have to bring your own, saving valuable space in those limited baggage allowances, but it will make the whole holiday easier and stress free.
- High chairs and cots
- Buggies suitable for the snow
- Complementary nappies and wipes
- Bed guards, baby baths and booster seats
- Sterilisers and baby monitors
- Playrooms complete with toys and games.
To make your ski holiday even easier, chalet accommodation designed specifically for family holidays will often offer childcare options meaning you can head out and enjoy the slopes safe in the knowledge that your child is being well looked after.
2. Book a holiday with friends or share a ski chalet with another family.
There are so many benefits to skiing with groups of friends or extended family. Not only can you share the costs, but you can book your accommodation together meaning the children can play amongst themselves giving you a chance to unwind and relax with a well-deserved glass of wine.
Ski chalets range in size from those sleeping single families, to sleeping 4 or 5 families, up to large chalet hotels sleeping over 100 people. This means that even if you holiday as a single family you’re likely to meet other similar minded parents who also love to ski, as well as some new play-mates for your children. At Ski Famille we often find that families who share a chalet one year often re-book and holiday again together the following season.
3. Practice and be prepared for the slopes
Skiing is great fun and hopefully your children will learn to love skiing as much as you do. However, if you have never taken toddlers or young children skiing before, immediately expecting them to hit the slopes may be a bit too much to ask! Before your ski holiday why not take your family for some practice runs at an indoor ski school or dry slope? This is likely to increase their confidence and will reduce the risk of any anxiety-induced temper tantrums once you’ve started your holiday. If your children are a still a bit young to don a pair of skis there often plenty of childcare activities to keep them entertained whilst you hit the slopes. Ski chalets tend to offer childcare services provided either in the comfort of your own ski chalet or in a centralised crèche, providing an action packed week of fun and games. Activities often include ice skating, baking, painting and igloo making which are sure to keep your little ones amused whilst you hit the piste.
4. It’s all about picking the right time to go skiing
If you are hoping to go skiing for a week or two, then one of the first things you will need to decide is when you want to go away. How about skiing on the first week of the season? Quieter slopes and shorter queues, as well as great savings on lift passes and accommodation are just some of the benefits you can expect, making this a great choice for a family skiing holiday.
January also tends to be a quieter time for most ski resorts, whilst half-term, Easter and the Christmas holidays tend to be more popular amongst family skiers. If you can get away outside of the school holidays, your ski resort will be quieter, the slopes will be clearer, and the ski schools will be less busy.
There are advantages to both skiing during the school holidays and outside of them, of course. But if you are skiing with toddlers and younger children for the first time you may want to consider going outside of peak times. We have some fantastic offers on family chalets on both half term and other off peak dates meaning you’re sure to find something to fit in with your busy schedule.
5. Rent or buy? And what to pack.
If you have young children and only plan on skiing once or twice a year we would recommend hiring their ski equipment instead of buying it all and having to replace it the following year. We have strong relationships with ski hire shops in all of our resorts and you can pre-book everything before you go, and then just pick it up when you arrive in resort. In terms of ski gear, young children are likely to grow out it pretty quickly so check out places such as eBay, TK Maxx and Sports Direct. We have put together a quick list to make sure you get all the essentials for your children on their ski holiday:
- Waterproof Ski Gloves
- Ski Googles
- Thermals/Base Layers
- Thick Socks
- A Warm Hat
- Sun cream
- Salopettes and a Ski Jacket / All in one
- Long sleeved tops
- It’s also important to think about the little extras such as snacks and a mini first aid kit for those bumps and scrapes!