Family ski holidays are awesome but when you have children around, things can always get a little harder than usual. Fear not, because if you plan right and book the right places a family ski holiday is amazing. The Alps are an excellent choice of destination to start your family ski adventure, be that in France or other nearby Alpine countries. Here are some tips for newbies which will help you see that every age group can joy a ski holiday on the Alps.
Prepare the whole family for skiing
As this is your child’s very first ski trip, they might not have a clue about what skiing actually is. To prepare your kids for a skiing trip you must put in some work before you go.
One of the most important things to do is to make sure the family are fit enough for skiing before you travel. Skiing can be a really tiring activity and it can be hard to keep it up for more than a day or two if you aren’t fit enough. The best way to prepare is to do active outdoor activities together before you go. These might include walking, bike riding or trying out skiing at your local dry slopes. Remember if your children are too tired and achy they won’t be having fun, so by making sure they are prepared you will make your more enjoyable for everyone.
Another way to prepare is to explain and show your kids what the ski the resorts are like. Talking to your children about what they will be doing in any holiday situation is a great way to get them into the mood of the trip. Show them photos and videos of the resort you will be staying at and of the activities that you can all do together. Managing their expectations will make everyone more prepared. They will know what to expect and the experience won’t be so daunting for them when you arrive.
Stay in a Chalet with Childcare
Finding the right place to stay is the main thing you need to think about when booking a family ski holiday. For your child’s first ski holiday it is recommended that staying in a family chalet is the best option.
You should choose the best family ski operator who specialise in family ski holidays and they will have everything you need for a stay with small children. This may include having nappies, wipes and even baby food so you don’t have to bring these along with you as well as everything else babies require. Booking with a company that knows what families need means you’ll have everything your family can hope for when staying away with any age of child.
Some chalets will give you all-terrain buggies for use during your stay which can be used in the snow to get to the main resort areas. Worried about safety? Child friendly chalets have health and safety features that you would use at home. Things such as bed guards, stair gates, cot beds and high chairs come as standard in child
For very young children you can also book childcare which is perfect for those little ones who are not old enough to ski. Even if the children can ski they may not be able to spend the same amount of time as the adults on the slopes. Don’t worry though, when you book with a reputable company you will have fully qualified staff who are enhanced CRB checked, fully referenced checked and first aid trained at your disposal.
Book children’s ski lessons and kid’s clubs
Ski lessons are a must if you want your children to learn to ski. Don’t think you can teach them yourself, they will get the most out of their experience if they are being taught by a qualified instructor. There are teachers who are specially trained to engage and encourage learning in youngsters.
Children can learn to ski from around 3 years old, and the requirements for most regular ski schools are that the kids are potty trained, they can follow and understand simple instructions and have the ability to communicate well too.
Kids ski lessons only last a couple of hours depending on their age as they can get tired very quickly. It’s hard work! Specially trained ski instructors know how to teach children and make learning fun and enjoyable. But of course, they are very safe too. The great thing is they will learn with other children of the same age and make friends during the course of their lessons.
When the kids aren’t skiing they can take part in kid’s clubs that arrange different activities for children to enjoy. It’s great for kids who are not able to try skiing just yet and as an alternative activity between lessons.
Remember to be patient
If you are used to adult ski holidays then travelling with the family will be a whole new experience. You might find it difficult at times, especially when you don’t have the time and the freedom that you once did. Also, the cold weather might be a shock to their system.
Kids will get bored and tired when trying new activities. They will most likely enjoy it but they will also get agitated and grumpy of they are over tired. You might be used to the cold, the language and the food, but kids don’t understand the differences they will experience during your holiday.
Make them excited, include them in the fun and explore and play together in the snow. They will enjoy the experience on their own terms, they just need to adjust to the setting, so let them fit in.
Enjoy yourselves too
Remember the joys of Après Ski? Well you don’t have to just stay in your chalet now you have kids. Take advantage of childcare or baby-sitting services and enjoy a night out in the town.
There are also plenty of activities that you can enjoy in resort together as a family. These might include tobogganing, ice skating, swimming and even watching a film at the cinema. It can be a great way to reconnect at the end of the day, especially if you have been having separate lessons.
The best thing to do is to relax. It’s your holiday after all and you want the whole family, including yourself to have a good time. Take time out to talk about your day and plan the next one, the children will end up being just as enthusiastic about skiing as you!
Are you ready for your first family ski trip?
In the beginning it might seem daunting, but you can do this. You know your own family, so keeping loosely to your usual routine will help to make the trip go smoother. Take advantage of all the help and assistance on offer for families like you. Book the right child friendly place to stay and make sure you arrange the kids ski lessons in advance. That way once you arrive all that’s left to do is relax and have fun! Are you ready for your first family ski trip?