Some parents are of the opinion that their children shouldn’t have foreign holidays until their teens. ‘If Norfolk/Cornwall/Skegness was good enough for me,’ the parental logic goes, ‘then it’s good enough for them.’ Fine, everybody is entitled to an opinion, but there is one particular holiday type where we beg to differ, and that’s skiing. 

We all know that children are miraculous sponges, soaking up new information and skills at a rate that puts us oldies to shame, but thatequally miraculous rubberness – the ability to recover from bumps and scrapes – does, unfortunately, eventually wear off, so it pays to get them on the slopes before falling over really starts to hurt.

I’m certainly not advocating plonking a two year old in ski school, and it’s said that a seven year old is normally as good aged ten as a child who started at four, but leaving it much later than ten means your children may well be playing catch up.

So the million dollar question? Where to ski with children? As a sweeping generalisation, French ski schools are a bit bossy, Italians a bit too relaxed and the Swiss a bit too… well, Swiss. I’d plump for Austria and particularly the Arlberg ski region with its picture perfect Alpine villages, superb instructors and in the likes of Lech, a Miniclub that even has an on-piste kindergarten and ski school where the children also learn the extremely important arts of snowball and snowman making.

Tom Barber
Original Travel