Organising, buying ski gear and packing might be stressful enough without young children in tow, but you shouldn’t miss out on your annual ski trip just because you have a toddler. Here’s how to make the most of your family ski trip and have a fantastic time. There are so many resorts out there that cater specially for families with young children, there’s no excuse!
Hitting the slopes at the very start or very end of the season has its benefits. The resorts will be quieter, you’ll queue less to access the slopes and the ski schools will have fewer people. If you have older children who are in school, this will not be possible, but we highly recommend low season when you have toddlers.
The Christmas holidays and half-term breaks are always the busiest points for families. If possible, aim for the first week of January after the holiday period of, if you’re only going for a few days, the final days of the half-term break will be quietest.
This is imperative. While kid-friendly options will give you plenty of children’s activities on and off the slopes, you need to have fun too. Choosing somewhere that accommodates the whole family, complete with chill-out places for you and your partner, as well as babysitting options, to guarantee a relaxing holiday. These resorts will provide all the essentials in baby changing, food-prep, and children’s entertainment but really facilitate family fun, rather than leaving the children to their own activities.
Things to look for: snow buggies, high chairs, cots or bed guards, baby monitors, food prep equipment, indoor crèche.
REMEMBER to check the ski-school ages of the resort before you book. Arriving and being told your child is too young wouldn’t be ideal. Be aware that many schools accept children aged 3 and above; private one-to-one sessions may be negotiable with younger children too.
If you want the best of everything: good location, family-friendly, childcare options, and flights at reasonable times, book as soon as you can. It’s often much cheaper to book in advance too. Opt for a flexible booking where you can add or change the people you’re going along with.
Skiing holidays are a great time for socialising with extended family, as well as hanging out with friends. Invite friends and family who have children of their own or love spending time with yours. You’ll be able to take turns childminding and take turns relaxing too. If you can tempt the grand-parents along, they’ll be delighted to spend time looking after the grand-kids!
If possible, check out your nearest indoor ski school. They’re a great way to teach your child what to expect when they experience the real thing and they’ll also feel more confident about getting out on the slopes.
If they’re too young for ski school, prepare them by talking to them about the snow and the holiday. Show them videos of children skiing. It’s also key to get them accustomed to the heavy clothes, so always have a dress rehearsal with them wearing all their snow gear.
Be conscious that, while the weather is chilly, ski resorts are often very warm and toasty. Take along their usual bed clothes and any sleeping aids to make them feel comfortable. We recommend taking a thermometer, to ensure that the temperature stays between 16-20 degrees.
Sun protection is a must. While it may not be hot, the slopes often get a lot of sunshine. Buy some UVA protection sunglasses for your little ones, as well as packing some SPF 50 to keep them protected.
Pack your usual baby food, nappies and other things you use on a daily basis. If this is a lot to carry, consider ordering it to your resort or collecting the essentials at the airport.
Resorts are so well-equipped these days it’s tempting to soak up the warmth and have the children amuse themselves in the crèche or with the other indoor activities all day. Wrap them up warm and show them how much fun they can have outside in the snow. You’ll be able to hire snow buggies and sledges, if they’re too young for the ski classes.
The cool fresh air can work wonders for everyone’s health so make sure the whole family spends time in the great outdoors.
With all of the excitement of being on holiday and playing out in the snow every day, it’s easy for yours and your children’s eating and sleeping routines to be throw off balance. Try to keep nap times and bed times as close to the usual routine, but don’t stress too much if they’re sleeping for longer or the routine shifts slightly. With eating, it can be tough to plan mealtimes, but pack snacks and aim to eat at regular intervals.
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