If photo’s of Will and Kate holidaying in Courchevel with their ever-so delightful family were anything to go by – a snow vacation would appear the ultimate fun-filled family break. Yet in reality, if you were to ask most parents who have attempted this to honestly recall their family ski holiday experiences, many recounts are likely to resemble something a little like this.
It seems a rational equation really, when you put some little cold bodies in puffy coats and onesies and then add some awkward boots, some heighten moments of frustration are to be expected….. and that’s all before you’ve actually hit the slopes with skis!
But guess what… With a little organisation and some preemptive thinking, a ski holiday can and should be fantastic fun for all. Therefore, as Easter looms and many families get ready to hit the slopes for the holidays, here are some trial and tested tips to ensure happy mums, dads and kids on the slopes.
1. Don’t skimp!
There is nothing like venturing into the wilderness with a tent but skiing with the family is no time to rough it. Let’s face it, skiing is a workout! Backing up for day 2 on the snow (let alone day 3) will be a downhill disaster without a comfortable chalet to unwind in at the end of a long day. Trust me when I say, don’t go for a self catered option. Do the math: shopping and cooking for tired and extra hungry kids when your tired and hungry yourself is not wise! Relax and let someone else do the hard work, after-all your on holiday.
2. Be one step ahead
Organisation is key! If you’re not using the expertise of a travel agent or concierge service then make sure you have done your research and booked everything ahead of time… and this means everything: lift passes, lessons, equipment, transport, childcare, or even a table for lunch. The aim of the game is to avoid missing out or waiting around unnecessarily in the cold.
3. Get familiar on a dry slope
If possible, seek out lessons at a dry slope like at London’s ChelSki on the Kings Rd. It will give your kids a quick preview of what to expect and a massive boost of confidence. Come time for your holiday, they will be ready to showoff everything they have already mastered.
4. Dress your children appropriately
You would think this would go with out saying but sometimes the obvious needs to be said! Layer up little ones all snug and warm with easy to add and remove articles clothing.
5. Stack on a Crash hat.
A helmet is an essential piece of equipment for learners of any age (or for anyone of that matter). At many Ski schools helmets are not optional, so don’t take the risk of showing up without one or you may run the risk of being refused lessons. Evidently, of utmost importance is the need to protect the heads of your young and fearless, who most certainly will not demonstrate your same sense of parental caution.
6. A Nanny
Ok, this is not a necessity for all families and is largely dependent on the age of your children but just remember – this is your holiday too! Come Monday morning when your back in the office, the last thing you want is to be pining for the break you haven’t had. It’s worth noting; bringing your own Nanny or using a in-house chalet Nanny, over opting for a creche or kids club, will allow for more flexibility within your schedule. For example, enjoy après ski drinks without the count down of a clock to collection time.
If all else fails, resort to chocolate. Chocolate makes for the perfect afternoon pick me up, heals all bumps and bruises and possesses the power to diffuse any heated moment. Admittedly, Amelia Rope’s adorable chocolate ski’s make a perfect little treat and are bound to crack smile.