Family holidays are one of the greatest pleasures in life, but as with all good things, they can be quite a challenge! Skiing holidays can be full of fun, action and achievement out on the slopes, but it goes without saying that there will be extra considerations involved when planning an adventure sport trip. So just how can parents make skiing holidays as stress-free as possible and make the time enjoyable for all the family? Below are some tips on how to keep the kids happy and, if you are lucky, even convert them into skiing enthusiasts!
Bring the right clothing
Nothing is worse than getting to your catered ski chalets, France and finding your few jumpers and jackets just aren’t enough to contend with the freezing temperatures. Cosying up by the fire, apres-ski, is one thing, but if you don’t already have clothing suitable for the sport itself, you may find you have a few miserable days on your hands. If you’re going to make a habit of skiing, invest in a few thermal under-layers, wet socks and waterproof jackets for all of the family, or, to save money, rent some when you get there.
Most parents are probably more on edge about the prospect of their children skiing than the children themselves. Given the nature of the sport, this is perfectly normal and natural, but the key is not to let them know that you’re panicking. Keep calm and level headed, at least on the outside, as kids are quick to pick up on the overall mood, and knowing you are worried will only cause them to freak out all the more, discouraging them from taking part.
Choose an appropriate resort
When researching resorts, look for ones that cater for beginners and are child-friendly. Some, like Courchevel in France have easier, less crowded slopes and instructors available that are patient and trained to deal with newbies. You don’t want to turn up to somewhere that is focused on advanced skiing and full of pros. This will intimidate the kids, especially if they can’t see other people around their age around them.
Keep the kids occupied
If you have a few non-skiers in the party or just fancy a break, don’t forget to check out a resort’s apres-ski facilities before you book. Ice skating, bowling and cinema options are all common, and you can usually hire babysitters via your catered ski chalet to give you a chance to soak up some of the more sophisticated cocktail venues. The Austrian resort of Alpbach is a favourite among British families, as well as Puy St Vincent in France, both of which have excellent childcare facilities and a family-friendly atmosphere, on and off the slopes.