Life can pass in a blur sometimes and that is never more true than when you have little children. Before you know it they will be all grown up and heading off to school‚ becoming more independent by the minute. If I had my time again I would have taken advantage of the baby/toddler freedoms and more specifically skied out of peak season more than we did!
Once you get into the school system it is going to be nearly 15 years before you regain your freedom to holiday as and when you choose‚ so as much as life is frantic right now don't miss this opportunity!
We embarked our our first family ski trip when the kids were 4 and 2. We were super lucky with the weather and snow conditions and the week was a great success. Three years on and that first trip is still a regular topic of conversation around the dinner table!
Whether your children are still babes in arms or 3+ and ready to try out ski school here are my top ten tips on how best to enjoy a ski trip with your little ones. That said – if skiing is not for you there are no laws to stop you just hanging out in the mountains and not even putting skis on. Whatever your preference‚ the majestic scenery and fresh mountain air is sure to make for a great break from the home routine.
Take Granny – a brilliant opportunity to spend quality time with the wider family and most likely you will get plenty of help with the childcare.
Choose a resort with a short transfer time – regional airports and short transfer times can reduce the risk of a long‚ stressful travel day and the need for another holiday as soon as you get home again.
Consider a specialist family operator – the specialists include in-house child care‚ facilities and baby equipment. I offer impartial advice to ensure you book the right holiday for your family.
Self Catering Apartments - for more of a home from home you can opt for a self catering apartment. Don't fret – it is still possible to make arrangements for meals to be provided but leaves you the space and freedom to run by your own routine.
Go Luxe – if your children are really little there are many properties that charge a nominal fee to bring them along – make the most of it now and enjoy a more luxury stay as they will cost you a fortune in no time! Many offer childcare on site and beautiful spa's for some well deserved 'me' time.
Use an in-resort nanny service – you deserve a break so use the services of a professional so you can get some time on the slopes.
Child Friendly Weeks – resorts are becoming more child friendly year on year. Some have selected children's weeks where they offer extra events to entertain the little ones‚ freebies or even accommodation discounts.
Ski school - once your child is out of nappies (general rule – varies per company) they can join in ski school. Seeing the tiny's whizzing past at high speed is definitely a proud parent moment to behold!
Child Friendly Après Ski - choose a resort with plenty of off-slope activities (for parents and children alike). Make memories with snowman building‚ sledging and horse drawn carriage rides. Many resorts have a decent local children's pool or hangout in your chalet playing games. If you have childcare you may want to après in a bar‚ indulge in a spa or relax by a roaring fire with a good book.
What to take - you don't need to pack the kitchen sink! These days it is usual to be offered basic baby/child equipment by your accommodation and in many instances it is possible to get everything you need in resort.
The weather is so unpredictable from one season to the next these days but if you plan to travel towards the end of the ski season in Spring you should find warmer and longer days which will be preferable for both adults and children. Depending on the age of your child it is likely that they'll want to spend all day outdoor soaking up the mountain vibes. Ensure you have plenty of suitable clothing (and sun cream) to wrap them up warm and you'll be ready for a fabulous family holiday.
When travelling with children you want to know the set up will work and that both the destination and getting there will be suitable (and easy!). My services cover all that and there is no charge for my experience so please use it! Whether this is food for thought for next season or you can head to the mountains this April to make the most of the momentous conditions we've had this year, everything is possible!