7 Top tips for the perfect family ski holiday

18 Jan 2018

There are some small but essential things to consider that could make or break your family ski holiday. Here are our top 7 tips to ensure the perfect family ski trip.

You’ve organised your flights. You’ve booked your accommodation. You’ve found ski schools and even managed to kit out the kids in new ski clothes after their summer growth spurts! So what else could you possibly need for your family ski holiday? The answer is, a lot. These are our make or break top 7 tips for the perfect family ski trip.

1. Good Gloves

OK, this seems like a small one to start with, but cold hands, (and cold feet, cold heads and cold necks) all contribute to one thing, and one thing only – unhappiness. Make sure you pack them. Then get spares. Keep the dry spares in your mountain back pack and make it your daily ‘have we got everything’ mantra before you leave the chalet - gloves, beanie, neck warmer, good socks.

N.B. Thermal under layers are also included in this essential lists. Better to need to take layers off than be desperate for them when you are far far from your warm chalet.

2. Mountain Back Pack

You need one. Even if they really aren’t your cup of tea. If you can leave it in a ski locker or at a central meeting point ready for your breaks and lunches. In it you you’ll need all important water (mountain air is drying, sport dehydrating, hydration is a must), you need it for snacks (kids need very regular energy refills), you need it for nose cleaning tissues, and we’d suggest some thin but important extra layers. You could also pop some sunglasses in here but make sure you ski in goggles. It is also important to make proper use of the pockets on your ski jacket for mini versions of all of the above (mini water, mini snack, mini tissues). Eventually, one day in the future, everyone will be self-sufficient super skiers and the back pack will be redundant. For now, its great to have a central store for the little and big things that the family will need during the day.

N.B. Don’t wear it on the ski-lifts

3. Pockets

Jackets might look nice. Salopettes might make you look slim. But if they do not posses many many functional and fully closing pockets, do NOT buy them. Good pockets are essential on the mountain We can’t stress this enough. They will determine the kind of day you have. They hold and keep safe mountain essentials (such as water and small snacks). For little kids it means you can put snacks and water on them for their instructors to easily use. For mountain safety essentials, like a fully charged mobile phone. Pockets. Pockets. Pockets. Say it with us.

4. Snacks

Children’s energy levels deplete fast, and getting a child across an unfamiliar mountain to find a much needed restaurant or snack stop will not happy holiday memories make. Make sure you all have your own snacks (in your many pockets, see above) and more in the backpack, and consider getting yourself a mountain guide (see below). Nuts and dried fruits work brilliantly. We always have almonds in our internal pocket to snack on button and chair lifts. We tried bananas but they are not quite robust enough! Power energy balls such as are also great. If all else fails who doesn't love a mini Mars Bar?

5. Don't do too much

It’s easy to want to do as much as possible when on holiday, especially when in the mountains to ski, but in reality people get tired, kids even more so. The only people on the mountain all day every day are instructors and mountains guides and they do so as part of their job, are well trained and mountain adjusted. Expecting a family, especially young kids, to do the same as the professionals is, to be honest, giving them a rather unfair endurance challenge. Book in other activities. Break up the day. Arrange less and also stop skiing BEFORE everyone starts to feel tired. Book in a mid-week afternoon off the mountain, or slightly different snow activities some afternoons or afternoons to break up all the skiing, such as sledding, snow mobiles, aqua parks, the cinema, bowling, nature walks or hangout in your luxury chalet. There are so many things to do in a ski resort both on and off the mountain.

6. Use an Instructor

A ski instructor or guide can offer more than just instruction. They will be able to assess your family group and allocate time and activities to suit you all AND ensure people don’t get tired. They will also make sure you don’t end up taking nervous skiers down inappropriate (and confidence crushing) runs, or that beginners get pushed too fast and hurt themselves. On top of that they know the mountain so well – where to stop, where to break and where to lunch. They can pick central locations where families can spend an entire day all enjoying slightly different runs and activities while creating lessons for everyone around this. Just ask our concierge for the recommendations.

7. Use our concierge

We spend every day of the year creating mountain holidays for families so not only do we have lots of experience, we have an excellent black book of contacts and priority hotlines to all the best people and places. It’s part of your BC luxury ski holiday so get in touch and let us create the perfect family ski holiday.

Get in touch with our concierge team to help organise the final touches for your family ski holiday.


Author: Claire Garber

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