Morzine is at the heart of the Portes du Soleil, a vast ski area with statistics to dwarf other resorts. There are 650km of groomed runs – the largest linked ski area in the world – taking in 12 traditional towns and villages across both France and Switzerland. The unique selling point of the Portes du Soleil is the on-snow experience.
You needn’t put your ski holiday on hold because of a new arrival. For us, the important tip when travelling with really young children is to get the right childcare in place to start and to be realistic about how much time you will want to spend on the slopes.
We work with some great private nannies, many of whom have experience of working in private households or in other luxury hospitality environments. Typically, we would suggest booking them for full days, but we wouldn’t necessarily plan to spend every hour out on the slopes. Our nannies will join you first thing in the morning, usually whilst you are finishing breakfast so that they can then meet the child and be introduced. We find this is usually a ‘good time of day’ for most children as they are both rested and fed – two essentials for any infant! The nanny can then start to get to know the child whilst you get ready… or perhaps enjoy a second coffee in a little more peace than usual. This also means you can build up trust with the person who will look after your child.
Sarah, one of our founding directors and mother of two says “when our kids were really young we would tend not to head out to the slopes until about 10am… we didn’t want to put pressure on ourselves to be out of the door at an unrealistic time, and we wanted to make sure our child was properly settled with the nanny.”
“We would then do most of our skiing before heading for slightly late lunch. Sometimes we would ask the nanny to join us with our child, but if all was going well, we might leave them to it and enjoy some time alone. The great thing now is that with WhatsApp you can easily keep in loose contact to the level you need to… most of the nannies we work with are professionals and used to sending the odd pic and update to keep parents minds at rest.”
“Most days we would tend to limit our skiing in the afternoons… partly because frankly, being a parent is already quite exhausting let alone trying to ski all day… but also because the chalets have such excellent facilities we want to get back to enjoy them. This is again where that little bit of extra childcare time really helps… it just means there is that extra pair of hands around whilst we can enjoy afternoon tea – a catered chalet institution – talk with our friends, or perhaps sneak away to the spa briefly. We would then take back over in the lead up to our child’s tea time, feeling nicely relaxed and ready for the final bedtime regime.”
On some days, much like they would at home, the nannies will often try to get the child out and about a little during the day, so they won’t just be stuck in the chalet. Sarah says “on our last trip our nanny met up with another who was looking after a similar age of child. We were really happy about this… by that time we were more than confident she was doing an excellent job of looking after our child, and it was nice for them to get out and enjoy some new experiences as well… they were beaming at the end of the day so they obviously had a good time and it meant we got in an extra couple of runs which we weren’t expecting.”