Skiing with kids
Skiing with children takes more planning than in your dinky or single days. But it can be a fabulous holiday for all the family.
So let's be opinionated here. I like taking kids skiing, though it is different, and they key is making it as easy on yourselves and them as possible.
Key features of good family ski holiday for me:
- Easy travel and short transfer (Eurostar is most relaxing family way to go we've found, with 20-30mins transfer to the resort after a 7 hour train journey from London). Kids can go off exploring the train. Bring games and picnic.
- Catered chalet - you are all fed (early meals for kids), you have people to chat to in the eves while your kids sleep, and you make good friends. In hotels it is much more awkward to have kids asleep while you are up. Self-catering also a pos but the luxury of having meals cooked for you and other adults to chat to is a large part of the hol for me.
- Slopes close to accommodation - carrying kids skis and them having to walk in ski boots is terrible - so the nearer the slopes & lesson meeting points the better
- Plenty of easy confidence-boosting green and blue pistes (as well as other ones at your level), that are not of the road type (narrow and flat) - you want wide ones of relatively constant slope so kids don't have to tire out shuffling along. A resort that claims to be good for beginners basically.
- Avoid school holidays (especially half term) like the plague - bunk off school. This means quiet pistes and short queues - much more child-friendly. All of Feb is French half term. You kids learn a sport and to speak a few words of a foreign language so is very educational. School is over-rated anyway. Life is more fun.
- A choice of local ski school is good, as some independent ski schools have much smaller maximum class sizes.
- For young kids go for a British-run creche with British nannies, ideally as part of the ski company so they arrange all that when you book and creche is in/near your building. British because you are used to UK standards in childcare and want your kids understood. This is all the more important with your kids being veggie/vegan, and UK nannies also won't mind if the children are vaccinated or not.
- For skiing kids it's still nice to have an afternoon childcare service so you get a full day skiing when you want, as kids lessons tend to only lat the morning. The nannies pick up your kids from ski school and sometimes take them there too.
- Private nannies are not always so much fun unless there are lots of kids of similar age in your party or your kids are quite old or only babies. However the children are less likely to catch a rampant resort lergy from a nanny than in a creche.
- If you are with some kind of creche or nanny service you are likely to be offered an evening's babysitting on your chalet hosts' night off so you can go out.
Vegan and properly veggie kids seem too much hassle for some ski companies that cater for families. Those listed on the Veggie Snow website will be great. Independent chalets may be able to arrange or put you in touch with childcare, and we also list nanny services that we know to be good for veggies and vegans. Again, British childcare tends to be pretty hot on special diets anyway.
I would unreservedly recommend SkiBeat as a very child-friendly ski chalet company that is not so large that it doesn't have personal service. They have their own creches in nearly all their resort locations, though some are much nicer than others, La Rosiere's being particularly good. All SkiBeat's attention to detail is great and they have free ski guiding for intermediate and above skiers. See the Veggie Snow accommodation guide for SkiBeat locations.
Ski Club of GB family travel insurance is good value and covers you for unguided off piste which is rather unique. See our links page.
Author: Sophie Fenwick-Paul
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Story posted by on 2008-12-04 12:28:50.
Story last updated by on 2008-12-04 14:24:47.
Veggie Snow is a bunch of people who want to make it easier for you to cater for all the dairy-intolerant people, vegetarians and vegans who stay with you. People with special diets tend to be loyal customers who bring their friends. Giving them tasty dishes should serve you well and give you experience of making dairy-free dishes that are widely required and enjoyed.
Our tips and recipes will seriously help you if you have dairy-free or egg-free guests as well, as well as halal, kosher and other religious customers. Your eyes will be opened to a whole new tasty suite of dishes suitable for everyone.
There are no two ways about it, global warming is set to severely impact skiing in Europe and the rest of the world. So even if you are no environmentalist, if you want to be skiing in your later life, it's time to do something now!
We've found traveling by train to be the most restful and enjoyable way to the Alps. It is often the fastest, with short transfers, and can give you an extra couple of days skiing if you take a sleeper. We find that by taking a sleeper there is no better way to get there ready to ski. You'll also be helping the snow to last for many more years to come.
However, it is just not immediately obvious how easy it is to get to so many resorts in this way. So we're here to help.