- Go for catered accommodation
I’m usually all about self-catering on holidays with kids, but going with a company that provides meals is such a godsend when you are skiing. Not only are you using up way more energy than the average holiday (not just on the slopes, but in getting three kids into a million layers and then marching them through snow, then entertaining them in the afternoon too) so you are way too exhausted to feed yourself and the kids – but it also saves fitting supermarket trips into the schedule and working out how you’ll trudge there with the kids in the snow. We chose the holiday company Morealps, which meant we had breakfast prepared every morning, a freshly cooked cake mid-afternoon, the kid’s dinner at 5pm, and a 3-course dinner (with the option of cheese too, which we never managed) for the adults at 8pm. It worked really well – and meant that even though the days were tiring, the evenings really did feel like a holiday. You can check out details of Morealps here – http://morealps.com/
- Choose a great ski school
If you are planning to hit the slopes (or indeed the spa), you are going to need some childcare for a portion of the day. And whilst you are in the mountains, it makes perfect sense for your little people to hit those slopes too. My boys had never even seen snow before, let alone skied, so I did my research – and settled on ESF (Ecole Du Ski Francais), who looked after our boys perfectly all morning. I was amazed to see them skiing down slopes within a few hours on skis – and the very-friendly welcome as the boys arrived every morning eased any nerves. Visit the La Rosiere site here – www.ski-school-larosiere.co.uk/
3. Pack thermals
It seems obvious to pack warm clothes when you head to the snow, but it isn’t just the thick skiing jackets and trousers that are important. In fact, I quickly came to realise that long-sleeve thermal tops and trousers to be worn underneath were just as crucial to keeping little people warm – and having dressed them in these base layers, my Dubai-born children never shiverred. The brand Engelbert Strauss is worth checking out for this as their thermals are very high quality and affordable. I recommend this top and these trousers.
- Pack favourite snacks
A friend gave me the top tip to take away a selection of the childrens’ favourite snacks so you can zip one into the pocket of their ski jacket for hungry moments on the slopes. The ski school hadn’t told me to do this, so I was very relieved when we turned up and the instructor asked if they had snacks to ward off hunger pains. It is expected – and it is necessary when they are burning up so much energy on the slopes. And if you have a fussy eater (and I have one of them), packing what you know they’ll eat from home is a good idea.
- Take along ‘quiet time’ entertainment
When my boys finished skiing every day, it was fair to say that they were absolutely exhausted. Completely dead on their feet, dragging their heels and whining. They desperately needed a bit of time to chill – and so I’m very glad that I packed a selection of activity books, colouring books, DVD’s and their iPads. We usually spent between midday and 3pm together in the chalet letting them recharge batteries before we went out again around 3pm – and it would’ve been hard without ways to keep them still!