If you are thinking about going on your first family skiing holiday, it is worth spending some time preparing your children. It can be a very different type of holiday and it might be difficult for children to understand what is going to happen. By planning ahead of time, you can limit the worry and stress that comes with doing anything with kids for the first time.
Choose the best destination and a resort that is great for beginners and family friendly too. Picking the right destination and accommodation suited to your family are really important when booking your first family ski break.
Plan what you are going to do, what you need to bring and pack, and also plan for any problems that may arise too. You can never be too prepared when it comes to travelling with children.
Here are a few tips on things to do before you go ad when you arrive to ensure your little ones are prepared for their next adventure: a family ski holiday.
Before you go on your trip
If your child has never been skiing before then there is so much they won’t know. They may have some questions or fears and you will want to start slow when explaining what your trip will entail. Get out old photos of you skiing in your youth, show your kids how much fun you had and what they can expect to do when you go.
Take the time to go through the basics of skiing
Talk to your kids about what it’s like to go skiing. Sit down with your child, show them old photos and tell them about your own time on the slopes. Explain what ski resorts are like and all of the other things you can do whist you are there. Make use of the internet too, you can show children exactly where you are going and what to expect. You can also show them videos of ski lessons and other children skiing to show them just how much fun it is!
Go to an indoor snow centre
To see how you all get on together on the slopes book some lessons at your local indoor snow centre. The best thing you can do for your kids is to make sure someone else teaches them and definitely not you. Leaving it to the professionals means they will get a proper lesson and you won’t get frustrated with each other. They are more likely to listen to others when they are finding it difficult. When you are getting ready, spend as much time as you can to get your child used to ski boots. They can be very difficult to wear and walk in especially for very young children.
Make the run up exciting and fun
Get them in the mood for holidays and excited about learning a new skill. Try on their ski kit make sure everything fits and is comfortable, and if they don’t like it explain why it is necessary. Make a countdown to the holiday, learn and discuss new things each day. When it finally come to the big day you will all be excited and ready.
When you arrive in resort
On arrival do what you would normally do when you arrive at a holiday destination. Get your bearings and prepare for the rest of your trip. There are a few extra things to think about when skiing with kids and getting prepared as soon as you arrive will ensure a smooth holiday.
Explore the area if you have time
You might be tired after your journey but if you have time and it’s not too late have a little look around the resort. You might just want to take the kids out for a hot chocolate and get them used to the atmosphere. Or you could go for a short walk and follow a map of the area showing the family what is around where you are staying.
Get everything ready for the first mornings lesson
To save time rushing in the morning get all of the ski gear ready the night before. Lay out everything the kids will need, and tick off a list to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Most importantly get a good night’s sleep as you’ll be very busy in the morning.
Recap what will happen on their lessons
Go over with the family what will happen during their ski lessons will get them ready and excited for the day. This is especially important for those young children who can get easily distracted or worried about the lessons.
On the day of the lessons
Get a head start, being up early and prepared for the day will save you time and make the whole family more relaxed on their first day. Don’t leave too much for the morning though, you’ll want it to be chilled out and go smoothly.
Have a good breakfast
Never send your kids out to ski without a good hearty breakfast. They need plenty of energy to keep them going through their lessons. If you are self-catering then you should have already planned what you will be having for breakfast. If not then make sure the kids eat plenty of energy fuelling food at the hotel or chalet breakfast.
Check the forecast
Find out what the weather will be like during the day and plan accordingly. This will determine how long it will take you to get to the ski area and any extra supplies you might need.
Don’t hang around
Waiting too long at the drop off point may make your kids nervous. Get there in time to check them in and hand over to the instructors, asking any questions you have first thing. Then let them go. They will become more nervous the longer you stay with them. Move on to your own lessons or take to the slopes and return at the time you have been given.
After the first lesson
At the end of the first day you’ll all be tired, but excited about what you’ve all being doing. Take the time, perhaps over dinner to discuss and ask questions about how the day has gone and what were the best and worse parts. It gives you a chance to eliminate or help with any fears or worries that may have developed and find out how they are getting on.
Enjoy the rest of your trip!
Once you’ve got the apprehensions of the first day out of the way the whole family will be much more relaxed and ready to have fun. Any problems will melt away and you’ll see how much the kids are learning and enjoying being in the snow with the family.
Have you ever been on a family ski holiday? How did you prepare your children for their first ski lessons and did you encounter any problems to overcome? Leave a comment and help other families planning to take their first ski break with kids.