The thought of taking kids skiing for the first time can be pretty daunting. But, after a busy week in the French Alps with my family, I came home elated that all three of our boys could ski. So, I have prepared a few notes to bear in mind if you are considering taking your brood to the snow.
Prepare not to ski as much as you usually would
Even if your kids are at ski school in the morning, by the time you have packed them off and are ready to hit the slopes yourself, you can’t venture as far as you might ordinarily have done. This is fine as long as your expectations are set before you go – you will really enjoy the skiing time you get! It can be tricky to ski in the afternoon with beginner children skiers, so tobogganing, ice skating and snowmen building may be the afternoon activity.
Getting kids ready for skiing is a pain
Think school run – but with added layers! Long johns, long socks, thermal vests, ski gloves, hats… Oh my, getting my three boys ready (with one always seeming to need a wee just as we were ready to go!) was pretty demanding, especially to get them to ski school for 8.30am. It was so worth the morning chaos though, and nothing that some mountain air and a strong coffee couldn’t fix!
Especially the first time as you have to buy all the gear, hire equipment and ski passes – though quite a few resorts offer free ski passes for under 5s. There’s also ski school and/or lessons to consider; it can quickly add up! That said, the investment is well worth it as you will reap the reward for years to come, and priceless family holiday memories will far outweigh the initial cost of equipping your children to ski.
Kids blooming love snow
I know that sounds obvious, but personally I hate snow unless I’m skiing! It’s cold, wet and makes me feel dangerously close to slipping over at all times! But kids love it, and found it exciting to be surrounded by it on the mountains. It’s fresh air at its best (guilt-free parenting!) and was such a joy to see their enjoyment.
JUST DO IT!
We went with a few families and we had nine kids between us – aged between four and seven. By the end of a jam-packed week, they could all ski and were totally in love with it! In fact, the best quote came from my football crazy son who said, ‘I love it as much as football!”. I nearly fell off my seat! It’s a fun holiday that we could all participate in. We are very much looking forward to many more ski holidays in the future and definitely plan to go again next year.
How did we do it?
We hired a catered chalet (which means we had a chef to prepare us breakfast, afternoon tea and a three course evening meal each day and chalet host to look fter us) in Morzine, a picturesque village in the French Alps that is just over an hour away from Geneva airport. We booked with www.purplepiste.com who were extremely efficient and helpful and also provided a full concierge service to make our stay more enjoyable, giving us restaurant recommendations and bookings along with local area information. Our chalet was stunning, with pool table, jacuzzi and slept all 17 of us comfortably. This was just 8 minutes walk from the main gondola Pleney skilift. ‘Chalet Ice’ details here.
Our kids attended the EDFSki School for a lesson each day from 9-11am. The 6-7 year olds were all together and the four year olds were together. We went during half term and it was extremely busy in the ski school but this was obviously something we could not avoid.
We flew with from Heathrow with British Airways to Geneva. The total cost of our trip was circa £7-8K for our family of five.
With the Easter Holidays fast approaching, there are plenty of last minute deals for ski holidays if you are contemplating a last minute getaway.. We’d say take the plunge and book!