Skiing with Children – Does it Have to be so Painful?
First and foremost I will answer the question outright – no, it most certainly does not.
If you’re in the mindset whereby the very thought of taking the kids along for a skiing holiday fills you with abject dread, chances are you’ve either already had at least one unpleasant experience – though you might just be being overly dramatic. The truth is, kids take to the slopes like a fish to water and as is the case with most activities, the earlier you get them out there, within reason, the better!
Of course, there is no exact blueprint to what makes a perfect vacation of any sort, kids or otherwise, but there are a few considerations you should and must bear in mind if looking to share an amazing time on the slopes with all the family.
As is the case with all holiday, ski resorts vary considerably in how family-friendly or otherwise they are. True, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that in any way frowns upon the presence of the little ones, but there are a few essentialities you should be looking for in order to ensure the whole family has an equally amazing vacation.
For example, make sure long in advance that your chosen destination guarantees:
• Child/family friendly lodgings
• Safe and approved ski areas for kids
• Childcare provisions
• A children’s ski school/teacher with accreditation
• Sufficient entertainment for kids off the slopes
It’s really just a case of searching online or in the brochures for what calls itself a family-friendly resort and then using the above to verify it – simple!
Nothing breeds grumpier and more uncooperative kids than boredom – period. You’ll probably be able to keep them occupied on the plane or the ferry, but when it comes to coach or taxi transfers to your final destination you’re really up against it. The best advice is, where possible, to opt for a resort with a transfer time of no longer than 2 hours.
The first time anybody puts on a pair of skis can be intimidating to say the least, so it is vital that you look into booking with a resort that is well-known for catering to the needs of newcomers and kids as a priority, rather than just a sideline. There’s nothing worse than feeling completely bewildered and out of place at any age.
Group Lessons for Kids
Another huge advantage is if you can find a resort that provides a permanent and dedicated ski school for kids, where lessons are offered by qualified instructors and take place in groups. These environments can be significantly less intimidating than one-on-one coaching from a stranger and also give kids the motivation of being surrounded by others their own age. Once you’ve found a winner, always be sure to book as far in advance as possible!
If your kids are of a slightly younger persuasion, you’ll usually find that the better family-friendly resorts provide something of a ski-kindergarten for kids as young as 3. Again, these should be run by dedicated and certified staff, offering services which double up as both childcare and ski lessons.
Last but not least, you must of course be prepared to take full responsibility for your child’s safety and wellbeing, regardless of whether they are in your care or that of an instructor. Never be tempted to cut corners on safety equipment such as goggles and sunscreen, while remembering to layer them up with multiple thinner garments as opposed to a single thick layer.
You can reach French ski resorts of La Clusaz & Grand Bornard in just 40 min. from Geneva airport. Val Thorens and Meribel are just 2 hours transfer from Lyon airport.