Plan now for a successful family ski break next season
Children adore being active and they love the snow, so a family ski holiday offers many opportunities for fun and family bonding. But there are lots of things you can do to prepare for your week on the slopes so that you all get the most out of the experience.
Perhaps the first thing to appreciate is that skiing with young children is a very different experience to a ski break without kids, so you need to plan ahead and have realistic expectations. Some children, for example, may need a little extra help with their equipment or handling an unfamiliar environment with new food, a different language and so on.
You’ll also need to bear in mind the potential effects of height and cold, so keep children warm and well-hydrated with plenty of drinks, and don’t forget the little things like making sure lips don’t get chapped.
Many youngsters can find skiing very tiring or over-exciting on occasion, so having a break and spending a morning or afternoon messing around in the snow with snowballs, snowmen or sledging can often be an excellent idea.
The good news is that if you go somewhere with a good ski school, you can take to the piste at your own pace for a couple of hours, safe in the knowledge that your children are being looked after and are having fun.
Ahead of your trip, think what things you children may potentially find strange or challenging, from putting on ski boots to keeping their lift pass safe or riding a button lift. Get the ski gear out before you travel, so that children become familiar with it and practice things like accessing pockets while wearing gloves.
For children who are close in age, a little sibling rivalry could emerge if one is a stronger skier than the other. Consider praising effort and improvement rather than skill level in this situation.
Having a successful family ski break means being in the right location and choosing accommodation carefully. You may not want a party resort that’s full of noisy twentysomethings, for example. You’ll also probably want a good ski school and a wide selection of gentler runs and nursery slopes.
If your children get car sick or don’t like long journeys, go for a package offering a short resort transfer time. It’s also likelier to be easier all round if you can ski from as near to your accommodation as possible, without needing extra transport to reach the pistes each day.
In terms of family-friendly accommodation, chalets are hard to beat since you will have more space and be able to create your own home from home on the slopes. And if you go for a catered option, you will be incredibly well looked after all week, and only have to worry about enjoying your time together on the snow.
You requirements are likely to be quite specific, which is why it’s always worth starting your planning early and booking as far in advance as possible, especially if you can only travel during school holidays. While great last minute ski deals are often available, first choices of travel dates, resort and accommodation cannot always be guaranteed.
If you are looking into group ski holidays and travelling with at least one other family, this can be a sociable and fun option. But be very clear on expectations all round before you book. Do you have differing views on parenting or whether normal rules can be relaxed on holiday? Are you clear about childcare, who will pay for what, and, if self-catering, how the tasks will be divided fairly between you all?
You may also be able to have a cost-effective holiday by sharing your chalet with another family you haven’t met before. For many people, this is an excellent way of meeting new friends.
Whether you travel with others or not, skiing breaks provide fantastic family holidays as you relax together and share an activity you all love. By planning now for next season, and thinking ahead, you maximise your chances of having a magical trip.
Finally, book with a specialist operator like Crystal Ski, which has many years’ experience of organising family and group ski breaks, and offers an extensive range of accommodation in in top resorts worldwide.
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Weather for Morecambe
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 28 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West