Last month, we took our tiny two skiing for the very first time. We traveled to Obergurgl in Austria with Esprit Ski and loved every minute. Skiing with children is certainly a very different experience if you’ve been used to adult ski holidays; much less après but totally magical in so many ways. If you’re planning a ski trip with the family, here are my Top Tips for Skiing with Kids.
- Choose accommodation that is really close to the slopes.
I think this is a key part of kids enjoying skiing (and me come to think of it..). Not too much lugging around those little feet in heavy boots, a short walk home when they are tired. It really adds up.
- Before you go, if they are very young, show them what skiing actually is.
I realised that although we’d talked heaps about skiing, ours had never actually seen anyone doing it. If you can show them on TV or YouTube, it will help to prepare them for what they will be doing. Or, even better go to an indoor ski slope (like The Snowdome in Tamworth near to us) either to watch or take part.
- Pack lots of snacks.
Children can get unbelievably hungry after a full day of snow fun, skiing and adventures. Even if your accommodation is fully catered it’s worth packing extra, high energy snacks for them. I packed cereal bars, crackers, raisins and some chocolate treats.
- Pack more gloves and socks than you think you’ll need.
You can never have enough spare gloves and socks seemed to get a bit wet and grubby from taking snow boots on and off.
- Secure their gloves to their jacket somehow.
Either old school elastic, or I used the velcro on the mittens with the velcro on the jackets. If they are little, this really helps their independence, finding their own gloves.
- Let them record memories.
If you have a GoPro or other action camera, let them have a go at using it. Ours found this hilarious and it was a great way to encourage them to keep on practising. (Camera mounts for their helmets are great fun, we used this one: Go Pro Front Mount.)
- Factor in some time in the schedule for them to just rest.
The excitement and the physical activity can be exhausting, make sure they have a bit of time each day just to watch some TV, sit and do colouring quietly or just have a cuddle. It’s a full on trip and you want them to have enough energy to enjoy it.
- Take a fully loaded iPad with you or portable DVD player.
Even if there is a TV in your room, it probably won’t be showing their usual English TV that they know and love. When you want them to just sit quietly and recover from all of the excitement it’s definitely worth taking something for them to watch.
- Take them up the mountain in a gondola.
If they are only just learning to ski, they won’t have seen too far up the mountain, so take them on an adventure up and down (in snow boots, not on skis) in a gondola. Ours loved this! We chose a lift where they was a restaurant accessible by foot and had a hot chocolate taking in the views together.
- Try on all of their clothes before you go.
If they haven’t been skiing before (and even if they have) the clothes may all feel a bit foreign to them as they probably don’t normally wear thermals at home. Encourage them to try them all on and wear them for a few hours to test them out and get used to them.
- Pack a couple of Sharpie pens.
Ideal for last minute marking of clothes, sun creams, sunglasses etc before they go off to childcare or ski school. These are super useful as they will write on anything.
- Keep them wanting more.
If you’re skiing with them, or taking them out to play in the snow, take them off the slopes before they are asking to go home. Leave them wanting more and the next day, they will always be keen to get back out!
I hope that was useful. Have you been skiing with children? Is there anything I’ve missed? If you’d like to see our adventures our videos are here:
Disclosure: The cost of our trip was covered by Esprit Ski in return for an honest review and thoughts on our experiences with them. As always, all opinions are our own.