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Skiing with Kids

skiing with kids

Taking young children skiing for the first time doesn't have to be a stressful experience. We asked Tess from for some advice on keeping the little ones happy.
Where to Go?
With very young children and toddlers it is worth finding a resort with minimal transfer times. Some resorts can have a 3 or 4 hour transfer time on a coach from the airport, which many small children (or parents) cannot cope with. Consider Austrian resorts such a Kaprun, Bad Gastein and Kitzbuhel which are near to Salzberg Airport or French resorts such as Flaine or Morzine, which are close to Geneva airport. Older children may survive the longer journeys so you will have a larger selection.

Top Family Friendly Destinations to consider:
  • Valmorel, France
  • Flaine, France
  • Borovetz, Bulgaria
  • Rauris, Austria
  • Galtur, Austria
  • Saas-Fee, Switzerland

When to go?
Easter ski holidays are a lovely time to go, the Easter break is earlier this season (2010), with most schools finishing on Thursday 1st April 2010. The days are longer and warmer and although it is more expensive than non-school holiday weeks it is considerably cheaper than the half-term break in February. But you must consider that warmer weather means higher snow lines and so snow consistency may not be as good as mid-winter, so make sure you go to a high altitude snow-sure resort. Good late season resorts worth considering are Tignes and Valmorel, France, Yllas, Finland, Obergurgl, Austria, Saas-Fee, Switzerland. At least you'll be able to ski back to the resort and the nursery slopes won't be a lovely green field.
What to pack?
Firstly, when skiing with small children training aides such as the Ski Trainer & Ski Tip Connector, are very helpful. The harness allows them to ski in front of you but you control the speed. They are suitable from 2-8 yrs & can help older children when tackling harder pistes. The ski tip clip keeps their skis in the snowplough position. Plastic toddler skis are great before they start ski school. Just let your child have fun in the snow with them, building up confidence and enjoying learning how to balance and walk

Visit for a comprehensive list of recommended clothing & accessories that are needed for a family ski holiday, but consider this list of do’s & don’ts:

  • Buy a helmet with adjustable sizing to ensure they last a few years and you can be sure that the helmet has not been damaged in any way unlike hired helmets.
  • Buy quality waterproof ski clothing with taped seams to ensure no water gets in, water resistant cheap ski gear will let the snow soak in!
  • Buy thin layers rather than bulky clothing. It is well accepted that a layering system of thermals (if v cold), t-shirts and micro fleeces are more effective at controlling temperatures and easy to remove if your child gets too hot.
  • Consider a small back pack (must be small so easy to get on ski lifts) so your child can take small sweets, drinks, money & your phone number as well.
  • Look for gloves with elastic loops to go round wrists or cords to attach through the jacket, so many gloves get lost on the ski lifts
  • Skimp on ski goggles, invest in a pair that have a double lens to prevent fogging and that will last a few years & consider over-the-glasses (OTG) goggles if your child wears glasses
  • Forget a second pair of gloves – if your child loves snowball fights after ski school a second pair drying back at the hotel for the next day will be vital!
  • Forget sun protection, choose an 8 hr sports cream that you can apply in the morning and your child is protected all day
  • Don’t don’t buy cheap ski socks, look for technical ski socks that are fitted to the heal and wick moisture away, blisters and children do not mix!