Family Ski Top Tips
Advice from our guests for families new to family ski holidays.
Our Previous Guests Advise
The following advice has been provided by our previous guests with the aim to help as many of our new families that are coming on a ski holiday with us this winter.
If you think we have missed any, please help us by commenting on our family ski tips facebook post and we will add it to the list.
“Start Saving” suggested by Mick Rhodes
Family Ski resorts can be expensive places for a family ski holiday and the place your wallet will be hit the hardest is in the restaurants. Everyone who has been on a ski holiday will have a story about how ridiculously expensive something was, €12 for a plate of chips in Courchevel was mine!
Esprit Ski try to make it a little easier by offering children’s lunches cooked by our own staff in our chalets. For adults it’s a good idea to pop to the supermarket in the morning and grab some bread and fillings for a sandwich. This way you can enjoy a slope side picnic with some of the best views in the world. We also have offers on lift passes to help as leaving it until you get in resort can really hit your wallet hard.
Remember that all Esprit Family Ski holidays come complete with a buffet continental breakfast, afternoon cake and a 4 course evening meal, so you may only need a small snack for lunch!
“Take things to entertain the children on the transfer to and from resort” suggested by Peter Macdonald
This is a brilliant bit of advice as the transfers to resort can take up to 3 hours in some places so it is a good idea to have something to entertain the children. Peter recommends taking colouring in books and pencils. These should easily fit inside your hand luggage for easy access on the plane or in the coach. If you bring electronic devices it is a good idea to bring spare batteries as they can be quite expensive in resort.
“Avoid filling up on sweets and fizzy drinks” suggested by Therese Reed
The drive up to the resorts will involve winding roads and the coach will have a feeling of swinging round the bends due to the size of it. This can be an uncomfortable feeling for an experienced traveller, so consider how it will affect your young ones.
“Have a spare set of clothes and sick bags for the transfers” suggested by Vicki Davidson
As mentioned earlier, the roads up to the resorts can have quite a few twists and turns in them that can upset some stomachs, especially children’s. The Esprit Ski coach rep should be carrying sick bags for you but it is a good idea to carry some spare clothes for the children on the coach with you, just in case.
“Take extra pairs of gloves and teach the children how to put all their ski gear on before they go” suggested by Andy Starkey
A second pair of gloves is a really good idea for children as they will get them wet from their skiing lessons and from playing in the snow too. Andy also suggests teaching them good ski habits such as doing your boots up after you take them off so they retain their shape. We would also advise taking some time to read the guide to piste etiquette too. If you can, try and get the children used to wearing their ski gear before they go so they can feel more comfortable in it when they go for their first ski lesson.
“Indoor shoes, mini chocolate bars and less clothes” suggested by Naomi White
Naomi suggests taking a bag of mini chocolate bars for an energy boost for the young (and big) kids during the day. These can be kept in pockets or in bags but be careful not to eat them all before lunchtime!
Naomi also says not too worry too much about extra clothes for the children in the evening as they are happy to run around in their thermal long johns and fleeces. She does recommend taking some good indoor shoes such as crocs as the floors can get wet from snow brought into the chalet.
“Making sure gloves are secured” suggested by Alison Arijs
Some gloves come with loops that attach to a wrist to make the gloves more secure. If the gloves don’t have them then Alison suggests attaching a long piece of elastic to each glove and threading it through the sleeves of the ski jacket to ensure that they don’t get lost.
“Layers of clothes instead of one big jumper. And label clothing with name tags” suggested by Claire Hope
You have more control of your temperature by layering as you can remove a layer at a time to cool down rather than a big drop that results in removing a big jumper. It’s also more comfortable with layers as you feel less like the Michelin man!! Labelling socks, gloves, hats and scarves are a must as these can be left on the floor in the chalet or snow club and mixed up with other similar ones.
“Make sure to take extra nappies and formula” suggested by Claire Hope
This is a great tip from Claire as the nappies and formula in resort can be expensive and the availability of certain brands may be limited. Esprit Ski are hoping to put together a list of shops in each resort that will include type of nappy and formula and how much they cost so you have an idea of how much it would cost in each resort.
“Listen to your children when they try on their ski boots“ suggested by Kate Frampton
Kate makes a good point that you should listen to your children, no matter how young they are, as they will know when their feet hurt. Ski boots can be incredibly uncomfortable if you have not got a correctly fitted pair so make sure that you take the time to ensure that they fit properly. If a problem develops during the first day, take them back to the ski shop who will help you find the right pair.
“Don’t pack too many clothes” suggested by Carl Bryne, also by Naomi White
Carl suggests less clothes are needed than you would imagine as the children will either be in their ski gear or in their pyjamas. There is of course the chalet hosts night off when you will get to sample some of the local cuisine at one of the resorts restaurants so warm clothing and a waterproof jacket will be needed for that.
“Try to borrow some of the kit that you will need” suggested by Andrew Holden
Andrew raises a good point that if this is your first ski holiday and you are unsure whether you would go again, then it’s best to try and save some money and borrow kit from friends for your first trip. If none of your friends have spare kit then you may be able to find some second hand kit online or in the classifieds that will help to save cost. If you find that you and your family enjoy it then you can look at purchasing more of your own kit at a later date.
“Take some large re-useable shopping bags” suggested by Julia Padgett
These are useful to carry the children’s bit and pieces to the meeting point as you will have quite a lot of extra things that you wouldn’t think you would need. They are also useful if you go to the supermarket as most supermarkets will charge you for carrier bags.
“Plan your day’s skiing carefully” suggested by Andy Starkey
If you are out skiing with your children then you need to be aware that skiing is a tiring activity and the children can go from fine to tired very quickly. Andy advises not to get caught too far away from your family ski chalet in the afternoon to avoid grumpy children having to ski home. Esprit Ski offer afternoon childcare so that your children are looked after in the afternoon so you can come back later in the day if you want to. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to take a look at the piste map and keep an eye on the runs that are closer to the accommodation.
“Stay within walking distance of the meeting point for ski school” suggested by War and Piste
Most of the Esprit Ski chalets are located close to or on the piste, which makes it easy for getting to ski school or lessons in the morning. With our child care we will come and collect your child from your accommodation and take them to their lessons or to snow club. In our brochure and on the website we will specify whether a property is ski in and ski out and its location in relation to ski lifts or pistes.
“Drink plenty of water” suggested by Susan Long
This is good advice for all members of the family and it is something that we tell all staff and ask that they pass this onto our guests too. Due to the altitude you will find that you become dehydrated quicker so it is a good idea to drink plenty of water in the morning before skiing and then to ensure you have some during the day too. For children that are in Esprit Ski child care, our snow rangers will make sure that your child drinks during the day but if you are worried then you can always confirm how often you want them to drink.
“Take a supply of any medications you may use regularly” suggested by Andy Starkey
It is a good idea to take any medications that may be used regularly as they may not be available in the mountains and if they are, it’s likely that they will be more expensive than at home. Remember to pack them in your hold luggage to avoid any problems at the airport.
Don’t forget if you think we have missed any, please help us by commenting on our family ski top tips post and we will add it to the list.