Tips for skiing with children

Planning on booking a family ski trip? Unsure what you should pack or which ski school to book? It can be quite a daunting task preparing yourself to go skiing with the family, but with a fair few ski seasons under my belt (I might sound like a pro, I’m really more ‘all the gear no idea’) I’ve put together my top tips for skiing with the family and making it run as smoothly as possible.

What to pack

I’ve put together a separate blog post on what I pack for myself, you can find that here, but here’s a quick run down of what I pack for each child (mine are aged 11 and 4). 

  • Thermal baselayers
  • Mid layers (fleece zip up, hoody) You can vary the layers depending on the weather each day.
  • Ski jacket (if your children are younger it might be better to consider an all in one ski suit rather than separates to keep them warm)
  • Sallopettes
  • Ski gloves or mittens
  • Warm wooly hat
  • Snood (I find these work better than scarfs if you get a particularly cold day)
  • Ski helmet & goggles (don’t worry if you don’t have a helmet, you can hire these in resort along with your ski equipment)
  • Ski socks
  • Snow boots (make sure these are warm and waterproof)
  • Sun Cream
Ski Trip Essentials for kids

Other than that just the usual items you would pack for a holiday, pj’s, tops, bottoms etc. Less is more, ski trips tend to be pretty casual including what you wear in the evening for dinner. It’s always worth packing an extra pair of gloves and hat if you are planning venturing out after your day of skiing encase any items are damp.

Tips for skiing with children
Tips for skiing with children

Make it fun

Be prepared that your child may not take to skiing straight away. We’ve loved skiing since the moment our feet stepped on the slopes, as did our eldest. This was not the case with our youngest, even though we’d been taking him along with us on ski trips from 9 months old. He found the whole process extremely tiring, from wearing all the layers everyday, to getting back up when he fell. In this case we decided to put no pressure on him to love skiing, we knew this would come with time. Instead we concentrated on making the trip fun for him, adding in lots of sledging, horse and cart rides, trips to the swimming pool and anything else the resort had to offer. A great tip is to bring some small toys up to the slopes with you, something that will fit into pockets so they can play with in the snow if you are having a coffee. Hot wheels cars tend to work for us.

Tips for skiing with children

Book a smaller resort

If your children are young, or this is their first time skiing I would research a smaller ski resort to start off with. Smaller resorts tend to be less busy, so a little less daunting when trying to get on and off lifts and manoeuvring your way down the nursery slopes.

Ski School or Private Lessons?

This is a personal preference depending on the confidence level of your child. For instance our eldest is quite social and good at making new friends, so we opted for an ESF ski school for him (Usually 3 hours every morning), our youngest is a lot quieter and we knew he wouldn’t enjoy this, so for him we chose an English speaking private instructor. If your child is younger then most family resorts have good childcare facilities on the slopes. We tend to go to France and have previously used both the ESF creche and the younger ski school club Piou Piou.

Tips for skiing with children

Rent your equipment 

Unless you are planning to ski a lot, renting your skis, boots and poles is probably the best way forward. Most ski resorts have great equipment and are happy to help find the right choice for you. The only equipment we invest in for our children apart from their clothes is a good quality ski helmet and pair of goggles. It’s always worth asking if you can rent a locker within the rental shop so you can leave your equipment there each day instead of lugging it around. Trust me, trying to carry a child who’s legs hurt and a couple of pairs of skis all the way back to the chalet is not the one!

Take snacks!

Chocolate bars and snacks upon the mountain are expensive!!! Unless you’re in the minority that is happy to pay €3 for a mars bar to keep the kids happy while you indulge in a coffee with a view, its a good idea to pop a couple of snacks in a backpack or your pockets.

I hope you manage to get some good tips from this post, we enjoy skiing as a family every year, I never thought I’d say it but it’s easily become my favourite holiday. If you have any extra tips for skiing with kids I’d love to hear them.

If you're planning a skiing holiday and not sure what to pack, this handy guide will help you plan what to take.

Are you wondering what to pack for your ski trip?

If you’re planning a skiing holiday it can be a little overwhelming deciding what to take with you. I’ll admit the first time I ridiculously overpacked, but as the seasons have passed I’m pretty confident on what to take with me. Ski trips are mostly relaxed where clothes are concerned, so apart from the ski essentials for the daytime which I’ll list below, you really don’t need much in the evening apart from comfy clothes. Hopefully this guide will help you if you’re looking to go on a ski trip.

Packing the Essentials

  • Ski Jacket
  • Salopettes/Ski Trousers
  • Thermal Base Layers
  • Mid Layers/Fleece Jumper
  • Ski Socks
  • Ski Gloves/Mittens
  • Warm Hat
  • Ski Helmet
  • Ski Goggles
  • Waterproof Snow Boots
  • Neck Warmer/Snood (or colder days)
  • Sun Cream
  • Backpack (if you’re needing to carry gopro, snacks or any other equipment with you.)
If you're planning a skiing holiday and not sure what to pack, this handy guide will help you plan what to take.

Apart from the usual items you would take on holiday (pj’s, beauty essentials etc) I always find it a good idea to pack an extra jacket and maybe a spare pair of gloves encase you want to venture out after skiing and your ski coat is damp/drying.

We prefer to hire our skis, poles and boots in resort as purchasing these can be quite expensive. Most places have excellent equipment available for hire and it’s a lot easier to travel when you are not lugging heavy or oversized equipment with you.

I hope this list helped you, if you have any questions please let me know and I’ll try my best to help or point you in the right direction. I’m also putting together a guide on what to pack for children so keep an eye out for that!

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Perfect Moment Merino Wool Sweater
Roxy Snow Boots
Barts Beanie Hat
Sweaty Betty Technical Ski Socks
Roxy Ski Helmet
Oakley Flight Deck Ski Goggles
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Family Ski trip to Megeve

Where the love of skiing started…

About 7 years ago my Husband suddenly announced “Why don’t we go skiing?” He’d been a couple of times before but I’d never set foot on a pair of skis, to be honest at the time I couldn’t think of something I wanted to do less! We just had the one child aged 4, and within weeks somehow i’d been convinced and there we were in the lift on our way up the mountain.

I’d be lying if I said I took to it easily, you’ll soon realise if you take children on a ski trip with you that they will be far more natural at it and be overtaking you in no time. However, the scenery, the atmosphere, the apres ski (I was very good at that)… its addictive. As soon as our trip was over all I could think about was when could we go back, the girl who was only interested in hot sunny climates (and certainly not an adrenaline sport lover) suddenly wanted to don the thermals again and get back on the slopes.

Fast forward 7 years, another child and a LOT of ski lessons I can firmly say this is one of my favourite holidays. Once you get the bug for skiing its hard to shift. A couple of weeks ago we headed out to our favourite resort Megeve for a week in the mountains.

Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve

What’s Megeve Like?

Quite simply, Megeve is beautiful. It’s so easy to get to, we fly into Geneva usually from Southampton or Heathrow, and have about an hours transfer over to France. It’s been attracting the rich and famous since the 1920’s and you can see why. Infact in 1963 the Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant film Charade was made on location in Megeve. The centre is filled with cobbled streets and a huge Christmas tree (anywhere with a huge Christmas tree up for months on end is a hit with me), where you can enjoy a walk around the designer boutiques, a glass of something in one of the many bars or maybe a horse drawn sleigh ride.

Family Ski trip to Megeve

Megeve At Night

Walking through the centre at night you’re met with a sea of fairy lights hung from every buiilding. I remember my first time here and couldn’t believe how beautiful it all looked. Megeve certainly comes alive at night, bars, restaurants, music, there’s something for everyone. If you’re holidaying with kids I can recommend Deli’s Pizza, but if you’re popping out for dinner as adults and looking for something a little more special then Hotel St George is the place.

Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve

Heading up the mountain

The slopes are in three parts, Rochbrune, Mont d’Arbois and Le Jaillet, with Mont Blanc in full view. Rochbrune is easily accessed via a main lift from the centre of town, the others via the free ski-buses which mostly run every 10-20 minutes, although there is a cross valley cable car which runs between Rochbrune and Mont d-Arbois. So all slopes are easily accessible from the town, perfect for both beginners and the more advanced skier. Megeve is definitely a family friendly resort, something that was important for us.

Up at the very top of Rochbrune you will find one of my favourite restaurants, ‘Super Megeve’ to sit and have lunch, or maybe just a coffee whilst taking in the most amazing views.

Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve

Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve

Is there much to do if you don’t ski?

There is lots to do if you don’t fancy getting on a pair of ski’s. You can purchase a walkers pass which will give you access to the lifts to get up to the top and enjoy a walk around and take in the scenery. Also available amongst many other activities I’m sure I’m forgetting is snow walking, hiking, ice skating, sledging etc to indulge in.

In the town you’ll find the Palais des Sports which has various amenities such as rock climbing, a gym, a spa, an ice rink and the most beautiful outdoor thermal pool and sauna in full view of the mountains. There’s nothing to describe swimming around in the warm waters whilst the outside air is in freezing temperatures, it’s heavenly.

Family Ski trip to Megeve

That sums up our little trip to Megeve for this year, it’s so easy to get to if you’re a family looking for a place to ski with a bit of something for everyone. We’re already looking forward to returning next year! Are you a family that ski’s? I’d love to hear where you go!

It has to be said that my absolute favourite time of year to visit Paris is in the winter. Granted I’ve never been to this part of France in the Summer but I’m pretty sure the lure of the Marche de Noel and the twinkling lights of the Champs Elysees would outweigh what the summer months could offer.

Back in December we had a short break in Paris with some friends, child free (thanks mum) so I thought I’d share a little photo diary of our time there. Most of our photos were quick snaps taken on my iPhone, as we really wanted to switch off and enjoy.

Our first stop was of course the ionic landmark that is the Eiffel Tower. We decided to go right to the top and the view was incredible, entirely worth it if you are thinking of visiting. We booked our tickets for late afternoon so we could witness the sparkling lights of the tower at night, it really is magnificent. Of course we took in the usual sights such as the Notre Dame, the Louvre and I certainly enjoyed the wonderful shopping. We enjoyed finding little cafes dotted around the streets to stop and enjoy a caffe latte and a macaroon or two, sitting outside under a little blanket and watching the busy people of Paris stroll by.

Passage de l’ancre – home of Pep’s umbrella repair shop

Throughout Paris there is an abundance of boutique hotels, however this time we booked an apartment through Air B&B, which was in a cute little street Passage de l’ancre hidden behind a private blue door. Once behind the door you are greeted with a charming cobbled street full of colourful potted plants and vines. After a bit of research we found out it is home to the oldest umbrella shop in Paris, apparently quite the find.

The Eiffel Tower at night is always a pleasure
The view from the top of the Eiffel Tower
Notre Dame Cathedral
Marche De Noel

Weymouth Harbour

Usually as soon as the school holidays roll around I’ve already booked our ticket to somewhere abroad, somewhere guaranteed to offer sunshine, a beach and good food. However with the weather in the UK recently being compared to that of a long haul destination, and trying to save for house renovations, we decided to holiday a little closer to home.

Normally we reserve visits to the British seaside for a slightly colder day with the dog in tow, as there’s a well known fact as soon as the sun appears in the south a million people and their families get in the car, join the motorway and head to the beach. That is not a relaxing break I tell you.

However this year, with a bit of research and the decision that we would drive down in the evening to avoid sitting in traffic we booked our little vacay in sunny old Weymouth.

Weymouth is a seaside town I used to visit as a child, along with Swanage which is just along the coast. We found a cute house along the old harbour (it isn’t a holiday unless you can see the boats) through Dream Cottages, who we have used a couple of times before.

Bridge End House was situated right opposite the bridge, which lifts every couple of hours thoughout the day to let yachts and larger boats into the harbour. This proved for much excitement with my two boys seeing as they had a prime view from all the windows in the house.

Weymouth Harbour

Weymouth Beachfront

Instead of sticking with the main beach we went on a little mission to find lots of other little beaches and coves in the area. I remember visiting places when I was a child such as Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Corfe, and I was excited to go back there with my children.

With this year being the year my Husband decided to introduce the boys to beach fishing, we saught the expertise of local fisherman who guided us to the most wonderful locations. A couple of evenings we spent sitting on a beautiful pebble beach, watching the sunset with fish and chips and a bottle of something cold. Those were my favourites.

Fishing in Dorset

Sunset Fishing

As is usual with a trip to Weymouth, most days included an ice cream or two, a visit to the arcade to win vast amounts of tickets (which incase you’re interested we swapped in for sweets and a variety of plastic knick knacks) and crab fishing along the old harbour. Some of the best fish and chips can be found here too, which in my opinion was Bennetts Fish and Chips (and we tried ALOT to compare!) There’s nothing better than sitting on a harbour wall in the evening watching the boats come back in from a day out at sea.

We enjoyed a trip to an old favourite of ours The Crab House Cafe, situated on the way to Portland overlooking the breathtaking views of Chesil Beach. If you’re a fan of seafood then this really is a must place to visit, although I recommend booking as its a popular place. They farm their own oyster beds so you can enjoy them literally minutes after they leave the water. This time we chose the crabs which were delicious, the boys particularly loved that they came with a little hammer and nut-crackers to help get the meat out of the shell.

The Crab House Cafe

Our trip to Lulworth Cove brought back memories of my childhood. I remember walking down the path to the stony beach at the bottom. Although it’s much busier now, with a good choice of places to eat and drink it was exactly as I remembered. We found a cute place at the bottom called The Boat House Cafe, and ordered a little afternoon tea to take away so we could enjoy it on the beach. Apart from the wasps which were very persistent in joining in, it was pretty perfect.

Lulworth Cove

Just up the road from here we called into Durdle Door on the way home to see the famous limestone arch. It was a little windy up the top but worth it to see the magnificent views. We’re planning to come back here another day hopefully when it’s a little quieter.

Image via Wikipedia

We loved our little break in Weymouth, blessed with sunny weather most of the week, apart from the last day when we tried to visit Lyme Regis, we pretty much got rained off and had to hide in the arcades, little boutiques and pasty shops. Admittedly there are worst places to hide out.

We spent a lovely week exploring more of Dorset than we previously had, the boys loved it especially the quiet fishing beaches. We’ll certainly be back.