Your first family ski trip will be a memorable experience, to say the least. You’re probably hoping that it will be memorable in a good way. Family ski trips can either be fantastic or disastrous. It all comes down to planning.
Some kids will bubble over with enthusiasm when they hear about a family ski trip. Others will mope in the corner or throw a temper tantrum. Reasons might include:
- They don’t like the cold
- They’re afraid of falling, or making fools of themselves
- They wanted to go to Disney
Cold is a problem, especially if your kids were hoping for a reprieve from winter in sunny Orlando. If you don’t want to spend the next five years of family vacations wearing mouse ears, you’ll help your kids understand that winter can feel really good.
Step 1: Take them on a shopping trip and purchase ski clothes. Include:
- Thermal Underwear
- Fleece tops
- Waterproof ski jacket and pants
- Waterproof ski gloves
While you’re there, show them the awesome graphics on the skis and snowboards.
Step 2: Plan a play in the snow day. Activities like sleigh riding teaches kids that gravity is their friend – an important lesson for any skier or snowboarder. It also helps kids get over their fear of sliding and gliding. If your kids are amusement park addicts, tell them that skiing is like riding a roller-coaster, only more fun.
Step 3: Find YouTube videos of kids having fun at the resort.
Step 4: Make it sound exciting. Ask them, “How would you like to fly down the mountain? Wouldn’t it be fun to carve designs in the snow?”
Decide What Type of Trip Do You Want To Take?
This is an important question. Factors to consider include:
- Your budget
- The length of your trip
- The age of your kids
Some parents want to combine a ski vacation with a trip overseas. This is an excellent idea, provided that:
- You can afford the costs of transportation involved
- You have enough time to travel to the resort, acclimate to the time changes, ski and explore the area.
- Your kids are old enough to appreciate the history and cultural aspects of the trip. Toddlers might not be amused.
If you have limited time and money, and you just want to introduce your kids to the sport, a long weekend to a nearby resort might suffice.
Research the Resort
Although many ski resorts claim family friendly status, some are more kid-friendly than others. Consider these factors when choosing a resort:
- The reputation of the ski school: Some are more kid-friendly than others.
- The distance between the learning area and your lodging: Kids do not like to schlep their gear all over creation
- Modern chairlifts in the beginner areas.
- Old-school slow chairlifts are far harder to board safely with a child because they don’t detach from the cable. This means they do not slow down during the loading and unloading process.
- Resorts that have long, easy green runs: The less time spent loading and unloading the lifts, the better the experience.
- Fun activities other than skiing, such as tubing, skating, games, etc.
Note: If you’re really concerned about lift safety, some resorts in France, as well as Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe, have installed magnetised vests for kids. These vests keep fidgety kids attached to the seat during the ride.
They automatically release at the top of the lift.
Tip: If you don’t have a specific resort in mind, involve your kids in the decision process. Show them pictures of different places, and make it a family affair!