With half-term fast approaching and the Easter holidays not far behind, our Childcare Manager, Kirsty, has put together her top tips on travelling with children to the Alps.
Book Ski School
Once you have booked your chalet and your travel plans are finalised, the next job is to book ski lessons. This is particularly important during the school holidays – it’s always best to book early to avoid disappointment. Our Concierge Service can offer advice and assist you with organising ski lessons. You can also take a look at our Ski Lessons webpage for further information on Ski Schools in Méribel.
Once you have booked ski lessons, you can now arrange any childcare that you may need. Our Meriski crèche offers a ski school pick up service and will then drop children off at your chalet at around 5pm. Alternatively, you may prefer a Private Nanny for additional flexibility. Our Families webpage has further information on all aspects of Meriski childcare.
What to Pack
It’s always difficult deciding on what to buy and pack for holidays. For children that are in ski school it’s important when buying ski clothing that it is water resistant and warm. There’s a great selection of retailers, including Mountain Warehouse, Boden and Jo Jo Maman Bébé, offering a wide range of ski and snow outfits and accessories for children.
Here are our packing essentials:
- Ski jacket/ Snowsuit - with a few safe pockets for money and snacks.
- Ski trousers
- Snow boots/ walking shoes – supportive of the ankles
- Thermal top and thermal trousers
- Warm Hat
- Waterproof mittens/Gloves
- Warm socks / ski socks
- Neck Scarf/ Buff
- Goggles / Sunglasses
If you are travelling with younger children we have a wide selection of baby and toddler equipment from cots and high chairs to baby listening devices, sterilisers and emergency nappies! Again, our Families page has more details and our UK office is always on hand to answer any queries. If you have booked a Meriski Transfer, we also have a full range of baby and child seats.
Travelling to resort
Although you are heading for the mountains, for most of the journey you are most likely to be in a car, plane or the airport, so there is no need for lots of layers; a comfortable pair of trousers, jumper and jacket should be plenty. You can always put a hat, gloves and scarf into their hand luggage. In resort, children will need long sleeved tops and comfortable trousers for after ski school, when they are not in their thermals.
Protection from the Elements
The mountain elements include extreme cold, intense sun and snow-reflected light. These can be damaging to children, even with brief exposure. It’s therefore important to pack a good sun screen and lip balm with a high SPF. A small tube is best which you can pop straight into their ski jacket pocket and apply when required.
Top tips for applying sun screen:
- Avoid applying too close to eyes - pulling goggles on and off will smear the sunscreen into them.
- Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure and every 2 hours, as sweating will reduce the protection.
Eyewear is also really important in the mountains as the sun is not only strong but reflects off the snow. Sunglasses and Goggles aren’t always the easiest to keep on a child’s face but retailers like Baby Banz, have soft strapped frames for little ones.
Ski and Snowboard lessons
If it’s your child’s first ever lesson and they are anxious about ski school, talking about what your child can expect from the lesson and who the instructors is, is a good idea. A plan or an activity for the children to expect after their lesson can also help. They may be meeting a nanny and going to play, or perhaps the promise of a hot chocolate in a café!
Occasionally children get upset on the first day. The ski schools are prepared for a few tears in the morning, and the instructors are very good at cheering them up.
One of the most important things for ski school is the snack - don’t forget the snack! The children will usually stop for a break and a snack will give them some much needed energy for the second half of the lesson! For older children in longer lessons, they will also usually stop for a drink, so keeping 5 euros in one of their coat pockets is also recommended.
Above all, here at Meriski we want to make family friendly skiing an enjoyable experience for the whole family!
Call us on 01285 648518 to discuss your family ski holiday requirements.