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Taking children skiing for the first time

Skiing is fantastic winter fun and it’s enjoyable for all the family. However, if you’re taking your children to the slopes for the first time, check out the following tips and advice to ensure both you and your little ones have an awesome time on the pistes.

Winter sports travel insurance
First things first – do not forget travel insurance, and don’t forget to add winter sports. This is what covers you for the skiing, tobogganing etc. side of your holiday. Winter sports is a completely separate area to your insurance. If you have annual insurance be sure to top up to winter sports for your skiing tip.

Dry slope skiing
If you’re uncertain about taking you children on a ski holiday, give dry slope skiing a go, or one of the many ‘real snow’ centres around the UK. They are a great way to get used to skiing, and figuring out if your children have the bug as much as you do.

Ski equipment
Regular skiers tend to invest in their own ski equipment, such as skis, boots and outerwear, however, others hire it. If you’re skiing with children, especially for the first time, it’s advisable to hire their kit – kids grow quickly and what fits them this year probably won’t fit them next year. Also, without being a kill joy, if they don’t like skiing it could be a real waste.

Another top tip regarding ski equipment, even if you’re hiring it, is take them along to a ski shop and get them used to the feel of the boots – they are heavy and, because you’re tilted forward, it can be disconcerting at first for children, nothing they won’t get used to, but preparation is everything.

If you plan to take your own ski equipment, book meet and greet parking, as many off-airport parking companies won't accept skis and snowboards on their shuttle buses.

Snow stranger
Don’t forget, most children haven’t seen large quantities of snow very often. Snow isn’t common place here in the UK, although we have been subject to more frequent bouts over the last couple of years. So, like anything, preparation and familiarity is key.

Talk about the snow, and what it’s like before you go, talking about its texture, it’s coldness etc. Otherwise many kids actually find snow quite strange, scary even. Then, when you arrive, don’t rush things. Get your children out there touching, feeling, even tasting the snow. If they aren’t comfortable with the white stuff then they won’t relax and your holiday could be strained.

Fun, fun, fun
Even though it’s a skiing holiday, don’t forget that snow is great fun for other stuff too – kids are kids, and building a snowman, sledging and making snow angels is a must. Don’t just limit them to the exhausting skiing, which they may get bored of, have some fun in it too.

Ski school
Get your kids booked into a ski school. This way they learn from the Professionals, without you getting cross with them when they can’t get it right, even after the tenth time (just remember when your dad taught you to drive… ended in tears?).

Ski school is the perfect place for kids to get confident and competent on the slopes. What’s more, it gives you the perfect chance to hit those slopes hard! If none of you has ever skied before, consider booking a private family ski school session where you can all learn together – great for bonding and good fun too.

Food, glorious food
Don’t forget that skiing is hard work and the chances are your little ones will be very hungry, very often. Therefore, bring some cereal bars from home and pack a supply in your pockets each morning and afternoon. And be sure to stop for a good, decent hot meal at lunchtimes too.

Sunscreen and face block
Just as you would on the beach, be sure to protect your children’s skin from the sun. As well as sunburn, their delicate skin could get snow burn too, so stock up on face block and sunscreen.

Early nights
As much as you might want to enjoy the Aprḕs Ski until the small hours, don’t. Get your little darlings to their beds at a sensible time. An early night is a sure fire way for them to be raring to go the following day.