Family Ski Holidays
8 ways to ensure your first is a success
Taking your children skiing for the first time can be a big step - and without the right preparation, a stressful one!
However, with a few pointers it can be the most wonderful experience watching your little ones take to the pistes for the first time. So take heed of the following tips for a successful first family skiing holiday, and your whole family could be happily whizzing about the slopes of Méribel in no time.
1. Pack the right equipment...
Children feel the cold, so make sure you pack ample layers that you can add and remove as needed. Mittens are warmer than gloves with fingers - and elastic wrist bands are always a good idea, gloves are easily lost otherwise!
Choosing bright clothing can make your children easier to identify amidst the flurry of children at the ski school pick-up point. If you're reluctant to invest in jackets and salopetes when your children are growing fast, why not consider renting ski clothing with Ski Chic here.
Crucially, remember to properly dry kit out overnight to avoid that cold, damp feeling in the morning - Purple Ski chalets are all equipped with glove and boot warmers for you to use.
And just as importantly, remember to pack sun cream - and apply regularly!
2. ...but there's no need to pack the following
Purple Ski provides an array of baby and children's equipment for you to use free of charge. Whether you need cots, high chairs, stair gates, potties, buggies, toys... you name it, we probably have it in stock, and if we don't we will try to source it for you.
We know that bringing supplies for your baby can mean packing extra suitcases, which is why we can order in nappies and wipes for you at cost, and have them waiting in the chalet for your arrival.
3. Opt for stress-free travel into resort
With little ones in tow, who wants to be waiting around at the airport or undertaking lengthy car journeys across France?
Minimise travel time by hopping on a plane to Geneva or Chambéry, and we'll arrange for a Purple Ski driver to meet you at the airport and whisk you to the chalet in 2.5 hours or less.
With a delicious picnic included, not to mention on-board WiFi and an iPad with a selection of films, the journey will fly by.
4. Book childcare in advance
If you're planning to get some adults-only ski time in, you'll probably need a nanny to look after the children while you're out on the pistes.
We're fortunate to have some fantastic childcare companies operating in Méribel and with whom we have excellent relationships. All the nannies we recommend and work with have been personally screened by us, so you can rest assured your children are in safe hands.
Nanny services can get very busy during peak (and even non-peak) weeks, so it's crucial you book this in advance to avoid added stress. Simply get in touch with your requirements and we'll help arrange this for you.
And don't forget - we offer complimentary babysitting on your chef's night off, so you can have a child-free evening, secure in the knowledge that your children are well looked after.
5. Get advice on the best beginner ski areas
Méribel is a great resort for beginners with some wonderful beginner ski areas - so make sure you're heading to the right place to ensure your children's first impression of skiing is a fun one!
'Magic carpet' lifts are much less scary than drag lifts (they're a bit like a conveyor belt for skiers) and Méribel is blessed with several of these, situated in the centre of Mottaret and at Le Rond Point. Once your children progress on to longer pistes, there are fantastic 'fun' ski areas at the Altiport and in Mottaret - with tunnels to ski through, small bumps and whoops, and talking figures.
Prefer to leave your little ones in the hands of professionals? We can recommend a number of ski schools and private instructors, all of whom are fully qualified and fluent or native English speakers.
6. Take advantage of reduced cost skiing for little ones...
There are lift pass deals available for families, not to mention free skiing for children under 5. Just let us know which passes you require, and we'll advise you on the best deal for your family.
For free passes, we'll need a passport copy and recent photograph in order to obtain the pass - don't forget to send us these before your holiday.
7. ...and the numerous other child-friendly activities in resort
Tobogganing, snowmobiling, horse-drawn sleigh rides, igloo-building, ice-skating, swimming, bowling, climbing - these are just a few of the activities Méribel has to offer to help keep your child's boredom at bay!
We'd be delighted to pre-book these for you - simply let us know what you'd like to do during your stay, and we'll do the rest.
8. Let us know your child's favourite treats
We know that younger palates aren't always suited to the culinary masterpieces your chef will prepare for you and the other adults.
We'll gladly serve children's high tea in the early evening so that you can relax and enjoy dinner with your friends later. Suggestions are very welcome - why not send us a list of your child's favourite meals, or arrange a chat with your chef a few weeks before your stay? That way, we can make sure the little ones are getting the fuel they need for a long day's skiing, and enjoying the Purple Ski dining experience as much as you!