Family travel blogger Karen Beddow shares her advice after experiencing a family ski holiday in Tignes, France with Mark Warner.
In March we travelled to Tignes with Mark Warner and had an absolutely wonderful holiday. In no particular order, I thought I’d list my top five tips for anyone considering a similar trip with young children (we have three under-4s!).
• Choose the location of your hotel carefully
Though my husband had been to quite a few ski resorts, we chatted to Mark Warner about where they would recommend for children and are really glad we took their advice. The location of a resort near the ski lesson meeting point is key when travelling with young children – ski in/ski out might not be perfect if you need to walk young children a distance to their lessons. It’s surprising how far it is to walk back when they have finished and are exhausted. Our hotel, the Chalet Hotel l’Aiguille Percée, was a two-minute walk from the main square where all the ski lessons started.
• Take a very big picnic for the journey
Take more food for the journey than you think you can eat. A friend of mine rightly advised that there wouldn’t be much time to get food when we landed in Grenoble, and that what there would be was unlikely to appeal to three tired children. As the flight arrived at lunchtime but the coach didn’t get to our hotel until 4pm, her hunch was right. We survived the journey by constantly entertaining the children with food/iPad/food/colouring/more food…
• Take layers rather than just warm clothes
When we travelled to Tignes in March, the weather was absolutely stunning – and actually very warm. The first day on the slopes the children were overheating. Thankfully we’d packed lots of different layers so the next day we could dress them in a variety of things to take off when they needed to.
• Use the childcare
My three adored Jodie and Sam at the Aiguille Percée. They made shapes with shaving foam, played with balls and parachutes, went on crêpe and hot chocolate trips, to the park, and sledging, and got involved in card-making, singing, stories and playing games. They also watched films every other day after lunch, to give them a chance to relax. The system was incredibly flexible: you could sign them in and out throughout the day, or just return at 5.30pm after their tea, as suited you. It gave me and my husband some well-deserved time together and the kids had a ball. One tip for evenings is to take a monitor from home if you want to eat dinner alone some evenings without taking them to film club.
• Don’t think they’re too young to learn
My three-year-old twins loved their ski lessons with Les Marmottons, who also taught my four-year-old to ski properly. This is her skiing down a blue run on the Friday afternoon, after just five lessons. She is LOTS better than me…
See more about family ski holidays with Mark Warner.
Karen Beddow runs the blog Mini Travellers.