With the nights getting longer, the mornings darker and the weather colder, my thoughts are turning to holidays. Yes, that’s right, holidays, especially winter skiing holidays.
I love the crisp fresh air, the stunning mountain scenery, and those gorgeous blue skies that you see in alpine countries and I hope Amelia gets to experience these for herself one day. If we were to go at the beginning of next year, I would have my baby boy in tow, but if we chose the right resort and accommodation, with top-notch childcare facilities, there’s no reason why a young family like mine couldn’t have a wonderful holiday and some fun in the snow.
Where to go and accommodation
There’s loads of great information out there – the Telegraph’s travel guide is very useful if you are weighing up your options. Personally, I wouldn’t want to spend a long time travelling, so my choice would be to stay in Europe - France, Switzerland or Austria would be ideal countries. I love my life in north Wales but sometimes it’s nice to dream of staying in a picturesque Austrian chalet, eating a delicious continental breakfast and spending my days skiing. You’ll find Austrian ski property at propertysaleaustria.co.uk.
I don’t have a limitless budget so I would fly with a low-cost airline and hopefully one that will carry a baby buggy for free. I’ve read that, if you’re hiring a car, you also need to check local laws on car seats and tick the box for chains or snow tyres. Not something most people have to regularly deal with in the UK, fortunately, but a must in the Alps.
Need a babysitter?
A chalet would be right for us but hotels have their advantages, especially if they offer babysitting. If you think you’ll be sloping off for a date night, you’ll need to arrange babysitters - and the advice is, book early. This is especially important if you are planning to travel during the peak season, such as Christmas and New Year. It’s obviously easier to arrange in the bigger resorts than somewhere more remote.
The right gear
If it’s your first time skiing, there’s no need to splash out on expensive kit, remember you can hire a lot of equipment in the resort – again, book early. You can reduce your outlay and buy some of the clothes second-hand. Do, however, invest in a good quality helmet, and check that goggles and sunglasses fit when worn.
Protecting the family
Beautiful as it is, the environment in the Alps is challenging for youngsters and you need to guard them from extreme cold and exposure to the sun, Children may also get tired quickly, so take regular breaks and go off and do other things – many resorts will offer opportunities to swim, toboggan, go shopping and drink hot chocolate. Yum.
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