Seven secrets to the best family ski holiday in Europe

If you’re looking for a very sensible set of tips on how to have a successful family ski trip then you’re reading the wrong post. We wrote that one last week, and you can find it here. No, in this post I’m going to tell you how to really have fun. Read on…

Secret 1: Eat whatever you want.

As I sat in Hotel Le Val d’Isère on my first night, experimenting with my first ever Beouf Bourgignon, I got to thinking about food.

“I’m going to have an enormous croissant for breakfast tomorrow,” I declared, already savouring the thought of my favourite French pastry. And I did.

Secrets of a successful family ski trip - relax the food rules

I may have had two, and I certainly consumed double my share of chocolate eclairs at the magnificent afternoon tea that was produced every day for ravenous skiers. My mother raised an eyebrow, but relented, also turning a blind eye to my brother’s diet of mostly toast and honey – illegally licked from the pot. Far from creating a nasty habit to be broken on return from your holiday, relaxing the food rules makes everyone a lot happier. Children tend to self-regulate eventually, and by day 5 I was back to much more realistic portions, and craving grapes. Although we did have one more sticky episode on our first morning home as we realised the Bug had sneaked a honey pot into the luggage for the sake of nostalgia!

Secret 2: Go souvenir shopping.

Do you have any idea of the incredible array of tat you can buy in a ski resort?? It’s heaven! From singing cuddly beavers to replica piste-bashers (very important to 6 year old boys – they need to know exactly how these monsters work), there is something ludicrous for everybody. And the more bizarre the gift, the more dazzling the memory of your incredible trip once you’re back in the real world. We chose these for Daddy, who declared that there looked to be a challenging black run he’d not noticed in the crevasse:

Val d'Isere-48 (500x457)

Secret 3: It is mandatory to wear reflective goggles.

Ordinary sunglasses will not do. Reflective goggles will double a parent’s happiness, and send them into a photography frenzy. And everybody knows that when parents are happy they are much nicer people to be with 😉

Reflective goggles (900x900)

Secret 4: Be the best in your ski class.

Mark Warner ski school Oxygene

Julien asked me several times if I wanted to move up to the next class, but why would I? I was sitting pretty as his expert demonstrator to the younger boys – kind of like a magician’s assistant but without the need for saws. He didn’t insist. Clever boy knew a happy head girl when he saw one 🙂

Secret 5: Parental distress can often be relieved with wine.

The promise of a gluwein frequently spurred my mum on to complete ‘just one more run,’ and a little bit of a witter about the correct way to mount a chair lift quickly evaporated with the distraction technique of rosé on ice.

 

Secret 6: Pick a hotel with good beds. And Wifi.

No matter how much you love skiing there will be the odd afternoon when you absolutely need to lie around in thermal underwear, and that’s not a cool look. You need a comfortable bed, and access to Candy Crush. Or Twitter.

Val d'Isere-30 (900x640)

Secret 7: Take selfies.

For some reason your selfies are much more flattering when you have snow and sunshine…

Val d'Isere-57 (675x900)

So what’s stopping you? Let us know if you have any questions about how to make sure your first family ski trip is a success, and we’ll do our best to answer.

PS: those comfy beds are in the Mark Warner Hotel Le Val d’Isère, and you won’t find better. They also serve awesome cake there, gorgeous food, and delicious croissants. Plus, you can be as grumpy as you like and the staff will still smile at you – we watched it happen, so we know 😉

Disclosure: our holiday was courtesy of Mark Warner Holidays for the purposes of review.

Mark Warner operate a variety of family-friendly trips, including ski and summer holidays. Explore the huge variety on their website.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. All opinion, editorial and imagery is our own, and may not be copied without permission.

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