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Very excited. Our first skiing holiday is booked. Now we need tips.(17 Posts)
We have booked a week in Arinsal, Andorra for Feb half term. We are staying in a self catering chalet and are travelling independently. So it's me, DH, DS1 and DS2. DS1 is 4 and DS2 is 1. I'm so excited as have never skied before so have no idea what to expect. So please share some tips with me. Anything to make our holiday run smoother? I have a few questions to begin with. What shall we take to transport the baby- buggy or rucksack or both? How many snowsuits should we take for the kids? How many ski outfits for the grown ups- is one enough? Do I need a special ski jacket or can I use my North Face Triclimate? Do we/ the kids need après ski boots? I can't wait....
One ski outfit each! The first year I took my DS, he had waterproof rain trousers and coat with thermals and fleecy track suit as he was not really out skiing all day. I get him some snow boots, find them quite useful here too and I have snow boots for me but used to just wear trainers in resort.
Most people tend to get a whole new outfit for skiing, no idea if your existing jacket would do though. I never bought special gear when I first started (skint teenager) just made do with layers.
Excited for you! When are you going? We are going 26th Jan to France so can report back if you are travelling after that as kids are same age. Def agree only 1 outfit each and we are borrowing as have friends who have already invested. North Face Triclimate should be fine if it is a short one and if you have them I would wear walking boots in resort and snow boots for the kids. Decathlon is great to buy good value kids stuff. Buggy vs rucksack is an interesting one and will depend on how you are travelling and how much it snows before you go so would check forecast and web cams so you can see general resort conditions. I would also pack some salt and pepper and olive oil etc otherwise you end up buying it all in resort and not using half of it. I always take tea towels and some loo roll too just in case you get there late. We are going for a practice at Skiplex tomorrow to hopefully get DD excited and hoping that will carry on through to France even if weather is terrible for the whole week. Also don't forget insurance just in case!
Take little individually wrapped chocolates (or you can buy little ones there) for the kids to have if they get cold in their skiing lessons.
One snowsuit for each child works or us, but they have 2 pairs of gloves each as these get wet.
I took a buggy for my Dd when she was a baby. Our friends hired a sledge in resort ( not in Andorra though so I don't know what is there).
Kids do need snow boots for walking about.
I don't know if your jacket will do without seeing it. But it can get v cold skiing in Feb, so I'd probably take it, but buy some decent thermal layers and a thin fleece too.
I remember from doing self catering in Andorra a few years ago, there was a family moaning that there was only UHT milk in the shops and maybe no cereal. If you are fussy about stuff like this then take with you. I'll let you know any Andorran tips when I return.
Take layers including thermals, high neck tops and fleeces to wear underneath outer snow clothes as weather could be unpredictable, very warm or chilly at that time. One outer layer each is fine , there is usually a warm room to dry stuff off. Yes to snow boots and /or good walking boots. Neckwarmers are a good investment as these shield the chin from the zip and can be pulled up over the mouth/nose on chairlifts or in chill winds. Check the forecasts but ime roads and paths are cleared in resort so buggy ok, if you plan winter walks on off road paths they will be snowy underfoot but you can use backpack or hire a sledge with seat (take a footmuff or blanket). Your NF jacket should be fine (I ski in one similar). Do you plan to have daycare for your lo while you all take lessons ? If so have small named rucksack and spare clothes . He can be stripped down to thermal legging/joggers and long sleeved top indoors but will need fleece, mitts, hat etc for going outside. Make sure you have booked skischool in advance as half term can be very busy.
Thanks everyone. This is all very useful.
take spare gloves and tights.
an oil based sun protective skin creme (very important it doesn't have water in) for outdoors.
Serious moisturiser for you for after ski, (bio oil or similar)
First time I went I had thick tights and Adidas tracksuit bottoms, I mean do not forget you can dress cheaply with what you already have, as Fanny said, layers are the thing.
Thick thick socks.
I would take two snow suits for the four year old. We ended up having to buy another set for DS as he kept weeing in it. Resort prices are shocking!!!
Neck warmers are essential as you can pull them up on the lifts to keep you warm. If it's your first time skiing you could really do with a jacket with a skirt inside to stop the snow going up it when you fall over. Thick socks for after skiing however you shouldn't wear thick socks when skiing, you need proper skiing socks but the thinner sort you can find them in a ski shop they help you ski better and make your boots fit better. If you are hiring ski boots pay for the upgrade ones. Take those really good blister plasters with you just incase. Invest in really good thermal long underwear for everyone. One ski outfit per person is fine. Snow boots or walking boots essential for all. When you buy food buy lots you eat a lot. We always go to a hotel as after a hard days skiing I couldn't face cooking however we eat huge cooked breakfasts, a hot lunch on the piste (normally spaghetti Bolognaise) then a massive afternoon tea of cheeses cold meats and lots of cake then a 3 course dinner and I normally either lose weight or stay the same you really do burn the calories. Enjoy skiing is amazing.
Dd had a wee accident in her snowsuit as a toddler. The resort had a launderette. Cheaper than a spare snowsuit.
All DS's wee accidents happened in ski school first thing. We wanted to go sledging in the afternoon and go skiing as a family, couldn't have got it washed and dried in that time.
I would take buggy over a back carrier just because it can get quite slippery plus a buggy means you can go out in the evening and a baby will be all nice and cosy in a buggy and sleep.
One set is fine if your child is not prone to accidents otherwise I would get a spare pair of trousers Lidl/Aldi do cheap ones. Always two pairs of gloves and I found sunglasses with a head strap thingy easier than googles on little ones but am trying googles this time on DS.
Decathlon have some great deals on at the moment for adult thermals but I get my DS thermals from H and M as they are cheap and keep him warm and aren't white!
Are you driving? If so then pack up basics herbs, spices, tea, coffee, hot choc, pasta, rice, tom puree, part baked rolls that kinda thing as it is very expensive in resorts and milk. We took UHT as cheaper here than over there.
Ear hat thing that just goes over your ears...no idea what it is actually called. Very good because sometimes you can get too hot for a full hat but your ears get cold on the lifts.
A little back pack to chuck your layers in and some water. Pain killers because if it is your first time falling can happen a lot!
Glove liners and proper ski socks. Comfy pants because having horrible uncomfy pants on with salopets is really really annoying.
Sledges far cheaper in decathlon than in a ski resort but obviously easier to take if driving.
Have fun it is great and I love it because I am throwing DS in the ski school and creche all day this time and will be skiing all day like a care free person......well until 5pm anyway Still it is the only proper break I get in the year.
Just back from Arinsal. It was very warm while we were there so most days we were skiing in base layer and ski wear, no fleeces we could have done with shoes instead of snowboots! There was virtually no snow in the village so you'd be fine with a pram or buggy if like that. There are a couple of small supermarkets in the village which should have everything you need.
The skiing was great, it's a small ski area but I enjoyed it and the beginners we met all had a great time. Plenty of snow for the skiing in all but a few places.
There is a free bus into La Massana which has quite a few more shops or a bus you have to pay for to get into Andorra La Vella which has loads of big shops.
Depending on what time you're due to arrive, think about taking something to eat that Saturday night. We've been delayed a couple of times and the shops/restaurants close early on Saturday evenings in France and so a packet of pasta+sauce or something is useful.
Also, if you possibly can, pick up skis on the Saturday afternoon (if you're there in time). Sunday mornings
can be are a nightmare with crowds/queues. We once had lessons booked for 9.30 that first morning and it was a real stress getting ready in time. If you book with SkiSet, you can pre-order your kit which speeds things up (and is cheaper) and you always have the option of switching if boots don't fit properly.
Take some lessons in advance if you can.
We also take dishwasher tablets, washing up liquid, binbags, basic cleaning materials etc too. Resort prices are sky-high.
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