My DD will be kicking off her Gap year in November working for a large Ski holiday company as a Ski Chalet Assistant in France. She's getting plenty of advice from the travel company and friends on what it's like, what to take, etc. However, I need advice from other parents who have had children do a ski season. For example, when's the best time to go visit them? (I've heard they are too busy at Christmas/New Year to appreciate a visit then), how do you manage christmas presents etc (did you 'celebrate' Christmas before they went?), any hints and tips to pass on ? did you send regular 'food/gift' parcels? etc etc
Morning! As a veteran who worked for 4 years in French ski resorts (a very long time ago) Christmas and New Year are normally extremely busy and sometimes stressful as all new staff are finding their feet. It can also be very lonely if it's your first season and I certainly can't remember getting much skiing in before January. My parents regularly sent me ribena parcels which were very much appreciated though many of the bigger supermarkets in well known resorts do now stock such delicacies as Heinz baked beans and Walkers crisps. My Mum used to come and visit in March time as the weather was generally nicer and everyone knew what they were doing by then. Suspect with skype, blackeberries and I phones, regular communication is probably easier than in my day but I hope all this helps.
I did ski seasons for a few years. Definitely don't visit during Christmas/ NY! It's so busy and you're still learning the ropes. I always found 3rd week of January best - weather is just getting better, it's usually fairly quiet and cheaper for you to visit. I used to pretend it wasn't Christmas at all otherwise you'd start thinking about what you're missing from home so maybe celebrate before she goes and then send her off with a little token present to open on the day. Wait and see what she misses before sending any parcels - although I was in Switzerland I really missed Cadbury's! Other people might just was cash to buy new ski stuff...
Thank you for the advice - I suspect it'll be hard on both her and us when Christmas comes around ... I wonder it I can find someone to send me little parcels with treats in ... chocolate would definately go down well!!