Skiing with lots and lots of toddlers - please help!(13 Posts)
So DH and I have gone skiing with a group of old friends a few times as four couples. We've had a couple of years off - mostly breeding , as we ALL have children now, very close in ages. There are four couples, and six children - one 3 and one 18mo year old, 1 2.5yo, 1 2yo, and 2.5 yo twins.
How on earth do I go about finding accommodation for us all? Previously we've done catered chalets as it's low stress and has always seemed good value compared to the Euro.
Is it easiest to look for chalets with large rooms we can put travel cots in, or single/twin rooms we can put them in beds (but presumably nowhere will be toddler proofed...)?
And at least some of them, if not all, will still be in high chairs for meals... Do we just assume we're going to have to pack a LOT of booster seats and door jammers? I can't picture what stage my two will be at in six months or so, let along our friends' kids.
Have you done this? Please help!
I have skiied.
I have been ski hols with other couples.
I have been on holiday with other families.
A skiing holiday with several other families sounds like a living nightmare. Lots of different discipline, bedtimes, nap times, eating habitats, children in a strange place. Do the children know each other ?
If you really want to do this, why not all book place in a catered chalet with a family ski company like Espirit, or The Family Ski Company ? Costs, but highchairs, cots etc will be sorted. They will have a creche, or be able to organise one.
I've never been skiing with kids (can't face it until youngest DC is at least 3!), but I agree with BikeRunSki.
Have you been away with these friends/spent weekends with them since the kids were born?
We have had some really stressful times staying with friends when it transpired their parenting strategies were not the same as ours - & conversely of course we have had some lovely trips with families we are in sync with.
Agree it would be best to take a chalet between you with childcare on site. Also have some ground rules regarding bedtime and behaviour . You may think you have lots in common but it is amazing how one tot being allowed to stay up during an adult dinner sitting can upset the mood.
Yes, that is mostly how we see each other now, staying at each others houses.I agree it has nightmare potential but given that some of the group have known each other for 25 years we should be able to overcome it. Either that or it will be the death knell on over a century shared between us!!
Catered chalet definitely high on the agenda, never tried chalet hotel - they all look a bit institutional on screen but would consider if there were recommendations.
Hi - def go with a Family ski specialist - it will save all your sanity and you will remain friends!! We have done plenty with different companies - some better than others - sometimes with friends and sometimes without - always had a good time - just need lots of wine and a smile....
Recommendations (and ones to avoid) very welcome!
Honestly I'd just get everyone to book into a big Mark Warner style hotel. You can meet up for mealtimes and skiing but also each have more control over your environment (eg quieter times for naps) and less issues over toys / tidiness / parenting styles etc.
All the benefits of a shared time together but with much less hassle and if you have decent baby monitors you can still put them to bed and have adult time in the bar in the evening. Plus onsite childcare and laundry.
I'd get in touch with some family specialists and see what availability they have for exclusive use of chalet. I've only tried ski esprit since skiing with the lo and I would definately use them again. Everything is onsite such as high chairs, boosters, cots, bedguards, stair gates etc. Most rooms can take a cot or have extra beds where you can add a bed guard and are ensuite. If the families are spread across he country it would be good to pick an operator with different departure points or look at booking your own flights.
I have done this many times - though never with quite so many tinies so close in age! Always in catered chalets and always in Meribel, La Tania or Val D'Isere all of which are well set up for families.
Our first trip of this kind was with 3 other families (1 toddler per family at that stage) and we went with Meriski, which (8 years ago at least) had a creche/nursery of its own. I think each couple had their child in a travel cot in their room. We did that once more, and then the group grew a bit bigger, the firstborns got a bit older and everyone else started having second children and it became necessary for the kids to share twin bedrooms. The chalets became bigger and we started using independent nannies (usually through Kids Etc nanny agency in Meribel) who would come to our chalet to look after our kids and deliver them to us on the slopes in the afternoons.
We have gone with Alpine Action, VIP and Purple Ski as well as Meriski in Meribel and La Tania and YSE in Val D'Isere. All have provided travel cots and high chairs/boosters as needed and the Kids Etc nannies bring lots of toys with them.
Once the kids are occupying main beds (rather than a cot in your room) it starts getting very expensive, but most chalets seem to have a limit on the number of cots/extra beds in parents' rooms they'll allow - and I've never come across a room which will take 2 cots/extra beds.
The beauty of taking over a catered chalet is that you dictate mealtimes and food - its never quite so flexible in a chalet hotel.
I cannot recall ever having serious issues re different parenting strategies!
I guess it depends who will look after the children in the day? Are you putting them all in a creche? It seems a little bit of a strange holiday for so many small people.
Ski Famille is a good company and they provide British nannies.
We did La Tania with ski magic, they employ their own nannies and were brilliant.
Honestly... I wouldn't go skiing with that many kids of that age.
You'll all spend a fortune getting there and the majority of the people (the kids) will get nothing out of it.
I would wait another year or two for this and plan the joint holiday with kids somewhere else on this occasion.
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