Everything stems from this! If your kids are having fun, there’s a very good chance that mum and dad and the rest of the family are relaxed and happy too! Try your hardest not to sweat the small stuff… yes, snow holidays can be stressful, but keep in mind WHY you are doing this in the first place.
Snowsports and snowplay is exhausting. It’s also guaranteed that the kids will be too excited to sleep the night before their first day, so get some decent food into them before they head out for the day.
Load up those pockets! Now is not the time to be healthy. I’m talking snakes, freddo frogs, muesli bars – these will get you out of many a tantrum or long wait in a lift line. After all the money you’ve forked out for this holiday, you do what you gotta do to keep smiles on those little dials!
If there’s one accessory that you MUST HAVE when heading to the snow, it’s goggles or sunglasses. With every 1000m increase in altitude, UV levels increase by 10%. Combined with the powerful reflection of the rays off the snow, unprotected eyes can become damaged in as little as 15 minutes. Snow blindness is painful and you can temporarily lose your vision. There are loads of brands that make cheap goggles and sunnies for everyone – infants, big kids and mum and dad. And don’t forget the sunscreen!
Feet need to stay warm, so nice, thick socks, or even 2 pairs, is perfect, right?? WRONG. When fitted correctly, ski and snowboard boots should only require ONE pair of socks. Stay away from cotton, as this will absorb moisture (sweat or snow) and make feet cold. You need a moisture wicking material - either synthetic, like polypropylene, or natural fibres like wool. These will pull moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and comfortable. Long, fitted socks that won't bunch up inside the boot and create painful pressure points are ideal. Kids ski socks start at about $10 and you can find them in almost every shop in a ski town.
6. A carrot
Fact: 99.9% of children who visit the snow will want to build a snowman. And what snowman is complete without a proper carrot nose? The kids will love you for it. You’re welcome.
7. DO NOT teach your own kids...
…unless you like arguing with them. They won’t want to listen to you, and your patience will last 3 minutes max. Trust me. I unfortunately speak from experience. Snowsports schools offer skiing and snowboarding lessons from the age of 3. There are heaps of lesson options including half day or full day packages which include lift pass, lessons and lunch. Or if you can afford it, a private lesson is the way to go.
Dress like an onion – layers that can be peeled off. The first layer against your skin is the most important. Merino wool is AMAZING as a thermal layer (can be a bit exxy but lasts forever) or a synthetic fibre like polypropylene will also do the job. Add a fleece or jumper, then a jacket and that should be enough for Australian alpine conditions.
9. Stay hydrated
Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink! You are surrounded by water in it’s frozen form, but don’t forget to give kids plenty of water throughout the day. Even in the freezing cold, it’s important to stay hydrated as your body is working extra hard to stay warm.
10. Locate baby change facilities and pram access
Surprisingly, baby change/parent facilities can be hard to come by in mountain resorts. It’s a good idea to flick an email to the resort ahead of time to locate these facilities. It will save you a good 30 minutes of walking around in circles with a smelly baby and may dictate where you set up ‘base camp’ for the day. One thing that ski resorts do tend to have a lot of is STAIRS. So be prepared with an extra set of hands to help you with the pram.