Last week, I shared some of the wonderful pictures with you that I took on my recent holiday to Chatel as part of the Instagram #CapturingLifeLaughterLove hashtag campaign…but this week, it is time for some proper bona fide travel advice…I know, shocking isn’t it! As you can tell from this post, I am a non-skier. It does happen you know, that people that don’t like ski-ing, do actually find themselves in ski resorts in the Winter. In my case, it is because my husband LOVES it, but it is also because I want my children to be fearless so they started learning to ski at a young age.
So here is a quick list of things to think about when booking a skiing holiday if there are non skiers in your party…ideas that will help you pick a location that works both for those that do wear those silly planks on their feet, alongside the ones that would much rather sit inside and sip some hot chocolate. Or perhaps something a little stronger.
The key for me is to make sure that you DO think about them, and don’t just focus all the energy on the resources for the kids lessons, and the runs for those adults that are already accomplished skiers.
Ski straight to door
This can be a big help for non-skiers, as it means that we don’t spend half the holiday helping the other half, or our kids, lug all their equipment to the bottom of the slopes, and then waste half the morning coming back to the hotel. If you don’t have a hotel or apartment which is ski to door, then do consider doing what we have done in the past…driving to the resort. Eurotunnel or the ferry is an adventure of itself with kids. Taking this option means you have the car, so you can take the equipment to the slopes easily as long as there is a road to some of the lifts in your resort. The non skier then has a car to explore; a god send.
If you can afford it, try and get a hotel or apartment complex with a swimming pool or Spa on site. This can make such a difference in terms of being able to enjoy the hotel, and fit in meeting up with the rest of the family at lunchtime. It doesn’t make for too relaxing a holiday having to traipse about trying to find the pool, and then rushing back in time for lunch with the kids up the mountain.
In Chatel, our apartment complex was perfect with a Spa onsite; well done Les chalets d’Angele from CGH. This made it so much more relaxing. The money you save on not having ski hire or the need for a weekly ski pass can surely be spent on a treatment or two, right? Well, that’s what I kept telling myself anyway….
Consider the shops too – is ther a nice centre not far from the hotel that you can explore? It is better for non skiers for the resort to have one central shopping area to explore rather than a sprawling collection of mini locations up and down a mountainside…that makes for very tiring, and annoying shopping trips into town!
Going up – look out for those Gondola lifts
If you can, check out the piste map before you go, just to see the number of options for going up into the mountains on Gondala lifts. This means that non skiers can easily meet for lunch with the skiers. Skiers can explore the mountains in the morning, or have their lessons, and the non-skiers can have a leisurely morning and travel up the mountain with a return ski pass as a one off. These aren’t too expensive either, and well worth the cost for the views. You could even go up a bit early on the gondolas to take in the views properly.
Walking not ski-ing
A fantastic way to get fit, and to join in with the activities on a ski-ing holiday when you don’t ski, is to walk. Consider this too when you are booking. If you like to walk, like me, then book somewhere which has some well marked walks, from your resort, up into the mountains. You can do a few miles hike up to a restaurant before lunch to meet the family, and walk back down afterwards. Remember to pack the walking poles though :-D
Comfort is key
Sometimes it is tempting to skimp on the quality of the rooms if you are ski-ing. We are all on the slopes most of the day, so we don’t need THAT much comfort in the hotel. This is fair enough if everyone skis, BUT if you have a non-skier in the family then put a little of the money you save from them not skiing into making sure the apartment or hotel room is really comfortable.
Those little touches can make all the difference if you are in the room during the day without family members. It is lovely just relaxing on the balcony, perhaps with a lovely coffee made in the machine in the apartment, or even a soak in a nice big bath. When you are alone, you most definitely want to feel comfortable and happy!
Pack for relaxing, and me time!
For once in your life, and mums, I AM TALKING TO YOU! Pack with relaxing and giving yourself a proper break in mind. Go on holiday with the view that this is FOR YOU, and you will take what makes you feel happy and chilled out. It’ll do you the power of good, I promise you. As a non skier, toy’ll have about six hours a day to fill with whatever you want. When do you get that as a mum any other time of year? *Never*
So, take a kindle! You can’t read enough when you are relaxing and everyone else is on the slopes, so unless you want to pack another suitcase full of books, I found a Kindle really was a wonderful way to relax and chill out while the family was away. My Paper-white, was well thumbed ;-)
Don’t forget to take other activities too. For example, I took some craft with me to do, quilling to be exact, but whatever floats your boat – pack it in that suitcase. I know this isn’t resort specific, but worth mentioning nonetheless.
Most importantly, don’t forget that swimming costume, and be prepared for those treatments too, so if you are happier in your own Flip-Flops in a Spa, don’t forget to pop them in your case as well.
What other suggestions do you have for consideration to those booking a family ski-ing holiday where there are mad people like me in the party that are non skiers? We would love to hear your ideas as well.