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Six tips when booking a family ski-ing holiday with non skiers

If you do have a non skier in the family -

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.

Think facilities!

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.



Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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Georgia M Wood

Wednesday 6th of May 2015

There are some resorts which offer more than just skiing/boarding on the slopes. I have heard of ones that do dog sledding, skidooing, tubing down the mountains. If you're not into skiing but want to be on the slopes, look for these. I am married to a boarder and while I will try it, I am not as into it as him so the idea of spending 6hrs a day doing something I am not obsessed with sounds a little tiresome so I like the idea of having other activities to try on the slopes.

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