A family enjoys the Alps

Skiing with children: how to make the first ski holiday a success

By Michelle MacPherson of Gone Skiing

South Africans are used to going on holidays to the beach with the children. However, many are dreaming of a family snow holiday abroad and wondering how to get there, when to go, and what to expect. Quite simply: it can be done and doesn’t need to be a hassle.

While children can find it tough in the beginning, once they have the basics of skiing or snowboarding they will absolutely love their time on the slopes. Ski or snowboard holidays also do wonders for their self-confidence, too. Read on because we are going to get you started with some tips on how to make your first family Club Med snow holiday a success.

Learning to ski with the Club Med ski school
A child learns to ski with a skilled Club Med ski instructor in the Alps

Get the kids excited about a Club Med snow holiday

You have decided that yes, a family snow holiday is a fantastic way to bond with the kids and give them a brand new and exciting experience.  We recommend getting the kids excited about the trip by telling them all about the exciting snow activities where they will make new friends from other countries. These activities include: ski or snowboard school, family snow activities, painting, music games, and early learning and creative workshops.

In the build up to your holiday, one of the very exciting outings is taking the family to Gone Skiing – South Africa’s premier ski and snowboard shop in Fourways. The shop offers everything you need to prepare you and your family for hours on the slopes.

After your visit to the Travel Agency by Club Med at Design Quarter to book your holiday, head to Gone Skiing across the road and enjoy 10% off your gear. Gone Skiing stocks all of the world’s leading skiing and snowboarding brands making it the perfect place to prepare for the slopes so that you can hit the slopes as soon as you arrive at your Club Med village (and not worry about gear).  

Check out GoneSkiing’s essential advice for what you need for your holiday. When it comes to knowing what to buy, this blog will help you decide.

Inside the Gone Skiing store
Inside the Gone Skiing store

Once you have purchased all your gear for your holiday, why not have some fun at home and play dress up games with the kids? This will get them really excited for the holiday. Get them to try on their new gear and model for the whole family and even take some photos and videos of them pretending to ski or snowboard.

To really get the kids excited and prepared for your snow holiday, we recommend taking them to Africa’s highest ski resort – Afriski mountain resort – to give them a taste of what skiing and snowboarding is all about. Afriski is located in Lesotho and offers many accommodation options to suit all budgets, as well as a full ski school offering lessons for the little ones. This will build up their self-confidence and get them ready for the European slopes.

View of Afriski
View of Afriski

What is the best age for a child to start skiing?

According to ski instructors, the perfect age for your child to start is four or five years old. Reasons why: they are old enough to listen; they can put their own equipment on; they have the co-ordination skills to be able to control their bodies and skis; they can manage a lesson without burning out; and they can get up by themselves when they fall over. The number one and most important rule is that your child has fun and enjoys the sensations of skiing and snowboarding.

Three year olds can get used to the ski resort, try the equipment on, and start out on a flattish beginner slope to get the feel of the snow. They will definitely love buzzing around on a bum board which makes for lots of family fun.

Choosing a family-friendly Club Med village

It is important to book your All-Inclusive Club Med snow holiday at a family-friendly resort like Club Med Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon as these villages cater specifically for families. This includes skiing and snowboarding lessons specifically for children and endless activities to keep the kids busy at the Kids Clubs.

Book the kids into group ski lessons

Group ski lessons for kids will help them master the basic skills. You have a choice of individual or group lessons. Group lessons are much more enjoyable for kids as they get to meet new friends, help one another learn, and share their excitement once they start to grasp skiing.

Schedule lots of snow fun with mom and dad

You are going to love having time to perfect your own skiing or snowboarding and having some quality bonding time with your partner. But, the most memorable of all will be the moments you spend connecting with your kids. We recommend getting a bumboard and doing bumboard races down the slopes, building snowmen, having snowball fights, and enjoying meals together.

Finish your snow holiday with time skiing as a family

After a few days your kids will have been in group lessons with the ski school, getting the hang of their turns. They will now able to go down the mountain and they are probably going to want to show off their new skills. We recommend ending the holiday with a few runs down the mountain as a family, taking photos and videos of your little ones in action.

Speak to a snow specialist at the Travel Agency by Club Med today and book all your flights, transfers, and accommodation. Your All-Inclusive Club Med holiday includes accommodation, food, drinks, in-resort activities, entertainment, after-parties, and more. Also, kids stay for free* with Club Med so enquire with your snow specialist about this.

For tips on where to go when, read this.

*T&Cs apply