A few weeks ago we were on our first holiday this year. We have decided to be brave and took the girls to Avoriaz – a ski resort in French Alps. If you have little ones you can imagine that a skiing holiday is not the same as if you just go with a group of friends. We had ups and downs but overall had a lovely time. I wanted to share with you some photographs I took and a short video from our trip. If you are planning on a ski holiday next year, read on as I share what worked for us and how we managed with our girls in the winter location.
Before we had our girls, we used to travel to the French ski resorts by car with a ferry from Dover to Calais. Obviously, with young girls, we thought that a 10-hour car journey would be a little bit too much so we decided that Mike and our friend Shaun would travel by car with all the supplies for a week of skiing and I would fly with Sophie, Hanna and my friend Emily and her little girl. It was the first time we travelled to the airport by taxi and gosh it’s a game-changer! I thoroughly recommend you use a taxi to the airport if you have children. Cost-wise it works out pretty much the same or even cheaper when you compare parking at the airport and petrol cost. Taxi also takes you directly to the drop off so you don’t need to worry about finding the car park and take a bus to the airport. We also arranged for a taxi from the Geneva Airport to Avoriaz resort.
If you do go to Avoriaz please note that no cars are allowed around the resort, and everyone needs to park at the designated parking. If you do travel by car and have a lot of stuff to carry to your apartment arrange for a horse-drawn sleigh or an electric shuttle to move around. They look like a minibus on caterpillar tracks 😊 It’s also fun for children and will save your back (Mike and Shaun learnt this the hard way!).
Our journey back was pretty much the same with transfers and no delays to the plane. Sophie and Hanna were excited whilst at the airport and also when the plane was taking off and landing. I for sure recommend you equip yourself with lots of snacks and some entertainment. We had sticker books, colouring books and for younger Maeve, Emily bought a colourful magazine to look at and tear pages from 😊. Playing games such as I spy or any of the naming games are fun too!
Because Mike and Shaun were driving, we decided on renting self-catering accommodation which worked pretty well. We had three bedrooms and my girls for the first time slept in together in one room. Sophie on a lower bunk bed and Hanna in her cot. I was so worried there would be a drama but after storytime, they both fall asleep which was lovely to see. Of course, we still had early waking up and Hanna ended up in our bed at night twice but I count bedtime as a success 😊. Little Maeve had a harder time adjusting to the sleeping arrangements and she mostly slept with her parents, bless.
If you are looking at ski accommodation I recommend shopping around as there is a lot of web sites and the pricing varies. The common pages to use are Snowtrex however we booked directly this time. When you look at the resort, research where it is located to the ski lifts and local amenities. Our accommodation was right next to the lifts and about 10 min walk to the shops which was just right with kids. The apartment was nicely decorated, and we had the most stunning view from our balcony. It was wonderful to observe the scenery changes throughout the week. We’ve had full sunshine, snow, rain, clouds and fog. I’ve tried to capture most of these wonderful changes on my camera.
As I mentioned before skiing with children is not the same(!) however, it does not mean it can’t be fun! We were very excited for our Sophie to put skis on and show her the basics. When we arrived at the ski rental place (we have used Inter Sport) she wasn’t too keen on trying ski boots…until she was shown her skis which had Anna and Elsa in front. You should see her face! She was so happy, and we were so relieved!
If you are going with friends, taking it in turns for childcare and skiing worked quite well. We also decided on buying a 5-hour slot ski passes rather than booking a whole day or a week pass as we knew we wouldn’t be able to ski that much. I wasn’t able to ski with Mike or Em with Shaun, however, I think once our girls are older they would be happy to stay with an adult which is not a parent. We still had a great ski time on the slopes and enjoyed views from high up and that little time for yourself without children.
Avoriaz has a great base around the resort for children who are learning how to ski. You can send them to a ski school or take them sledging. Hanna and Maeve enjoyed sledging and going down the hill 😊. There was a large ski area where there is plenty of space for ski practice. Sophie enjoyed going down the hill and I think if we go next year, she will be so much more confident and maybe even be happy to go to the ski school.
If you have children and deciding on a resort, I highly recommend choosing one where there are other activities for you and your children. We chose Avoriaz – a popular family ski resort in the French Alps because we have heard a lot of good reviews around the resort from friends with families. Price-wise this resort is more expensive however you have access to a soft play, or you can even leave children in a creche. You can also go to the cinema and enjoy the swimming pool. We went twice to the swimming pool and the second time around both Sophie and Hanna were wearing armbands and both were swimming on their own. It was probably one of my highlights of the week! You can also visit a restaurant or an outdoor crepe place which was a hit with all three girls 😊 They all love chocolate!
Our evenings were pretty much chilled and we enjoyed playing board games. We took quite a few but ended up playing Catan every night! It got very competitive! It was lovely to be able to relax and not having to work in the evenings. I also enjoyed a glass of wine and more chocolate.
I will remember this holiday for a long time and would thoroughly recommend Avoriaz – a ski resort in French Alps to any family with young children.
Till next time
P.S. Check out my latest blog about fun kids activities to do at home!