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Ideas for a doable ski trip with a baby

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We did a summer gite holiday in Brittany with friends - our son was about 10 months old, their daughter 2. She slept dutifully through the night, our son soon learnt to tip over his travel cot by throwing himself at the side and woke regularly at 5 - 5.30 am (as he did at home, to be fair). We had to drive him round in his car seat to get him to sleep at night and then take him out in the mornings so he wouldn't wake the others. Restful, it wasn't.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@pam w, my point exactly!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@skimastaaah, you had a couple too many?
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@pam w, Midget I got so used to being in a travel cot when I used to cart him around for work that we put him in one at home instead of the wooden one as he slept best in it!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:
Seriously, best to plan everything around your baby and your other half - shopping (major town nearby?), Swimming (thermal baths nearby?). Happy wife, happy life.


Depressed hubby. Normal life? Puzzled Toofy Grin
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Depends on you, child and husband.

Budget, ideas about childcare, ideas about skiing, ideas about what to do when not skiing.

There is no one size situation.

All day childcare + nanny / all day childcare- a bit brutal at this age- not cheap.

Grandparents- tricky - depends on them.

Large group- tricky

Group plus half parents on slope half not

Differnt companies
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I am by no means a rampant feminist but suggestions that "the wife" will be happy provided there's shopping and a spa do get on my tits.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
pam w wrote:
I am by no means a rampant feminist but suggestions that "the wife" will be happy provided there's shopping and a spa do get on my tits.


I could understand that if that was what I had actually written.

There aren't many things you can do in a ski resort if you are not skiing, those were just two suggestions. My kids loved water when they were children, after skiing it was great to have family time in the thermal baths. I wasn't suggesting they were the only things, or that they were only for females just that they may make him or her happier. If I (as a man) were restricted to a hotel room with a child it would probably drive me and the child up the wall, it'd be like going back into lockdown while on holiday. I'd at least want to get down the shops and see all the latest ski gear, let the child have a look around, have a coffee at a bar and get some family time at the baths at the end of the day. Maybe if there is a town nearby they could have somewhere for the kids to play or an attraction or something. A friend of mine has a girlfriend who doesn't ski but she is happy to come along on ski weekends as long as she has a Netflix connection, I daresay it could be the same for a male non-skier who is interested in football etc.

Of course she/he could still be unhappy after all this and the whole thing could still get on his/her tits but it's probably worth a try. Happy husband, happy life.
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@pam w,
Quote:


I am by no means a rampant feminist but suggestions that "the wife" will be happy provided there's shopping and a spa do get on my tits.


Too right, fancy him forgetting the nail salon and parasol stall. Little Angel
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@DB,
Quote:

There aren't many things you can do in a ski resort if you are not skiing,


Snow shoeing, dog sled rides, icy lake diving, climbing walls, ice driving, paragliding, ice skating, sledging, mountain photography, ice climbing (frozen waterfalls), mountain museums, bungee jumping and organised bar crawls.
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PeakyB wrote:
@DB,
Quote:

There aren't many things you can do in a ski resort if you are not skiing,


Snow shoeing, dog sled rides, icy lake diving, climbing walls, ice driving, paragliding, ice skating, sledging, mountain photography, ice climbing (frozen waterfalls), mountain museums, bungee jumping and organised bar crawls.


Yes but what about things for the adults to do too? wink
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Doing nothing ranks pretty highly on my list of ‘activities’
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I wouldn't necessarily "forget it for a few years". If you love the mountain environment and love skiing you can still get a fix, just with a change in dynamics and emphasis.

We did a couple of trips with grandparents (both skiers to a point). One in the first winter after our first child was born (Warth-Schröcken for 4/5 days) and one to Les Menuires (when the second one was ~1.5 years). And I have good memories of both trips. We then started going just by ourselves. We have always driven, DIYed, not used creche. It took us a while to identify that with little ones you don't need to/want to go the big resorts. In hindsight I would have explored more smaller resorts in those early years. We did do La Norma and Les Contamines though. As you say budget wise versus needs, it makes sense.

One of the other things is having to play second fiddle a little bit to the needs of the child(ren). It took me (less so my wife) a long time to get the hang of this and be less selfish. If you really want a full on ski holiday best do it separately! I'm quite an old dad which you would have thought would make it easier but for me it was difficult. It doesn't actually mean it's less fun just a bit different.

I've heard Austria is better for children but we only did the Warth-Schröcken one, the rest of the time it's been France. For us driving, self catering, accommodation on the slopes works really well - and France is well geared up for that. And there are reasons beyond the kids why we prefer that. It's not something many do but we taught the kids to ski and board ourselves (mostly my wife).

One thing we were conscious of, especially when they were very young was to stay at lower stations. One, it often lessons the drive, and certainly the windy mountain part but also the thinking was the baby/child would be more confortable at 1300 than 1950+. I know when I stayed at Val T I didn't sleep well. Small thing but eh oh. Calpol can help!

One other reason to go on winter holidays pre school going years is you can go off season when it is cheap and quiet!


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Wed 20-01-21 13:04; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@DB, it's OK, I wasn't entirely serious, but there is a LOT of discussion of this kind on SHs. wink And some women ARE that daft. I cherish a memory of being in the Tourist Office in Les Saisies. The woman on duty spoke passable, but far from fluent English. Two English women of a certain age marched in and without preamble (such as "Bonjour....") asked "Where's the nail bar?" Completely perplexed the woman looked at me (we had been talking in my French, which was not much worse than her English and I like to practice). I translated and she had to confess there wasn't one nearer than Albertville. I had visions of the husbands of those daft women having jollied them along with tales of all the "pampering" they could enjoy when the men were out skiing. And their not having had the wit to look for themselves at the resort website which listed all the available facilities. Laughing rolling eyes Laughing

I guess that any woman who lets their husbands arrange a holiday without taking an intelligent interest (or a man who just went along without thought with their wife's ideas) deserves what they get.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@pam w,

No worries we are all (thankfully) different and have different needs. Some parents / grandparents are amazing and can also keep a baby/babies entertained all day in one room with very few props. If I tried that they'd be sulking, tears, screaming, "where's mommy", "I don't want to", feet stamping, toys being thrown out of the pram etc. …. and that's just me the kids would probably be worse.

Had to laugh when I read the first post of this thread though, thought you would have been on it by now.
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=4717564&highlight=spa#4717564
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
In Austria i dont think that there is so famous this service as in France. You could find it but i have no idea how must it will cost
however i can suggest to choose a family hotel
there are many in Austria from kinderhotels.com or familotel.com
i dont know how many do you want to spend, but e.g. the Zauchenseehof in Zauchensee is fantastic...
ski in ski out, all incl, and also i think there is baby club etc
i think Saalbach hat also a couple of these hotels, and Sefaus also...but the question is if you want to spend so much or not
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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My tip re your partner is to Just Ask Them. Don't make assumptions: ask what they would really like to do. When you're keen on a particular sort of holiday - whether it be skiing, sailing, sightseeing, or lazing around a villa and pool - it's very easy to apply unconscious pressure to agree. Asking your partner for an honest answer is an obvious thing to do, but it's surprising how often people don't bother (I am as guilty of this as anyone).
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Layne, thanks for the advice - I'm an oldie dad too...48! Good advice regarding the altitude - a smallish, Austrian resort would probably fit the bill then, otherwise I'm thinking somwhere like Les Gets might be a safer option for a first-timer (and a bit of a shorter drive).

@turms2, well I'd definitely like to go to Zauchensee at some point, so will look into that. In the Amade region I've skied a couple of weeks at Schladming - perhaps somewhere like Rohrmoos would be a good base; practically on the slopes, some nice long runs in the area and not all that far from the main village/town.
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right...Rohrmoos hat also some Hotels near the slopes....but i dont know about the facilities...Zauchenseehof eg is a Kinderhotel
However i noticed the take care kids from 1 y old
you could see eg
https://www.kinderhotel-waldhof.at/
or
https://www.alpina-zillertal.at/
they assummed that they have baby care programm
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Thanks for all the helpful advice in this thread - we eventually took the plunge a year later (12 - 19 March 2022) and we're so glad we did. So here's a bit of feedback:

We opted for a DIY trip to St Johann in Tirol, staying in a superb apartment just off the main street/cobbled area. We found the local skiing exceeded expectations given its small size, but we also had trips out to Kitzbuhel (a couple of days) and Waidring. For the youngster, the local swimming complex and Murmi's Kinderland (soft play) were a big hit. Evenings featured an early dinner (mostly out, but at home a couple of times) and we found restaurants excellent value and quality. If either myself or my other half and her friend ventured out after dinner, we found a handful of nice places for a drink (Postbar, the HuberBrau bar and Michi's being the favourites). If we could have stayed another week, we would have done (possibly due only skiing half the week each).

Notable non-skiing highlight: when trying to board the Salzburg - Worgl train, the ticket inspector shook his head at our tickets and theatrically tore them up. He led us to an empty first class carriage and provided free snacks and drinks for the journey. If that had happened in England I may well have died of shock.
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So good to have that feedback, @Valluga, snowHead
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Cheers @Valluga, always good to hear back on how things worked out.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Love that you got upgraded to first class! Now you’re probably planning your next trip? My daughters have been coming skiing with us since they were babies. Austrian municipal crèches are wonderful and if they run a ski kindergarten then your little one can be on skis from age 2. While they play with brio trains and have a go on the snow tube carousel, you get almost a full day’s skiing in. And I second the Kinderhotel recommendation, they are wonderful. Can actually work out not too expensive if you go outside Austrian and German school holidays. We stayed in the Galtenberg hotel in Alpbach twice. Everyone loved it.
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@Valluga, what did you do re:childcare? Will have a 2 year old and one year old next year so v interested.
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I've had a variety of experiences. Most of them excellent, one of them poor. The companies we had excellent holidays with were Ski Esprit and Ski Famille. Both french, but both exceptionally well set up for the childcare side of things. Frankly, when your babies are little, snow is snow and beer is beer and the choice of resort is limited to 'does it have snow, beer and childcare?' You don't care what country it's in!

We did go to Andorra and Norway too with babies, and went on self catering trips with friends and family with children of similar ages. We took it in turns to watch the kids while other parents skied. A place with somewhere central and nice to sit in good weather is useful here - Pla de Les Pedres in Soldeu in late spring sunshine good to sit out with babies and tag-team ski with other families. January in Lapland with -25C before windchill not so good! (But my sister did insist...)

We have found Austria very child friendly if you bring a helpful grandparent along (we don't have one of those) but a bit less child friendly if you are looking for childcare.

As for those questioning why you'd take a baby on a ski holiday?
1. I took both of mine because the little blighters needed my milk to stay alive. Very inconvenient, but I didn't stop wanting to ski just because I was leaking milk my small human needed.
2. It's not the same as before, but it can be fun! Was great fun for us the time we let my baby go on a toboggan and lost control of the toboggan itself. Much funnier in hindsight than at the time, but it's given us a great story to tell!
3. Get them on skis soon enough, and by 10 they will be overtaking you on most pistes, and you'll ski in a way you probably wouldn't do if you didn't have to follow your child down the trees/skier-cross run/jumps park/random bit of powder they found.
4. Plus you get a lot of hot chocolate breaks (and can sneak a bit of rum in yours.)
5. You get a good excuse to go on yet another ski trip, leaving child at home because you want both a holiday with child and one without. Doubling up your holidays. Bonus!

Finally, there is always the option I saw in Avoriaz this year, as a gang of dads with babies in backpacks came belting past my friend and I. All the dads were wearing helmets, none of the babies were! I assume they were dads, but probably best to check if hiring a nanny in resort that they don't use unorthodox techniques!
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Rois1980 wrote:
@Valluga, what did you do re:childcare? Will have a 2 year old and one year old next year so v interested.


As they skied half the week each it looks like they tag teemed (but I could of course have assumed incorrectly).

We stayed with VIP this year and took advantage of their full time childcare which at £300 a child I though was great value. And we got to ski together the whole time. We did take some time off to spend with the kids as we did want to see them for some weird reason. But at least we had the option of full time skiing and we love skiing together so the splitting of looking after kids isn't for us.

On 2 previous holidays with our young kid(s) we did not book childcare in full and our holiday enjoyment was impacted massively.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I would recommend ABSki nanny service in Tignes / Val D’Isere. We have a 3.5 year old (just started mini club) and a 1 year old and they absolutely love the nannies! £800 ish for the week (6 days x 8 hrs per day). Tignes has loads of activities for kids, very family friendly.
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@Legend., yes you are right. @Rois1980, we decided to share the childcare this year - primarily because he hasn’t started at nursery yet and we weren’t sure how he’d cope with strangers.

We alternated skiing days, although I clomped my way through town to make the last lift a couple of times on my non-skiing days - the local ski bus schedule for St Johann remains a mystery. Nether the less, it all worked out pretty well.

@Tiefschneetaucher - yes already planning for next year!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
You could do what my eldest daughter and son in law are doing and enlist Grandad to go with them - my grand-daughter will be 21 months. About the same age that we took daughter first. Go to a resort you know and love, and it helps if there are plenty of pedestrian friendly lifts and share the baby sitting. We have already booked an apartment that has a cot and cot space, plan to have a rota of child care, are nice and near the lifts for swapping over and lunch meets. We are all first lift out, last lift back people but having the child in tow seems to have made us realise that there are other things to do and discover.
Alpe d'Huez is our choice in early Feb, flights are booked, apartment booked, transfers still to be sorted - we have picked somewhere fairly snow sure that we know well and love.

And as another contributor has put: whatever you do, have fun.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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@Valluga, great that it all worked. You probably made a good choice to alternate childcare yourself if your son isn't used to nursery, see our experience of first time with a baby above. But once our daughter was used to nursery at home, she loved the childcare with different activities - on our way on holiday she would be quizzing us about what they might do in "her club". And immediately on arrival she would make a bee-line for any similar age girl who could be her buddy in club.

With luck you will find holidays much easier in the future, and enjoyable for all of you.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@j b, that’s good to know about your daughter being used to nursery making it easier. My little one loves nursery here (full time 5 days a week) so sounds like I should find somewhere with that type of childcare available.
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If you are looking for family friendly resorts you look at Morzine, Les Gets or Avoriaz.

For childcare you could try Altitude Nannies https://altitudenannies.co.uk/
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
My niece stayed at the Hotel Ellmauhof in Hinterglemm a few weeks ago with her two sprogs, ages 1 and 3. She was raving about the excellence of the hotel for families with young kids. I visited one day and was surprised by the large size of the children’s playroom. I didn’t stay long Confused
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@Valluga, Are you good skiers?* If so, for an alternative out of the box suggestion, Åre or Vemdalen in Sweden. Both resorts very family orientated, many childcare facilities, especially in the Holiday club, and especially out of main holiday season in for example early/mid march, very safe. We have seen quite a few parents with baby's in front slings (* reason I ask if your good skiers). I know what your thinking, but really, Åre especially has alot of gentle cruisey blues, and is often quiet. I wouldn't dream of it in France, but really Åre is another matter, where generally even the "dudes" are respectful of families and kids on piste.
I'm not suggesting you could do this everyday, but it might be something to think about for your very first family ski. Also, given you are unlikely to be hitting the apres, neither resort would be any more expensive than a decent trip to France. Good self catering accommodation, with your own sauna and drying facilities, etc, for a couple is very much cheaper than the Alps because they don't hit you with punitive under occupancy charges.
Feel free to pm me if you have any questions about how we travel and book our trips there ( we DIY our holidays to Sweden).


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Wed 27-04-22 21:08; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Good self catering accommodation, with your own sauna and drying facilities, etc, for a couple is very much cheaper than the Alps because they don't hit you with punitive under occupancy charges.

"Under occupancy" charges only apply if you are booking through a tour operator. If you DIY and just book an apartment, you just pay for the apartment. And generally you will get what you pay for.
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@pam w, I know, but still in terms of bang-for-buck, the Alps doesn't hold a light to Sweden*. Have a look on Skistar Åre comparing out of busy times like for like.

On another note, again thinking outside the box, ever thought of cross country skiing? In Finland it's common to see baby's being towed in trailers (and shopping, tools, work breifcases) snuggly wrapped and sleeping.

*or, that is at least our experience, with drying cupboards and saunas being expensive luxuries in the alps.
Not to mention the cleaning standards we have experienced in France. But that's for another thread Laughing
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@tatmanstours, yes I did consider the Ellmauhof, but thought the ski area (and apres ski) would be wasted on us. We’ve stayed in Saalbach the last couple of years.

@thecramps, well I’m not bad, but seem more likely to fall over when stationary than at any other time on skis. In fact the only ski accident I’ve seen in 25 years involving one of our party was a friend carrying their skis to a gondola, stumbling, dropping her skis and slicing her leg open. So I think we’ll stick to sledging for now! Sweden sounds good though.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Wed 27-04-22 22:59; edited 1 time in total
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Valluga, it is, or at least we both love it. Good luck working out your trip wherever you go. Keep us posted, will be advice for future snowheads. snowHead
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@thecramps, ah well the trip already happened and was a success (there’s a mini write-up above somewhere). Hopefully the first of many!
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@Valluga, oops, missed the timelines Laughing Laughing
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