A ski holiday with kids needn’t be a nightmare. Guest reporter, Di McLean, recently visited Hokkaido, Japan with two small children aged 4 and 6. Here’s her top 10 tips for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday:
1. Its cold in Japan!! Take good quality clothing and accessories. This is absolutely essential for keeping out the cold and for ease of dressing in the morning. If the kids get cold on the slopes it’s game over for you and the kids. Make sure their gloves are good quality and easy to work with. The amount of times I had to put gloves on children….
2. Plan your luggage carefully. e.g. include a few snacks and a change of clothes in your carry-on luggage (in case of accidents), and make sure your snow gear (boots, jackets, gloves, beanies) is easily accessible for when you arrive. It is also helpful to have suitcases that can be rolled or ridden on by small children.
3. Allow lots of time to do everything and get anywhere. Kids move at a glacial pace. Really! We took toboggans which were very useful for pulling kids around….It reduced our frustration and they loved the ride.
4. Slow down and appreciate your surroundings. We were itching to hit the slopes and get as much powder time as possible. The kids, however, were simply stoked to play in the snow.
5. Enroll the kids in lessons. The kid’s group lessons are fantastic, not too expensive and a great way to get some adult time together on the slopes.
6. Skiing is a good option for the kids rather than snowboarding. Whilst my husband and I snowboard, we hired ski gear for the kids, as we felt it would be easier for them to learn with less falls (and therefore less tears and whingeing). We didn’t bother with the ski poles – just another thing to carry.
7. Don’t go too far down the mountain in front of your kids. When they fall and refuse to get up, it can be a long walk back up.
8. Hot chocolates from vending machines. Self explanatory really.
9. Ramen. Enough said.
10. Take the kids and enjoy an onsen at the end of the day. With a few rules, e.g. don’t stare and don’t splash, the kids loved the independence and relaxation of the hot bath experience.