Family travel tips from Chris Thompson, Director of Ski Famille, and father of Eva, three
What’s your recipe for the perfect family holiday? Something that combines lots of fun family time with an opportunity for adults to recharge the batteries and do their own thing every now and then as well.
What’s your favourite childhood holiday memory? It would have to be sailing trips in the Med. There is nothing to beat leaping on and off boats with friends and family, except perhaps skiing with them!
What’s your company philosophy? We want to make a high quality family ski holiday simple and fun.
Pick the perfect Ski Famille “hero” holiday for the following:
* Family with a baby When we were at the baby stage, Centre Parcs type holidays were brilliant. You have your own space but very easy access to baby friendly places to eat, play and relax.
* Family beach/summer holiday For me, a luxurious activity holiday along the lines of those offered by www.country-kids.fr would be bliss. They combine the best bits of a chalet type holiday with a stunning summer location, activities on the doorstep and a fun children’s club.
* Family ski holiday A catered chalet holiday with childcare has to be the most enjoyable option for children and parents alike. Parents can free themselves from dull day-to-day chores and enjoy the mountains. Children have company and days packed with fun activities. My personal favourite would be a week in Les Trois Vallees at our Chalet Katie
Can you share three tips for travelling with children?
1. Company is really important for children on holiday. If you’re not going somewhere with an element of childcare consider travelling with friends – it can take the pressure off everyone… assuming you pick the right friends!
2. With young children, minimising travel time can dramatically cut parental stress levels. Think carefully about where you are going and the best way of getting there.
3. Don’t be shy. Question your travel company about anything that concerns you before your holiday. They should be more than happy to answer any questions and you’ll head off on holiday with a clear idea of exactly what awaits you.
What’s the secret of a successful family holiday? Let children dictate the pace to a certain extent. If they are happy, you’ll be relaxed. If you try and have the same holiday you had pre-kids it simply won’t work.
What three things you should always pack for a family holiday? Sun cream and sunglasses (whether beach or mountains) and a few favourite books and toys.
The perfect family holiday song? I trained our three-year-old daughter, Eva, early and we now get asked to play David Bowie, The Specials or Elbow. I highly recommend this approach to The Wheels On The Bus avoidance!
Perfect holiday reading matter for parents? I like something well written but not too taxing on holiday. A Rebus novel by Ian Rankin is hard to beat.
Perfect holiday reading matter for children? We’re still at the Charlie & Lola stage, but I have no problem with that at all. Great books.
Worst holiday nightmare? A toss-up between lengthy delays with a child or children in an airport and dirty accommodation. A holiday with both would not be fun!