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Top tips for absolute beginners

Skiing and snowboarding are two of the few sports families can enjoy together, regardless of age or experience. But if you’re heading away on your first family ski trip, take heed of Aleney De Winter’s hottest hacks for a cool snow holiday.

1. Ski and save
If you are on a budget, save by heading to the snow early or late in the season when cheaper lift passes and accommodation are available. Also look out for early-bird deals for overseas destinations.

2. Resort report
Before you book, consider whether you’d like to stay on snow or save money by staying in a nearby town. While it may cost a little more, staying on snow is especially advisable when skiing with younger kids as it means more time on the slopes, less distance to lug all your gear and you’ll always have somewhere to go if they need a break or a nap.

3. Snow play
choosing your resort be sure to find out if other activities like tubing, snowshoeing, sledding and snowmobiling are on offer as these can really add to the holiday and create wonderful memories.

4. Cool for kids
have younger members of the family, make sure there are childcare facilities at your chosen resort and that they are situated in a convenient and easily accessible location.

5. Chain gang
If you are driving to the snow, you’ll need to carry tyre chains. These can be hired at most ski rental stores. You’ll find roadside fitting bays as you approach the ski fields – just make sure you know how to fit them before you’re stuck in freezing snow trying to figure out how they work.

6. Be flexibe
The kids may be limber but most parents aren’t quite as flexible, so practise plenty of lunges and squats before you go to avoid pulling something on your first day on the slopes.

7. Schools in
A good ski school is the key to a successful and safe family ski holiday. Not only will lessons fast-track your kids’ snow skills, but they’ll also provide a great opportunity for them to socialise with other kids. It’s also worth considering half-day lessons for younger children, so they can rest in the afternoon or have a little ski with the rest of the family.

8. Hire it
From skis and boots to jackets, pants, gloves and helmets, there’s a whole lot of gear you’re going to need for your snow holiday. If it’s your first time, hiring is the only way to go. Though you can hire in your home city, it’s a good idea to hire boots and skis at your resort so you can have them adjusted or switch boots if they don’t fit.

9. Head strong
Every child must wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding to prevent and reduce the risk of serious head and brain injuries. Always ensure helmets have been properly fitted and are worn correctly for maximum protection.

10. Shoes & socks
Hire or buy après ski boots to get around when you’re not skiing. They’ll help keep the kids safe from slipping on the icy surfaces, but also keep them comfortable and toasty warm. Put ski socks on the shopping list too, as they’re less likely to scrunch up and reduce the risk of misery-inducing blisters.

11. Dry it
Use the drying room at your accommodation to keep gear dry. There’s nothing worse than trying to wriggle into cold, wet clothes and boots.

12. Lock it up
If you're staying off the snow, hire a locker at the ski field so you won’t need to lug awkward skis, poles and boots to and from your digs each day.

13. You name it
Pack a roll of masking tape and a permanent marker so you can label your skis or snowboards. It’ll make it much easier to identify them amongst the dozens of almost identical ones piled together in the racks outside resort facilities.

14. Snowy snacks
Pack the kids' pockets with a couple of energy snacks to keep them going. A day on the snow can be as exhausting as it is fun.

15. Drink it up
Remember to drink plenty of water as snow activities can be thirsty work. The higher the altitude, the more you need to drink.

16. Do you wanna build a snowman?
You cant go to the snow and not make a snowman so be sure to pack an extra scarf and a carrot, and don’t forget to snap a selfie of the family with your frosty new pal.

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