Skiing holidays are expensive! Taking kids skiing is even more expensive and let's not even think about the cost of going skiing in the school holidays! Once you've booked your flights, chalet, ski passes and ski lessons you still have to make sure that your children are kitted out appropriately to face the mountains in winter. How do you kit your kids out for skiing without breaking the bank? Here are our top 10 tips:
1) Ski socks: get good quality ski socks, remember socks provide the only cushioning between your kids feet and their hire boots, so don't skimp on the socks. Just two pairs are fine to wear on alternate days and wash then in the basin in between if needed.
2) Snow Boots: To get value for money out of a pair of snow boots you need to think of them as winter wellies. Buy them in October and your kids can wear them all winter as well as on your skiing holiday
3) Thermals: If you have a set of thermals great, if not a pair of thick tights and a long sleeved top make a adequate substitute.
4) Salopettes/ski trousers: probably the most frequently borrowed item of ski clothing. Just make sure they are not too tight; they must be insulated and ideally they will be waterproof (particularly for younger kids).
5) Mid layer: A fleece is the perfect top to wear over thermals. Any fleece will do as long as it is comfortable to wear under a ski jacket.
6) Ski jacket: Ideally you want your kid's ski jacket to double up as their school winter coat. Look for something that is waterproof and insulated.
7) Hat: Whatever your kids are happy to wear and if it fits in their pocket that's handy.
8) Gloves: This is another area not to skimp on. Cold hands ruin a days skiing. As a rule you can't get a decent pair of kids ski gloves or mittens for less than £25, which is not a lot to spend when you think about the exposure your hands get on day in the mountains: holding on to freezing drag lift poles and getting wind chill skiing back down. Mittens are warmer than gloves and usually the best choice for children under six years of age. Make sure you get waterproof (not just water resistant) mittens or gloves that are well insulated.
9) Helmet: Kids' ski helmets are now compulsory for most ski schools. They can be easily hired at the same time as your skis. If you buy your own you will usually be able to get a few years of use out of a a helmet that is adjustable in size. Do the maths and work out which option is best for you.
10) Eyes: The cost of ski goggles can vary enormously between brands. To ensure you give you children a pair of goggles that will provide adequate protection from UV and won't fog up, only buy kids ski goggles with a double lens with anti fog and a category 3 UV filter.
So to kit out your kids' for skiing beg, borrow and hire what you can but it's not worth skimping on gloves, sock and goggles