parents

6 reasons why snow holidays are better than the beach.

Kate and her family at the snow.

By KATE HUNTER

I love Alissa Warren, really I do. I respect her as a fellow Mamamia writer and as a woman. I do not, however, respect her family holiday choices. I am judging her.

Because her children’s exposure to snowy experience will be limited to that frosty Disney mega-phenomenon of which we do not speak. They will be missing out, because Alissa does not like the cold. Suck it up and put on a spencer, sista.

In my not so humble opinion, snow holidays rock.

Here’s why:

1. Snow gives you stories. At the end of the day, there’s conversation fodder for around the table. Who moved from beginner to intermediate? Who stacked it on a lift? Who had the hottest instructor? I love beach holidays, but there are only so many tales you can tell about sandcastles and bluebottle stings.

2. Skiing is exercise, but fun. Importantly, it gives you permission to eat massive meals, washed down by vats of hot chocolate and/or red wine on a daily basis.

Kate and her husband being romantic – like Wham!

3. Snow holidays are romantic. Wham! didn’t film their ‘Last Christmas’ video at Coogee did they? No, they didn’t. George and that white-anting whatsisname headed for a chalet in Switzerland because snow is more romantic than sand. Probably because when you’re frolicking in snow, you’re generally clothed in more than a single layer of lycra, so there’s less chance of natural elements becoming trapped in your crevices. Granted, if you’re not an elegant, loose-limbed skier,  such as myself*, the actual skiing part mightn’t be THAT romantic. Neither is the long underwear part, or the screaming at the kids about the lost gloves part … but AFTER all that, there are log fires, cable-knit jumpers and Baileys. I live in Queensland. Generally, there’s not a lot of cable-knit in my world.

4. Ski School. These words are key for parents. Last week we went to Queenstown with my sister in law and her family – a party of four adults and five kids. At 10am most days, those kids ceased being our responsibility and were under the capable care of Candace, from Colorado, who called them ‘Dude’ and told them every two seconds how AWESOME they are. I don’t know that my kids do, in fact, inspire awe, but what the hell? The kids had fallen under Candace from Colorado’s spell. Apparently they didn’t whinge, ask for snacks or bicker with each other.

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Ski school= genius.

Or if they did, Candace kept it to herself. Same-same. They were in heaven and we were free until lunchtime. My husband, brother-in-law and I skied while my sister-in-law cooly hot-footed it back down the mountain to explore quaint ye olde worlde townes.

If you are thinking about a snow holiday, pick your region and resort accordingly. ‘Ski-in, ski-out,’ accommodation is great, but if you’re first timers who can’t ski, well … that might not be the best choice. Also, if you think you might like some off-snow activities – walking, taking a lake cruise, shopping … consider Queenstown.

 5. BYO is OK. Yes, snow holidays are expensive, but that’s because you’re DOING STUFF. And that stuff requires things to happen on top of a mountain. You can see why hot chips cost more up there than they do at sea level. The answer is to buy hot chips sparingly and take your own sangers and snacks with you. Your kids will be too hungry and too happy to care.

6. The Aldi Effect. It happens around Easter time. (Seemingly) normal people start queuing at dawn to find cheap, top quality snow wear among the shortbread, shampoo, camping toilets and other Aldi randomness. I participated this year, and although I’m still recovering from seeing a gent stripped down to his Bonds trying on ski pants near the baked beans, it was worth it for the savings.

 Kate in her parka- not Aldi but ebay. 

The only other downside is the advent of Aldi ski wear has meant you will see many fellow Aldi enthusiasts on the slopes. It’s a not-so-secret society. We give each other a little nod that says, ‘Respect. I know how hard you fought for that parka.’

The exceptions to my rules: Snow holidays are great for kids of all ages EXCEPT, in my opinion, babies and toddlers. Skiing and snowboarding are equipment-heavy activities and we’ve only really enjoyed it since our kids were big enough to carry their own skis. I’d say wait for your youngest to start school, then wait no longer.

Even you, Alissa. And you can borrow my Aldi parka anytime. * Not really

Are you with me? Are you Team Snow?

Tags: family , kids
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