21.07
2011 Family

Book accommodation and activities in advance

For a successful mountain holiday, prepare the essentials beforehand.  Choose the right destination for you.  Mid- and high- altitude destinations do not always offer the same environment or choice of activities.  Gather information about the accommodation facilities and the activities proposed, and decide whether they correspond to your wishes and those of your children.  Above all, book ahead, online or by telephone.

Be prepared for the sun

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Book accommodation and activities in advance

For a successful mountain holiday, prepare the essentials beforehand.  Choose the right destination for you.  Mid- and high- altitude destinations do not always offer the same environment or choice of activities.  Gather information about the accommodation facilities and the activities proposed, and decide whether they correspond to your wishes and those of your children.  Above all, book ahead, online or by telephone.

Be prepared for the sun

The beach isn’t the only place to soak up the sunshine…it is just as strong at high altitude as it is at the seaside!  Therefore, it is important to pack proper sun protection for your mountain vacation: a hat, sunglasses with UV protection and of course sunscreen with a sun protection factor over 20.  Children are even more sensitive to the harmful rays of the sun, SPF 30 or 40 are therefore advised.

… and the cold...

In the mountains, the weather changes quickly and nights can be cold.  Remember to pack warm clothing for the whole family, and to bring them along for your walks in the mountains in order to take full advantage of the evenings!

Pack hiking equipment

Hiking is one of the most popular mountain activities in the summer.  It requires specific equipment, beginning with proper hiking boots or shoes.  Sturdy soles with good grip and a good fit around the ankles are essential in order to avoid sprains.  Break in your boots before your mountain holiday to avoid blisters.  You should also carry a first aid kit containing bandages, sting and antivenin medications in case of stings or bites.  And of course, the pass card for the zone in which you are hiking.

Fun and safety

In the mountains, you have a great variety of enjoyable activities to choose from, but don’t forget to take the proper precautions.  For mountain biking, you should always wear a helmet and gloves, in addition to dorsal protection for the descent.  For this activity and many others, it is strongly recommended to be accompanied by a professional and check into a club with registered monitors.

Bring the proper resources

To take advantage of your outings in nature, don’t hesitate to bring along a guidebook about the local flora and fauna.  It is a good way not only to get information about the natural wealth of the mountains, but also to avoid picking protected flowers.  Picking berries or mushrooms for consummation is strongly discouraged.

Start off in good shape

If you have chosen an active vacation, do some training beforehand.  This will help you avoid muscle soreness and allow you to take full advantage of the activities the mountains have to offer.

Don’t forget anything!

Certain articles of clothing and other objects that we don’t always think to pack are very useful for a mountain vacation: binoculars, water bottle, multi-function pocket-knife, swimsuit, old clothes (for certain activities such as acrobranche, where clothing can get damaged), old trainers (for activities such as rafting or canyoning)…and don’t forget to bring some ID for each member of the family.

A mountain vacation with children requires additional precautions.  France Montagnes offers its advice for a fun, safe summer.

For young children, bring along health records which may be requested in case of a medical problem or for registration in the baby-club.

When driving up to the station, particularly with young children, drive at a reasonable pace and don’t hesitate to take breaks in order to avoid pain in the ears due to the altitude.  It is also advised to bring medication for motion sickness for the winding mountain roads.

If you are travelling with an infant, avoid going above 1500 metres.

If you carry your child in a baby carrier, check often to ensure that he is properly hydrated, and take him out of the carrier regularly to allow him to relax.  In this way, you will also avoid putting excess pressure on certain points of the body which can be disagreeable or even dangerous.

Finally, bring identity photos for each member of the family, for registration in the various activities proposed in the mountains.

Photos : Franck Provost

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