With the countdown to ski season underway, we know all too well the trials and tribulations that can arise when travelling and holidaying as a large group. You don't need yogic practices and a mantra to keep you calm and unruffled, just keep things in perspective…
With tongue firmly in cheek, here are a few simple remedies which can alleviate any niggles and smoothe over any ruffled feathers, whether in transit, over the dinner table, or sharing the hot tub!
Firstly, don't feel you all have to take the same flight, it can be stressful enough coping with airports, skis and crowds without constantly head-counting and fretting about others forgetting passports/skis/children. Be selfish and just look after your own for an easy life!
If you are travelling together, take an eye mask, ear plugs and even a breathing mask a la Michael Jackson, may he rest in peace. Chances are you won't be bothered for the duration of the journey, and you can remain blissfully unaware of any furore around you, even if caused by your own spouse and/or children...
Thirdly, it's a bit like 'Big Brother' as you will be sharing the same space, and in each other's company, for long periods of time. Unlike Big Brother you won't be able to boot anyone out, so decide in advance that you are not going to be wound up... even if there are polar opposites in your party who could make the sparks fly on a soggy Saturday on Skye!
At the dinner table, think like a fifties debutante (well, perhaps allow yourself a little more thinking), and remember etiquette. I don't mean not talking with your mouth full, it's about striking a fine balance between thought-provoking and wittily elegant conversation as opposed to outright argie-bargie over current affairs or politics. If you feel the red mist descending, excuse yourself politely from the table and take to the balcony for some fresh alpine air to cool down!
Also, if you think you're the epitome of witty repartee and the fount of all knowledge, you've almost certainly had a few too many glasses of vino. That annoying pain in your side is probably your partner trying to shut you up!
Finally, like a secret agent, you must seek out the trigger points of everyone in your group, and be vigilant to avoid them at all costs. For example, if someone is super-efficient to the point of marshalling everyone to breakfast at precisely 6.30 am, then go with the flow and let them be. If you try to sabotage their efforts by staging a lie-in protest, everything could quickly unravel into a full scale slapstick farce, with insults and retorts flying!
Having said all that, group travel can be lots of fun, and where would we be without our friends and family? Life would be very boring if we were all the same. My advice would be to relax and enjoy, and if things get a little heated, change the subject, jump into the hot tub, or disappear on the slopes!
Our chalets in Val d'isere are specifically designed to accommodate groups with a choice of chalet