How will you travel to the mountains?
The Alps are closer than you think, it’s not all about checking bags in, getting through airport security, and those queues! There are a number of other travel options available depending on your budget and how long you’ve got to take in the scenery!
Take your home comforts and self-drive
A self-drive holiday is a fantastic way to manage your time and to travel at your own pace. Not only will you limit your carbon footprint, taking your own car means you can stock up on some key supermarket essentials that will cost you an arm and a leg in resort. And, feel free to bring as many warm clothes as your heart desires with no weight restrictions! With an average of 10-12 hours driving time, stop off along the way and do some sightseeing to break the journey up. Or for the more hard core drivers, book a Channel Tunnel or Ferry crossing late in the evening and drive through the night – you’ll be in the mountains ready for brunch and buying your ski pass!
- Before leaving, get your car serviced and check your anti-freeze is strong enough to withstand the freezing temperatures of the Alps
- Make sure you have snow chains in your car – they are a legal requirement in France
- The roads up the mountain can be very busy in peak season – aim for early morning or late night arrival
- Pay for tolls on a credit card, as it’s quicker. Approximate toll cost for a return trip is £120-£140 depending on your route and destination
Enjoy the scenery and take the snow train
Taking the snow train is definitely one of the more relaxing ways to travel. With more space to recline and enjoy the scenery, shorter transfers and a bigger baggage allowance, it’s a wonder this form of travel isn’t fully booked already! The Eurostar now have two routes to choose from, direct from London to Bourg St Mouritz where you can take a transfer to Courchevel, Val d’Isere, Val Thorens, Meribel, Les Arcs, Tignes and La Plagne. OR from London to Lyon, which takes you close to Les Deux Alpes, Alpes d’Huez and Chamrousse.
- Travel overnight on a Thursday and ski the Alps for the weekend, be back at your desk on Monday morning
- Take your skis or snowboard on board at no extra charge – make sure you travel with them in a bag
- Bring a good book and a camera to capture the stunning French scenery as you travel down the country
Save your pennies and recline on a ski bus
For those of you who are budget-conscious and don’t mind a road trip, this mode of travel is for you. There are more and more companies popping up offering direct coaches from London Victoria, Folkstone, Dover and Bedford, and with prices from £65 return with no hidden extras, this is definitely the most cost-effective way to travel to the Alps. Most coaches travel throughout the night on a Friday and leave late on the following Saturday, which means a full 8 days in resort. The Ski Meribel coach boasts luxury recliner seats, and free ski and snowboard carriage, and a little bird tells us they also serve a continental breakfast when you wake up in France.
- Check your preferred holiday dates early, coaches fill up quickly
- Download some good movies and TV series to keep you occupied whilst you’re on the road.
- Keep your toothbrush handy so you can freshen up after a snooze.
- We stocked up on lots of water, fruit and nuts for the journey. It’s easy to reach for chocolate and sweets, but sticking to the healthier stuff will allow you to sleep properly and stand you in good stead for your first day on the slopes.