- Driving to the Alps – cost effective?
We did it from the Manchester area with three of us in the car and i think it was around £100 each for everything (fuel, tolls, ferry etc)and that was with the bikes on the roof. I wouldn't go from up here again. May drive to a mates in peterborough and stay over but to be honest next time i think i'll fly.Posted 8 years agosnapsMember
5 of us in a van from Bristol to Zermatt inc fuel, tolls & ferry was well under £500 & on the way back we did it in under 15 hours sticking to 75-80 mph.Posted 8 years ago
Zermatt is a fair bit further than Cham or Verbier so I think you could easily do it for under £400 if you get better fuel consumption & avoid some toll roads.surferMember
I've driven only once to Ski but driven to Spain and the South of France a few times with the family. 4 in all.Posted 8 years ago
The drive out is fine the drive back is a drag!
In total the savings are marginal I found. If you are taking your own Ski's etc there may be more savings and there are benefits of carrying more food/beer etc which may save a little.
Also depends on where you are in the UK. I am near Liverpool so what seems like a long time is spent getting to the ferry. May be different if you live near or south of London.timberMember
last summer we took my van and two cars from Mid Wales via everywhere to pick up in Brum and the south somewhere, tunneled it as cheaper for the van as it won't fit on a car deck, floored it in one hit to Morzine for week one, then the Mega for week two and back again, about £120 each between a dozen of us. Main reason I choose to drive is not having to faff with wrapping bike and weight watching. The van had almost enough spares to build up 2 more bikes and a 5 foot stack of tyresPosted 8 years ago
Very definitely cost effective, even for just 2 people, but it depends on you car. My car got 55mpg over 2000 miles and I spent 75 quid in tolls. Thats 250 all in for 2 people, 2 bikes, all the kit plus a heap of spares and extras. Doubt you'd find flights and transfers for 125 each that would cope with the kit.Posted 8 years agosurferMember
Very definitely cost effective, even for just 2 people, but it depends on you car. My car got 55mpg over 2000 miles and I spent 75 quid in tolls. Thats 250 all in for 2 people, 2 bikes, all the kit plus a heap of spares and extras. Doubt you'd find flights and transfers for 125 each that would cope with the kit.
Did you build a ramp over the channel? 😉Posted 8 years agoJonEdwardsMember
Cost (shared between 2) works out about the same, but personally I find it less hassle, not much slower and surprsingly less knackering to drive, especially if you're taking bikes. (the last couple of times I've had a spare bike with me -try getting that on a plane!)
Once you're there, you also have a lot more freedom to go off and do other things if you have a car handy.
I'm based in s. london and have a big diesel estate, so it's about as easy as possible for me. If I lived much further from Folkestone than that, I'd reconsider – it's the UK driving that's the killer.Posted 8 years agomossimusMember
I do it a couple of times a year for skiing trips. With 2 in the car the actual cost is pretty similar (about £280).
we tend to load the car up with food/drinks etc, this saves a fair bit of money compared to French resort prices. Also can take more kit without paying charges.
For me the killer reason to drive is you can get 8 full days skiing in rather than 6 whist only taking a weeks holiday. Guess this would also apply to biking.
I am London based so minimal effort to get to tunnel.Posted 8 years ago
Cost of a hire van, + Channel ferry + Fuel and Tolls is likely to be around 800
You can get flights for less and transfers are usually around 50 return.
You can leave the previous evening drive all night and be riding by 9am next day especially if you organise a couple of beds in the van.
Most reasonably priced flights are at stupid times and mean you end up paying through the nose for the extra two days riding you get free if you drive.
I've driven around 15 times for bith Skiing and Bikes.
You can just about get 4 in a big estate with the bikes if you use a roof box. From Calais it's around 8 hours but I've got there in 6 on the terror from hell slow down you stupid bastard, drive.Posted 8 years ago
Worked out well for us snowboarding early this year. It's about 120 euros in tolls, about 140 quid in diesel, ferry was about 75. Adding on cost of hiring a roofbox (£60), adding two mates to insurance (£52), euro breakdown cover (£26), it worked out was around £120 each.
That's about what flights would have cost us, and we'd have had to get to Gatwick, pay £40+ to park for the week, and had to arrange transport for the other end. Snowtrain was even pricier but they'd run out of spaces anyway.Posted 8 years agomike-at-dialledbikesMember
Not done it since 2007, but 3 of us went done to Les Arcs. I paid for the ferry (about £180 return) and the other 2 guys settled the tolls and fuel between them. Dunno how much the tolls and fuel was, but must've worked out less than £200 each for 3 of us, 3 bikes and a week's worth of kit.
If you're hiring a vehicle, then that obviously bumps up the cost.
Driving is much less hassle than flying, imho. About 10-12 hours door to door from Epsom to Les Arcs.Posted 8 years ago
I took the overnight train – fares came in at about £150 each all in. Main advantage is that you're at the ski resort first thing saturday morning, and you don't have to leave until the evening on the following saturday – so that's two extra days skiing compared to flying.
The only was to get fares that low is to book them the day they become available (three months ahead, IIRC).Posted 8 years ago
joolsburger – Bristol to Les Arcs.
Return to Paddington – £25
Return Eurostar to Paris – £75
Return overnight sleeper Paris – Bourg St Maurice – £75
(I forgot to add in the journey to London – so it was actually £175 total).
I reckon that's the very cheapest you can do it by train. The ski train is more convenient (it's direct from London) but is twice the price. There's also a direct Eurostar to Bourg, but there are no couchettes. I didn't fancy being in a seat all night…
There's a furnicular that goes from Bourg directly to Les Arcs. I was on the slopes at 9am!Posted 8 years ago
I like the train, but the change in Paris is a complete pain in the arse – I'd rather sleep in a seat than drag my stuff through the Metro system (especially after doing the same on the tube to even start the journey). The daytime trains for Paris-Bourg aren't as nice as the Eurostars either.
It works best as a replacement for flying IMO – go during the day, get on in London, kick back and watch the world go by at 180mph until you get to your destination. If they'd just do a direct sleeper service then that would definately be worth a premium over changing in Paris.Posted 8 years ago
"How do you [& all your gear, bike etc.] get between stations in Paris?"
On the metro, it's only a few stops from Gare du Nord to Gare d'Austerlitz. Wasn't a problem for us – a party of three and only one had her own skis & boots. Wouldn't fancy doing it with a bike, but you could cycle to the station I suppose.
If you prefer to avoid all that and don't mind sleeping in a seat, there's a direct Eurostar from St Pancras to the Alps.
For more info see http://www.seat61.comPosted 8 years agosnapsMember
The 5 of us took 9 bikes & a mountain of spares, we also had room for bringing booze back 😆
It nice just being able to go at your own pace & not have to stick to timetables, we made some unsheduled stops in the Champagne region, Besançon & Lake Geneva near Montreux
The first few hundred miles of France is boring but after that the mountains get nearer by the minute!
Not having to pack the bike & worry about weight limits is great.
Leave 6pm Friday, take turns driving & you'll be there 9am SaturdayPosted 8 years ago
Is it still cost effective if you have to take an extra day off work for the drive each way though? I haven't seen anybody above factor that in.
I'd really love to drive next year, but expect I'll end up on the plane due to time constraints.
Door to door it took about the same time. We've always been up stupidly early to drive to gatwick, park, bus to terminal, check in, wait in various security queues, get on the plane, get off the plane, wait for your bags, wait for coach/taxi/hire-car, then finally get there some time in the evening.
By driving you bypass all of the unloading the car and faffing about, just drive on to a ferry, hit the autoroute and roll in to your resort about 8 hours later. Easy.Posted 8 years agosingletrackmindMember
L and D ferries are doing some good prices at the moment.Posted 8 years ago
The recovery insurance is the thing that sways the costs. Fuel tolls and ferry V. Flight plus car hire is tricky, for anything more than 1 week its better to drive. Don't forget your Hi Vi jacket as its an on the spot fine now .
I like the drive, on the autoroute its easy to get a good 70 -75 average speed. Stay overnight in Reims and the next day arrive in daylight at lunchtime.
With the £ /Eu rate being rubbish you can take some food which will save a few ££
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