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Flying V Driving(19 Posts)
We love about 6 hours from Calais. Add to that the Euro Tunnel or Ferry plus the 8-9 hour drive and it’s quite a trek. Exciting on the way but stomach churning for when you’re about to leave?
Also, I may be really dim here, surely with £60-£80 return Geneva flights readily available it makes sense just to fly - and is more cost effective.
Or am I missing something really important? We’re trying to plan a budget ski holiday and I can’t get the benefit of driving (financially)....
Try finding £90 flights for school half term!
Yes flying is definitely preferable if the prices are normal but if you're looking to go as a family during school hols then prepared to pay over £2K for 4 flights (or drive)
If you don't have school age kids or teachers in your party then yes absolutely avoid the school holidays and fly!
Don't need to hire a car or jay for transfers when there. Can take as much luggage as you like.
If I wasn't looking school holidays I would do it.
I would also add that it depends how many people the trip is for
The argument for driving gets stronger the more people you have going
If you fill a vehicle (need a decent size car for all the luggage, skis, boots etc) then it will work out quite a lot cheaper than flying
It also depends on which resort you are heading to and whether your accommodation is within walking distance of the lifts. If you can manage without a car in resort then flights and transfer probably easiest especially if there are only a couple of you
It's not just the cost of flights though is it? We're in Manchester so always fly, but there are 5 of us and the really expensive part is the transfer from the airport to the resort. If you're going at a popular time you may be able to do a group transfer, but then you're probably hanging around (and wasting skiing time) waiting for the transfer. A private transfer is obviously quicker but much more expensive. We therefore end up hiring a car at Geneva to drive to resort but that usually £300 + tolls + fuel - on top of your flights.
If you pick your resort you can do it all by public transport - we went to St Anton at New Year which was really cheap (to get there!).
Thanks for so many responses! Totalling the transfer and other costs it does work out more than what is first imagined.
However, after looking a little today. A large group of us can get a MUCH cheaper chalet or accommodation if we’re a little out of resort - much cheaper but will obviously need the car!
We’re actually teachers so can only go half term but may try Easter (2 weeks) so flexible about driving there and back on days 8+9!
I’ve just looked at flights - even for half term in a few weeks and plenty of cheap flights!
I think if you’re at a distance that needs a car then it doesn’t matter if you’re 5 mins away or 25.
I’d love ski out ski in. It would be great to let the DC go back and rest.
We always drive - I’d struggle to get all our kit on a flight. The baggage charges would be huge.
Are you hiring skis? Will there be snow at Easter?
Rely depends where you're going, when you're going and how many of you there are. We go to a ski place in Switzerland as relative has a chalet there so we've no choice in where we go.
There are 5 of us and we're limited to school holidays. Flights at Feb half term are phenomenally expensive. Once we get to Zurich or Geneva, it's 3 trains to get there. Door to door it's about 13 hours.
Driving is much much cheaper. We drive to Folkstone straight after school friday, get a cheap b&b then are on 6am Eurotunnel. 10hr drive then a train for the last bit (it's s car free village so there is no option to drive). Door to door about 14 hours. Thousands of pounds cheaper, we share the driving, kids are good at long distance journeys, we can take what we like and not worry about weight limits etc.
Easter is very late this year; picknyiur resort carefully if you do chooses to wait until then.
Depending on your locations you might also want to consider the train. We catch a 7.30am train from St Pancras that gets to Lyon around 1.30pm and then hire a car. Train journey is blissful compared to driving or flying and you don’t waste the airport check in time....
Driving costs for four of us to Tarentaise valley are about £650 - there's no way we could get flights and transfers for that price in school holidays. Even if you find cheap flights, the transfer costs are high. Plus, we enjoy the journey! We can take as much luggage as we want, we self-cater so take food and stop in a supermarket at the bottom of the mountain to stock up with wine, beer and fresh stuff for the week, kids are used to long journeys as well, so it works well for us.
Just to also factor in, if you are driving in Switzerland - winter tyres and snow chains might be required?
I don't know the insurance factor from the UK (I think it's fine BTW) but if you have an accident in Switzerland without winter tyres between Nov-Mar your insurance is often invalidated. It's worth checking up anyway.
And if you are driving on a motorway in CH you'll need a Vignette which costs 40chf for the year. You have to buy an annual one.
From CH to Calais normally costs me around 60 euros in road tolls if I go across France and not via Belgium.( I'm not coming from Geneva btw but I find them expensive!)
Same applies in France wrt snow chains on certain routes (mountains) - if the police stop you in those areas and you don’t have chains you get fined. Top tip if you are driving your own car, buy them here and practice putting them on so that it’s marginally easier when it’s dark and you are in a blizzard
Snow chains and winter tyres are an absolute must if you plan to drive to a ski resort.
Iamfrau - I can about it now but being stuck on a very quiet mountain at 10pm in heavy snow, 3 young kids in the car, unable to fit snow chains on the tyres (they actually didn't fit, despite being the 'correct' size for the tyres) was one of the most stressful experiences of my and DH's life!!
We fly Manchester and paid £70pp for half term flights this year. It was £130 the year before. But we book the minute they’re released as they only go up. We book as soon as we get back for the following feb
Just read thread - depending on where u go - flights when released are usually dead cheap but they increase as each person books. We paid £200 transfers return for all 4 of us so £480 family of four
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