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Skiing holidays: 6 ways to survive the drive to the Alps

With a cheeky overnight stop in France, most Alps resorts are driveable from the UK - saving you dosh in airfares and excess baggage. Here's how to do it without drama


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1. Get involved with some Flexiplus action

If you're travelling via the Eurotunnel, the Flexiplus ticket is the ticket of the ski season. It gives you priority boarding on the next available train - incredibly helpful if you're held up and miss your intended departure, or if, by some miracle, you arrive early.

2. Grab <gulp> snow chains, warning triangles, and beam adaptors 

You are legally required to take some extra kit when driving in France - the AA has a comprehensive checklist. Buy everything you need from the likes of Halfords or Amazon.

"Particularly, remember snow chains. This has never happened to us, but apparently French police stop you from ascending if it's snowing and you don't have chains."

3. Have a dry run first

Practice fitting snow chains at home first - if you do need to put them on, you'll have a rough idea of what you're doing. Also, remember you'll need them on sooner than locals, who will be driving in snow tyres and well used to the conditions.

4. Treat yourself to a toll-busting gizmo

A Liber-t tag will help you breeze through the toll barriers, and is available from various online outlets - try saneftolling.co.uk and eurotunnel.com/uk for more information.

5. Strategically plot your overnight stops

"You can miss the worst of the traffic by stopping for the night where the motorway ends (Grenoble, Chambery, etc). You can then get to the slopes before the charter and transfer buses get there. And on the way back, you can have a full day's skiing and also miss the traffic."


6. Finally - remember FOOD

Have something for dinner lurking in the boot, even if it's just a bag of pasta and some tinned tomatoes/pesto.  

"We set off at 7am and didn't reach Courchevel till 10pm. I think I cried - all the shops were shut and we couldn't even buy milk. Went to bed hungry. Never thought it would take so long. The traffic was awful."

Liked this? Try these:

8 tips for driving in Europe

Discuss your ski trip over on ski talk


Last updated: over 3 years ago