Dear wintersport enthousiast,
With many people counting down the days until christmas by now, we, the passionate wintersporters are getting excited for a whole different reason; the mountains are getting a nice pack of snow on them and we only wish to be in our car right now and go there. But is your car really the best way to head to the white slopes? Last weeks blog ended with me saying we would discuss the best ways to travel to our destinations cheapest. Because of this, today I will present you the pros and cons of different ways to travel to the mountains.
The first method that comes to mind is by car. The car is very convenient: bring whomever you want, pack as much as your want to take with you untill your vehicle is stacked, and have a break whenever you so desire. The car however, is also expensive, especially if you drive on your own and if you have to pass through tolls. For instance, if you were to drive from Utrecht to Tignes Val Claret (France), you would pass through several expensive tolls, and drive a stunning 1.128 kilometers. This means you’d be on the road for almost 11 hours straight, not even accounting for traffic jams/ incidents. You’d be down about 80 euros to just get to your destination, and when you have arrived, odds are big you are extremely tired and not ready for the mountains the same day.
I do not recommend getting to your destination in your car, on your own. Instead, I do hold carpooling in high regard. There are many fora and communities out there on which you can find a carpool- buddy who is going to the same destination as you are. Get in touch! Not only do you now not only only pay half, you have a companion during a long drive, and you are both excited for the same thing. Often people who search for a carpooler on these communities are as passionate about wintersport as you are, so that’s already one thing you’ll have in common. In fact, I encourage you to find a carpool-friend here in the comment/ discussion section below this same blog!
If the car nor carpooling seems appealing to you, going by plane has some nice advantages as well. First of all, you get to your destination quickly! It often doesn’t take longer than a two-hour flight. However depending on where you wish to ski, you might have to take a bus from the airport to your resort upon arrival, and these are not always cheap. Usually the total price of aircraft + busticket comes to the same amount of having went by car, except you are there quicker. This does come with the disadvantage of having a limit to the amount of luggage you may bring: often set around 20 kilo’s. Many air-companies however do state you are allowed to bring your wintersport equipment along the side, which include your Ski’s/ board, helment, shoes, etc. So unless you care about wearing 3 different outfits a day, it should not become a big issue, for I would be able to fit all of my clothes twice in 20 kilo’s.
A while ago I saw a man walking through the trainstation of Utrecht Centraal carrying skies on his shoulder. Many people looked at him as if he was delusional for trying to find mountains in Utrecht, but I knew this man most likely just returned from a wintersport. See, there are actually trains which leave for Austria, France and other countries which are even called ‘ski-trains’. A ticket could cost you as little as €65 and that can be including a ski-pass, if you’re lucky. Prices vary a bit depending on the season, whether or not you take a nighttrain and which company you book your ticket with. But it is a relatively cheap way to get to your destination, and you get to nap and relax whilst moving at 300 km/h towards to desired white. It’s quicker than a car, it’s slower than a plane. Also you often need to take a bus upon arrival, but that is often not big of an issue. I do recommend you check beforehand for the prices and which company to get your busticket at. It’s quicker than going by car, it’s slower than an airplane, but generally a great option.
Going solely by bus is not my favorite of options, yet still an option. When you go by bus, you can often leave from your hometown (if you live in a big enough city), and you are environmental friendlier than if you go by car or plane. However, it’s still often a long drive, and not as cheap as you’d think. When you go by this transportation method, you often get the whole package: A hotel, ski-pass, etc. If you like your holiday to be all taken care of, then I would understand taking a bus, and in bigger groups it’s also probably the easiests of options, because of availability, and if you travel in a group of >15 people you can often pick you up in your town if you live in a smaller village as well.
I hope I have informed sufficiently and helped you pick your method of future travels to the mountains! My personal favorite remains carpooling, also because I enjoy meeting new people whom I have a shared passion with. What is your favorite way of travelling? Leave a comment, or try to find a partner for your next trip below! I hope to see you again next week, where we’ll discuss skiing resorts many people do not think of, yet should!