Snowboarding adventures in the Campervan April 2023 Now ski holidays are very expensive we used to joke, Jon and I, when we were double income no kids that we didn't have much change from £3,500 for a weeks holiday, (Before Dylan prices too, so 7 years ago) and we don't drink much, had catered chalets, hardly eating on the mountain as it 'ate' into snow fun and we didn't need lessons! Well, don't know about you but we certainly don't have money like that nowadays to spend on holidays but we still want our snow fix so we had to find another way and the van is our answer.
This year, we all had lessons as we learned to ski too and stayed for 12 days rather than the ski holiday norm of 7, (of which you only ever get to ski for 6 days) ate on the mountain everyday and even ate out two nights too. Stocked up on bargains with spare gloves and goggles, one through necessity as we got soooo wet and gloves just do not dry fast! The others too good to not grab out of Inter Sports bargain bucket! And we have change from £3000 and had almost double the fun time.
Not bad when you consider the breakdown of the following costs
Ski lessons Dylan - £520
Our ski lessons - £180
Ski hire for the 3 of us- £330
Lift passes - £650
Diesel - £500
Next year we won't need ski lessons, just Dylan and we won't need ski hire either, Jon's back on the board and I've been scoping the sales and Facebook market and can pick up a bargain if I get on it now, and Dylan's ski hire was only £50!
So next time we could get that down again to circa £2,500 with no scrimping at all.
If we wanted to not eat out at all or have lunch on the mountain, just take our own up, which is equally enjoyable when you have boulangeries France has, you're getting closer to £2000 for 2 weeks of Mountain joy and it's worth every penny.
How did we do it? Incase you're inspired to have a go?
Every year we get braver and its like the braver you are the more rewarding the experience is and this year we were even braver on our adventures, stayed away even longer with full days on the mountains, living completely self sustained in the van. Relying on the sun on the solar panel for electric and an odd drive to recharge, and the natural water fountains fresh from the mountain springs dotted around town for our water. We cook on gas, taking store cupboard essentials to knock up one pot hearty wonders and most importantly loads of our @thecleancookuk food, so it's not only the right fuel you need to keep you going it's heaps cheaper and most importantly easier after a full day in the fresh air skiing or snowboarding. We also have a gas heater which we needed some days to take the chill out of the morning air but not all as Jon did a great job of insulating the van and it's sooo cosy. It really is a simple life. Thank fully we have a toilet on board too but there's always a public loo, which might look a bit grotty but usually they do this full spray, wash, clean thing after every use so are perfectly fine and ours even had a push button seat that came down, so no squatting required! It's a bit too big for Dylan but with 2/3 using the public loo, it certainly made emptying the portable (which you can do down any public loo) a lot easier for Jon! We wash the essential parts of our body everyday in a little bucket ... You know the one you've seen me warm my feet up in after a cold morning swim and every few days we go to the public swimming pool for fun swim and good old wash!! 6pm to 7pm happens to be happy hour, so cheaper too, bonus! Yes we do shower before going in too so no polluting the pool from us! If you talk to fellow van life folk, just like when you're travelling, if you talk to those who have trodden the road before you, people who live it, you get to know stuff, and that's exactly what we do! So we know where we can park and it be ok. We stayed right in the middle of Morzine in Carfour Carpark for most of our trip, but we know on market day, Wednesday's, we can't so we moved to Ardent Carpark at the bottom of the ski lift right above Lac de Montriond, which is stunning and it was so quiet and of course first lifts a given, straight up to Lindaret Bowl, the best spot. I could even pop down to switch from snowboard to skis- now that's what I call location location! Both of these places, cost nothing to stay at saving us a fortune. France is full of Aire de Campings too en route so you can empty toilets, fill up with water, even use electric hook ups too at some (might be a small charge for that or some city sites) but generally they are All free! Another top tip is use your club card points! Our channel tunnel cost £380 as we were late booking, questioning snow conditions but once we'd tripled up out club card points it gave us £270 towards it, so only £110. If we'd have known the benefit we'd have shopped at Tesco and filled up with petrol and diesel there more! What have our learnings been this time As the skate park is so close, Dylan's bike was a great addition to the van, Jon might even take his BMX next time too and join in the fun! It was also very snowy and wet 3 days so we got wet, which meant we needed to dry stuff and although the swimming pool has these amazing huge body size drying hair dryers we needed spare outer layers, most of which we had but next year two of each outer layers will be packed! Although we did discover a new addition to Morzine- A Charity Shop, so Dylan and I got spare pairs there, which did the job for €5 So more outer layers, less under layers and less normal clothes. Better sturdier, easy to slip on shoes for outside as the ground was wet and slip on slippers for the van too would have been helpful for those cold mornings, although we coped with extra thick socks! We didn't need our dry robes or normal coats, just 2 snowboarding jackets would have been better. Ooh and a 10 litre water carrier, we always forget that! More energy bars for the mountains to stop the boys diving to to boulangerie at half a chance but when in France hey Other than that, we've been warm, dry, happy and content, seen friends, made new ones, treated ourselves and had the best time! Next year we'll be doing it again at Easter, remembering weather here is 'weathery'' so still to packing the shorts in case it's like 2022 as well as those spare outer layers in case it's like this year. And also trying to do the same in Serre Chevalier for Feb Half Term, we helped out there too in 2016 just before I got pregnant with Dylan, and it's much quieter there (Morzine is carnage throughout the whole of February). Serre Chevalier is a great hidden gem and still an amazing snow scene, so a great option. Anyway, I hope this helps and encourages you to be brave and find a way to have adventures, learn new skills and make memories. Big love Michelle, Jon and Dylan
Ooh and finally, there might just be the little job of all that washing and the van to unpack and clean, but it didn't take too long, I promise and look at the top two pics below, a bit of clean down has got to be worth fresh spring powder 😘 x x