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Drive to Les Gets - First ski trip with kids

 Poster: A snowHead
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We have booked to go to Les Gets start of Feb (yes naughty parents pulling the Y2 child out of school for a week.... Toofy Grin ) any tips on where to stop on the way there / on the way back?

We will leave SW London straight after school on Friday 1st Feb and so hope to be on the Eurotunnel for tea time. We can get into the accommodation at Les Gets from 12 so want to stop somewhere as close to 3 hours from LEs Gets, even if it means a late night.....

Any suggestions of where to stay over on the way there?

have not thought about the trip back yet but again any recommendations would be appreciated.

thanks
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would it be feasible to get to Dijon by midnight? I would like to do as much driving in the dark as possible, because the kids will sleep and so wont moan, whine, fight etc!
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@SirCharles, we stayed at the Val Moret, (just south of Troyes) just off the motorway, countless times driving to and from Les Gets. But it might be better for your return trip as I always reckoned that it was about halfway, but 3.5 hours from Calais and 4.5 from Les Gets. You are lucky having access to your accommodation from 12.
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@SirCharles, Novotel at Reims or Dijon depending on how well you are doing. With younger ones you may want to stop earlier and have dinner and a good nights sleep and then set off early.
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SirCharles, Dijon is about 5 hours from the Eurotunnel, so if you're in France by 7pm then you'd be in with a fighting chance of getting there before midnight, perhaps with one quick fuel stop on the way.

I've done that journey before and it's a bit tiring at night, but the roads should be fairly clear so you should make good time. Dijon is a good place to stop and you'll have several options for hotels - I'd look at the Ibis Dijon Sud. You'd be about 3 hours to Les Get from there, so if you left by 9 you could be at your accommodation by lunchtime and skiing in the afternoon! Happy

I've also split the journey in two, which is a lot less tiring. We stayed at the Ibis in Troyes, which worked well as it's about halfway.
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Depends on the weather as well. We don't tend to try and push to Dijon after school as the bit after Reims onto Dijon is very dull, dark and tiring. I can also be prone to fog. If Reims is too early maybe try around Troyes and then just leave early the next day. All of the Accor groups hotels are pretty good with families.
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thanks everyone. I Will take a look and discuss with the OH. Looks like we may need to book as some of the hotels only have rooms for 3..... those of you with more than 1 kid - what do you do?! Youngest is happy to sleep with us or the eldest, or we take a blow up toddler bed but not sure how sticky the French can be on the rules re how many people a room should take....
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Not too far from Les Gets - about 3 hours? But, a stopover. Sounds like Poligny then (Hotel de Paris is fine). Close to the motorway, but not too close. And there are bars & restaurants & cheese shops.
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Look up oul house on Airbnb. Worked really well for us recently.
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@SirCharles, we have twins, so always been 4 of us in one room. Never any issue with Accor. They are free up until 16 with Novotel and up to 12 with Ibis. Choice of either single or double sofa beds.
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crosbie wrote:
Not too far from Les Gets - about 3 hours? But, a stopover. Sounds like Poligny then (Hotel de Paris is fine). Close to the motorway, but not too close. And there are bars & restaurants & cheese shops.


cheese shops?! yum...... now there is an idea. thanks for the tip!!
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SirCharles wrote:
cheese shops?! yum...... now there is an idea. thanks for the tip!!


The excellent Fromagerie Juramonts cheese shop is next to the tourist office, and about 50 metres from Hotel de Paris (which should be able to arrange adjoining rooms for a family set up - or cram you all into one, if on a budget).

Poligny is home territory for Comté cheese. Available in Jeune/Young, Fruité/Flavoursome, and Vieux/Matured . Pronounced 'contey' - the 'n' being an 'm' without closing the mouth.

Restaurant tip: http://www.lasergenterie.com
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Nadenoodlee wrote:
@SirCharles, Novotel at Reims or Dijon depending on how well you are doing. With younger ones you may want to stop earlier and have dinner and a good nights sleep and then set off early.


These are both our two preferred options, novotel have rooms with double bed and double sofa bed.

Depending on time of being the tunnel we chose one of these options. Depends on kids about how much you do at night. I've done a long driving stint to get in to Hotel around 1am, kids were up at 5:30am making next day a nightmare. We now prefer to get off the road about 7pm have a meal, couple of beers and a good night's sleep.
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Thanks for the tips guys! Lots to think about
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It could be a lot easier if you are relaxed about arriving at 12. Let's say you can get on a train at 6pm - you'd be driving off in Calais shortly before 8, local time. It's 8 hours driving to LG - could be more if traffic at the end is heavy. That only gives you 8 hours for stops, including your overnight. With a couple of kids in the car, even with two drivers, the numbers don't quite add up. Having done a similar drive many times I'd personally probably go for driving overnight - but with plenty of stops for coffee, a short walk in the fresh air, and frequent changes of driver.
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Always found not as easy with 4 in France as any chains only take 3 and you can because cramped with 4. Ibis styles and B&B hotels both cater for 4. B&B usually the cheaper option but good simple accommodation, often near the motorway so ideal for a stopover.
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When we used to do this journey we stayed in one of the budget hotels around Dijon.
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kevinrhead wrote:
When we used to do this journey we stayed in one of the budget hotels around Dijon.


Thanks Kevin. How long did you allow to get there from Calais? Trying to work out if it is feasible to get there by midnight / 1am as i would prefer to do as much of the journey as possible with the kids asleep but need to balance this against the adult need to sleep so we are not grumpy when we get there!
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kevinrhead wrote:
When we used to do this journey we stayed in one of the budget hotels around Dijon.


Thanks Kevin. How long did you allow to get there from Calais? Trying to work out if it is feasible to get there by midnight / 1am as i would prefer to do as much of the journey as possible with the kids asleep but need to balance this against the adult need to sleep so we are not grumpy when we get there!
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@SirCharles, have you thought about springing your children early from school on Friday afternoon?

If you do say 2pm, then you miss the worst of the rush hours traffic to Folkestone and can get further down through France that evening.

A Y2 child isn't missing anything of much importance on a Friday afternoon, and if you invent an excuse to pick up after afternoon register then it won't even count for the attendance figure.

Seriously, I'd think about doing that.
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tomj wrote:
@SirCharles, have you thought about springing your children early from school on Friday afternoon?

If you do say 2pm, then you miss the worst of the rush hours traffic to Folkestone and can get further down through France that evening.

A Y2 child isn't missing anything of much importance on a Friday afternoon, and if you invent an excuse to pick up after afternoon register then it won't even count for the attendance figure.

Seriously, I'd think about doing that.


Thanks @tomj it’s a good suggestion and one I had already discounted on the basis of missing more school but you are right. Picking him up at 2pm would not hurt him and would certainly help us on our way.

I’ve never sprung him out of school before so no ide show to do it!!!! (Pathetic As a parent!!)
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I too am curious of the dark art of tactfully and tactically persuading the school to permit our children be let out early. We head down (like many others) on the 15th and are planning to leave as soon as we collect them at 15:15. However, we all know what the last day of school is like before half term so I am thinking about approaching the school to see if they will let us take them out at 14:00.

Our children are 4 and 6 so they are not exactly at a crucial time in their education in terms of exam prep etc. We are also considering another ski trip in March (not half term) which would mean requesting taking them out for an entire week. The wife and I have thought about requesting homework that we could take away in order to show we are considerate towards their education to help sway the negations. Our children have 100% attendance records which I also think counts for something.

I'm very interested to learn of other peoples' experiences of engaging with their school to take kids out early.

Thanks all.
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@Page23, the way my school (and many others work) is that if you collect after afternoon registration it still counts as attendance. This is why my daughters school finishes at 13:15 at the end of each (full) term!
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@Page23, as to your March week, the 4 yr old doesn’t legally need to be in school....

You can try applying for permission as a sporting event, that didn’t work for me when we took eldest out for 1 day to let us do the Mon-mon flights over half term one year. However you don’t get fined if it is less than 5 days (10 sessions) in my area.

Do they have an inset day that you can time it with the keep it under the 5 days?
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SirCharles wrote:
I’ve never sprung him out of school before so no ide show to do it!!!! (Pathetic As a parent!!)

We have to write a note and be there in reception to collect at the given time.
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We used to allow 5/6 hrs but very dependent on weather conditions I remember one year when it snowed the whole way and it took over 8. We then used to make an early start on Saturday to get in to resort before traffic build up and get an extra day skiing! Don't forget a motorway dongle also helps speed the journey.
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@Page23, Our kids are 18 , 18 and 16 - so A Level and GCSE years. We're leaving Thursday night and taking them out allday Friday - we just told the school that they wouldn't be in.

School will complain - we'll ignore it

If you can try and speak to teachers individually, they are generally far more understanding and agreeable than the official school position
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for completeness thought i would let you know we drove all the way to Dijon and stayed in a Formule1 on the way out. We should have stopped at Troyes though given how late it was and how tired the driver was. However we only sprung #1 child out of school at 230 and were only on the road at 3. if we had picked him up at 130 and been on the road by 2 then perhaps Dijon would have worked.

However it meant we got into les gets by 1230, despite slow going due to a fresh dump of snow (hoorah!), and arriving then was a plus - grabbing lunch, picking up kit and getting the kids used to their new surroundings.

On the way back we had thought we might ski that last Saturday but we woke up to a white out so decided to hot foot it home, after a leisurely start to the day. got on the road by 11am and we were home by 1030pm, having stopped a couple of times for lunch and loo breaks. #1 child watched films and #2 child watched Peppa Pig on repeat - seat rest holders for ipads a life saver and peppa pig on repeat also a life saver (we had tried disney films but #2 was not having any of that. PP was the only thing that worked!!).
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