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Feb 19 Half term drive down - live journey chit chat !

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
AndrewBailey wrote:
@Gazza Booked into a B&B hotel, which actually is a chain hotel like formule1, in Chalons en Champagne. A little far North for some perhaps but I’m solo with kids and leaving London after 5pm. Cost £78 for two rooms. Advantage is they’re open all hours as is a computer on reception. Disadvantage is it’s a box and a bed.

Next step... snow tyres/wheel set on car. And just had to buy a new fixing set for the roof bars as the plastic surrounds have disappeared. And I’ve lost a fixing for the ski rack. This trip is proving very very expensive.

We’re going to be in a black/blue 2002 BMW M5 with a ski rack if anyone sees us and wants to wave.


Andrew, stayed in a few B&B chain hotels (for rugby trips) over the last year. Much better than Formule 1, more like Ibis or Campanile!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Pretending to WFH, in reality packing the car and running around the house aimlessly trying to work out what we've forgotten! Soon as the kids back from school we are off!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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+1 for BB Hotels, especially the one at Troyes, 3km off the autoroute, opposite a Leclerc filling station and 4 restos within a stroll.
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mancski wrote:
new to this but reading through it seems most people set off Friday and stay somewhere overnight in France?

We are setting off from near Leeds about 5pm Friday and just driving straight through to Morzine using the ferry Dover-Calais. Is this monumentally stupid?



If you can rotate the driving and the other driver(s) can get some decent sleep then it can be done. With 3 mates we took Eurotunnel around 10pm, and arrived in Thollon midday the next day. Plan had been to get there for breakfast, but the Hyundai van we were in had a fault and we could barely get above 50mph after Arras!!! Driving wise we took turns of 2/3 hours each and one passenger tried to stay awake to talk to the driver. It was better than listening to the owners best of Elvis CD and best of Abba on loop as he had forgotten to bring anything else and no one had an aux cable Sad
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Quote:

@gwatts10 @layne

thanks both. Should be ok, got 3 drivers so hoping to be in the resort before 9am, strap the skis on and enjoy the empty pistes!


Used to do the drive in a oner when younger with several drivers but it is a slog. As @snowymum suggests it's a lot more pleasant to get a cheap (or expensive if you want) hotel (Hotel BB etc) and have some sleep 1/2 of the way down. I'm sure you'll assess after and plan accordingly as to what suits you in the future. Now we either stop in Reims or Troyes if we're on a Northerly resort but Dijon area if we're doing the Tarentaise. Enjoy.

I now have roof ski boxes on, skis are serviced and going in the boxes with boots and helmets tonight and then bag loading in the morning. Kids have maxxed out the IPads memories with movies and god knows what. Overnighting in Bezannes.
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Quote:

In all honesty if I were in your position I would change the ferry crossing set off at crack of dawn on Friday and try and get to Dijon that night - we can easily manage that from the South East but appreciate you have further to drive and Troyes might be more realistic. I would book an overnight stop even if only sleeping 11 till 5ish get up early and have breakfast at a service station after a couple of hours driving. then the next stop would be the supermarket near the resort. I know there are people on snowheads who drive overnight but they are not all driving as far as you and they might not have driven overnight the first time.


Thank you but annual leave entitlement doesn't really allow for that I'm afraid!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
AndrewBailey wrote:
@Gazza Booked into a B&B hotel, which actually is a chain hotel like formule1, in Chalons en Champagne. A little far North for some perhaps but I’m solo with kids and leaving London after 5pm. Cost £78 for two rooms. Advantage is they’re open all hours as is a computer on reception. Disadvantage is it’s a box and a bed.

The Chalons en Champagne one is fairly new, was finished to a high standard, also has secure parking which some don't.

That one didn't have an automated reception the last time I used it, you have to use the intercom system to get the the receptionist to open the gate.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

Used to do the drive in a oner when younger with several drivers but it is a slog. As @snowymum suggests it's a lot more pleasant to get a cheap (or expensive if you want) hotel (Hotel BB etc) and have some sleep 1/2 of the way down. I'm sure you'll assess after and plan accordingly as to what suits you in the future. Now we either stop in Reims or Troyes if we're on a Northerly resort but Dijon area if we're doing the Tarentaise. Enjoy.



I now have roof ski boxes on, skis are serviced and going in the boxes with boots and helmets tonight and then bag loading in the morning. Kids have maxxed out the IPads memories with movies and god knows what. Overnighting in Bezannes.


Thankfully no kids, only reason we are doing half term is because some (incredibly selfish) person in our family chose to become a teacher.

3 drivers, late night ferry crossing, graveyard shift for me Calais to Dijon whilst others sleep. Quick nap between Dijon and Cluses, load the car with beer, onto morzine by mid morning, skis off roof onto feet, ski till 4pm, nice cold pint. Lovely.

Sounds easy enough....
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Quote:

no one had an aux cable

Bit late to mention it, but they do sell them in the Service Stations! Have been in similar situation and bought one at next stop
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Day off work tomorrow, so sleeping till late. Car mostly packed already. Just me and my boys going this year (13&15). Have a 10:30pm train booked and aiming to get to L2A over night. Always driven to Bourg St Maurice in the past, so hoping that there will be less traffic this time. Got a new car this year so trying out Michelin CrossClimates with snow socks instead of my usual winter tyres plus chains combination, which I hope holds up. Safe travels everyone.
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@mancski, the day off work thing, or in our case taking kids out of school thing, is another reason.

Anyhow with 3 drivers it will be a piece of p!ss. We do it with two.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
[quote="mancski"]
Quote:

graveyard shift for me Calais to Dijon whilst others sleep. ..


That's a knackering drive, around 5 hours or so. The worst bit IMO is between Reims and Troyes...very boring day or night.
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Quote:

That's a knackering drive, around 5 hours or so. The worst bit IMO is between Reims and Troyes...very boring day or night.



yeah I wont be forgetting the AUX cable. Actually looking forward to it, not so much the drive back...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

That's a knackering drive, around 5 hours or so

Don't drive 5 hours without a stop. Stop, have a coffee, get out of the car and walk around a bit. I've done that drive, alone, quite a lot - and sudden fatigue is a very real risk.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The fatigue factor is an interesting issue, I did the trip in an X Trail once, really did needto stop every 3 hours or so.
I guess the less sound insulation and rougher ride, the comfort of the driving seat, position etc etc all add up.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@mancski, That's a lot of driving. Leeds to Dover on a half term Friday evening - 6 hours?? Queueing at Dover with attendant faff and crossing/unload - 3 hours?? Calais to Morzine on a half-term Saturday morning - 9 hours?? Could be more if you have proper stops.

Skiing mid morning looks very hopeful. Nice cold pint at 4pm a decent target!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I once woke up in a ditch trying to do a 6 hour overnight drive. One second my eyes were heavy, next was off the road, luckily I didn't hit anything solid.

Never again. It just isn't worth the risk. Ymmv, literally I guess.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

Don't drive 5 hours without a stop. Stop, have a coffee, get out of the car and walk around a bit. I've done that drive, alone, quite a lot - and sudden fatigue is a very real risk


yeah I do a lot of day trips alone in the winter to the highlands and back (with a days skiing in the middle) which is completely knackering so I will definitely be stopping.

Quote:

@mancski, That's a lot of driving. Leeds to Dover on a half term Friday evening - 6 hours?? Queueing at Dover with attendant faff and crossing/unload - 3 hours?? Calais to Morzine on a half-term Saturday morning - 9 hours?? Could be more if you have proper stops.


apparently we are setting off at 3pm not 5pm now so i'm still hopeful for a Saturday slide. hoping with setting off earlier and not having an overnight stop we will miss a lot of the British traffic?
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mancski wrote:
apparently we are setting off at 3pm not 5pm now so i'm still hopeful for a Saturday slide. hoping with setting off earlier and not having an overnight stop we will miss a lot of the British traffic?

What time is your crossing booked for and what time will you arrive in Calais?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Hurdy wrote:
Driving from Brussels to Maurach with the family. Pick up from school, shove in car, drive to Stuttgart for an overnight stop then on down into Austria on the Saturday. Should arrive at hotel by 1:00om. Looking forwards to it as first time skiing in six years....


Depending on where you are going to in Austria, it could take quite a bit longer than that on Saturday at 1/2 term unless you get a nice early start away from Stuttgart. I'm assuming you will be taking the A8 between Stuttgart and Ulm where there can be awful traffic jams on busy Saturdays, especially on the bit where the two carriageways take different directions round the mountain near Wiesensteig. There are some quite steep climbs for a motorway and heavy vehicles have to slow down considerably. If you are expecting to be doing normal German autobahn speeds around there you are likely to be disappointed.
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I always get confused by the advice "stop before you feel tired" - I mean I'm not tired as I pull off the drive, should I stop straight away Puzzled Toofy Grin

Can see driving overnight is a good use of time, but there is just no way I could do it! While I could probably cope as long as I had snooze between 1am-3am I;d still be wiped out the next 2-3 days
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@mancski, I think you will have very British half-term traffic in Britain leaving Leeds at 3pm. Personally I would overnight a few hours into France and set off early. Enjoy first day beers and customary admin/faff and on Saturday start skiing fresh (or hungover) on Sunday. I could be wrong but I suspect the worse of Saturday’s traffic will be south of Geneva toward Lyon?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Boris wrote:
While I could probably cope as long as I had snooze between 1am-3am

Me and the missus do approximately 2 hour stints. The other one goes in the back with a pillow and blanket. One of the kids sleeps in the front passenger seat.

Boris wrote:
I;d still be wiped out the next 2-3 days

It's surprising how quickly you recover.
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We've always driven down through the night from Friday evening chunnel. Just like how clear it is but only from SE so not of the same magnitude as Leeds.

Although I like coffee and tried dosing with caffeine when started doing it, now found that lime cordial pre-mixed along with salty crisps makes for much better overall alertness and general feeling.

Guess I'm after electrolyte content. Just feel much better throughout and subsequent days. Start building it a bit the day before travel and get less dehydration potential.

Too much caffeine seems to result in being really "wired" and more fatigue.
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Ozboy wrote:
@mancski, I think you will have very British half-term traffic in Britain leaving Leeds at 3pm. Personally I would overnight a few hours into France and set off early. Enjoy first day beers and customary admin/faff and on Saturday start skiing fresh (or hungover) on Sunday. I could be wrong but I suspect the worse of Saturday’s traffic will be south of Geneva toward Lyon?

Well for sure, he'll hit some rush hour traffic on the way down to Dover but in France the drive overnight will be quick and clear. If he stays over he'll be driving in the day and consequently lots of traffic and much slower. Which will be ruin some of the benefits of sleeping in a bed rather than a car.
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Quote:

Calais to Morzine on a half-term Saturday morning - 9 hours??

Extremely optimistic, I'd say.
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Quote:

What time is your crossing booked for and what time will you arrive in Calais?


21:45 I think but we have a flexi ticket. so 90 minutes (+1 hour GMT) I guess. so leaving Port of Calais at 01:45 ish?

Quote:

@mancski, I think you will have very British half-term traffic in Britain leaving Leeds at 3pm. Personally I would overnight a few hours into France and set off early. Enjoy first day beers and customary admin/faff and on Saturday start skiing fresh (or hungover) on Sunday. I could be wrong but I suspect the worse of Saturday’s traffic will be south of Geneva toward Lyon?


Yeah I would rather chance the Leeds traffic than South East ,earlier in the journey I just want to avoid significant delay later in the journey.

Quote:

Well for sure, he'll hit some rush hour traffic on the way down to Dover but in France the drive overnight will be quick and clear. If he stays over he'll be driving in the day and consequently lots of traffic and much slower. Which will be ruin some of the benefits of sleeping in a bed rather than a car.



Yeah this was my reasoning, getting most of the driving done overnight to avoid the daytime rush and inevitable queues. With it being Morzine and not further South I thought we would miss the majority of the half term traffic?


Thank you all for input on this! appreciate it all!
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

Calais to Morzine on a half-term Saturday morning - 9 hours??

Extremely optimistic, I'd say.


Optimistic! Impossible I'd say.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Well yes, probably impossible. Laughing
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
mancski wrote:
21:45 I think but we have a flexi ticket. so 90 minutes (+1 hour GMT) I guess. so leaving Port of Calais at 01:45 ish?

If you start at 3 you might make that. I make that leaving Calais at 00:45 including 30 minutes to debark.

mancski wrote:
Yeah this was my reasoning, getting most of the driving done overnight to avoid the daytime rush and inevitable queues. With it being Morzine and not further South I thought we would miss the majority of the half term traffic?

If you leave Calais at 00:45 driving overnight with clear roads you should get to Geneva before 9 including wee and petrol stops. It's a tad later than ideal but still shouldn't be too bad. As you say you will miss the worst of it. After that you just have the last hour into Morzine which at 9 may be a bit claggy. All being well you could be on the slopes by midday.

If you miss the 21:45 ferry it will of course have a knock on effect.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Thu 14-02-19 15:26; edited 1 time in total
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Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

We are setting off from near Leeds about 5pm Friday and just driving straight through to Morzine using the ferry Dover-Calais. Is this monumentally stupid?


It's a haul as you, and if you can share the driving it should be fine, adrenalin should get you through!
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

If you start at 3 you might make that. I make that leaving Calais at 00:45 including 30 minutes to debark.


France are +1 hour ahead aren't they so figures it would be more like 01:45 as a result. I'll let you know how it goes as it may be of interest to others. Hammer will be down as soon as i'm out of port.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
mancski wrote:
France are +1 hour ahead aren't they so figures it would be more like 01:45 as a result.

Ferry departs 21:45

Crossing takes 90 minutes is 23.15

+ 1 hour for French time is 00:15

30 minutes to debark is 00:45

Unless I missed something!?
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@mancski, do you have a doofer?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:


We are setting off from near Leeds about 5pm Friday and just driving straight through to Morzine using the ferry Dover-Calais. Is this monumentally stupid?


It's a haul as you, and if you can share the driving it should be fine, adrenalin should get you through!


We do a similar journey West Devon to Les Menuires via Eurotunnel. Weirdly I find it relaxing and quite enjoyable. The 4 kids in the back generally sleep though and it's so much less hassle than airports and transfers. Even herding them in and out of hotels can be a mission!!

Strap 'em in, have loads of sweets, chewing gum and those little bottles of coke on ice for the driver and cruise to the snow Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Only a few minutes to go and I'm outta the office Laughing

Tomorrow morning: fuel up and get car washed, put ski rack on car, pack - boys are packing their cases tonight, boys to pack electronic gizmos, phones, tablets in separate bag, load car, unload boys cases as my wife has found clothing they will want rolling eyes , reload car, check that we have enough in-car chargers, wait for boys to get back from school...3.35pm set off for Eurotunnel Very Happy

Have flexi-plus, so hopefully will be on train between 4 & 4:40. Arrive Calais and drive 4 hours to a B&B Hotel near Metz.

Saturday, up and out by 7 and down to Ischgl Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Am I exited, like a big kid? You bet I am snowHead snowHead snowHead

Wishing everyone who's travelling by whatever means and whatever day a safe and smooth trip.
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At tunnel now, all running to time (our train is in 1 hour). In a motorhome so slower journey time hence the earlier crossing.

We’ll not travel too far into France tonight, instead head somewhere for dinner and do the bulk of the journey tomorrow daytime.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Calais to Morzine in 9 hours on half term Saturday is EASY. So long as those 9 hours are 11pm/midnight to 8am/9am. I have done that drive (or to Les gets, or La Plagne, or meribel) for the past few years as a single driver. The key is plenty of stops for coffee, walking. Plus power-napping for 30 minutes every now and again.
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"Are we going to see other snowHead on the way?"asks Small. Cheer him up if you see a silver Golf SV with a snowHead sticker on the 1820 (or earlier if we're v lucky with the after school traffic)shuttle tomorrow, give us a wave.

And now back to the packing....
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@Bianchigray, Motorhome's the way to travel- are you staying in yours at resort?
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