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Serre Chevalier - Is a campervan ski holiday a good idea?

13/01/2017

There's a lot to love about winter activities like skiing and snowboarding. They're exciting, a great form of exercise and they get you out in the fresh air, where you can enjoy nature and some fantastic views.

However, snow sports can also be expensive pastimes. Price-conscious holidaymakers, of course, know there are tricks for saving money, such as opting for ski and snowboard hire and choosing more affordable destinations. But even the most money-savvy winter sports enthusiasts may never have thought of spending their snowy getaway in a campervan.

It might sound surprising, but it's actually a great option for skiers and snowboarders who want to save money or travel to several resorts. In 2014, research by dealership Salop Leisure found that families could save around £1,100 by swapping a hotel room for a caravan.

Looking at data from Trip Advisor, Salop Leisure found that the average price for a week at a hotel or chalet in Serre Chevalier in France (one of the cheapest places for accommodation in the French Alps), was £1,210. However, the fee for a seven-night stay at a campsite at the nearby Champ du Moulin was just £163.

It is important to remember, however, that there are other costs to consider with a campervan. For one thing, you'll need the vehicle itself. It will also need to be kitted out with winter tyres, snow chains, antifreeze and pipe insulation. New brakes are a good idea too. There's also the cost of petrol and the additional driving time to take into consideration.

Recently, travel writer Gabriella Le Breton tried this type of accommodation on a multi-week getaway in the Alps - to destinations including Val d'Isere, La Plagne and Murren.

The learning curve was "steep", Ms Le Breton wrote in an article for the Telegraph. But it has also provided several benefits - including the ability to not be tied to a particular resort when snow conditions there aren't ideal.

"The slopeside location also meant we could easily nip back 'home' for an affordable lunch - the van comes with two stowable picnic chairs, which we set out in the sun so we could watch skiers whizzing past as we enjoyed baguettes with local cheeses and cold meats," she added.

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