It can work out much cheaper plus there is no weight or luggage restrictions. We hear from Erna Low.


The French Alps is easiest area to reach and is around 8 – 10 hours from Calais depending on which resort you are heading to.

The top 5 resorts in France recommended by Erna Low for shorter travel times from Calais by car are: Chamonix, Flaine, Samoens, Avoriaz and Morzine.

It is especially popular for families travelling in the peak holiday period when flights can be silly-expensive.

An EasyJet return flight from Gatwick to Geneva on February half term in 2020 (15th – 22nd February) is currently £1,231.98 per person.

And that is not including baggage.

To take a bag weighing 26kg is another £70.24.

Taking the price to £1,302.22.

And if you are a family of four it is a grand total of £5,208.88.

It might perhaps be better to take the car…

One of the specialist companies that has self-drive offerings is Erna Low.

“Many of our clients choose to self-drive to the Alps, whether this is for budget reasons, for eco reasons, or for a longer stay,” said the MD, Jane Bolton.

“With over 86 years of experience we are best placed to advise on where to stay, and which resort to choose. “


The company enjoys a partnership with Eurotunnel.

All clients travel with Flexiplus (equivalent to travelling Club or First Class on a flight) with access to the new Flexiplus lounges in Folkestone and Calais.

Clients have priority boarding that is a real bonus over busy periods such as half term and Easter.

  • Priority boarding
  • Flexible arrival and departure times
  • Free access to the ‘Flexiplus’ lounge
  • Complimentary snacks and refreshments
  • First on / first off – beat the queues and get on the road faster
Self drive to the Alps

Self drive to the Alps

Driving to resort is not just a low-cost way to travel; it can also be a wonderful way of extending your holiday and visiting more European destinations.

  • It can be much cheaper than flying, especially if you have your own ski equipment
  • Travel when you want to – at your own pace
  • Take as much luggage as you want without worrying about baggage restrictions
  • Stop along the way, visiting other locations
  • Arrive at your resort in comfort with no need for expensive transfers
    • Travel in your own vehicle



See the Erna Low web site for full details. 

There is also a whole range of information and answers to common questions.

Ski self-drive advice from Erna Low

Ski self-drive advice from Erna Low

Here is one current offer:

Self-drive to Arc 1950

Self-drive to Arc 1950

Book now for Half Term – Arc 1950 remains one of the most popular resorts for Erna Low clients.

Despite being a longer drive in to the Tarentaise Valley many clients still love the convenience and safety of Arc 1950.

The village is truly car free, all guests arrive and park in a huge car park under the village.

Erna Low offers 7 nights in ski in-out Arc 1950, France, for February half term with a saving of 10% on the accommodation price.

A 1 bedroom apartment for 4 people was £3106 and is now £2951 (£737.75pp).

All apartments have access to a pool, hot tub and fitness facilities and the resort offers a programme of activities for children during the week, as well as having a crèche for little ones.

Arc 1950, France, c/o Andy Parant

Arc 1950, France


Erna Low is the oldest independent ski company, founded in 1932 by pioneering entrepreneur, Miss Erna Low.

Recently under new ownership, NUCO Travel, Erna Low retains its position as a leading ski tour operator to all the best resorts in France and beyond.

See here for an earlier PlanetSKI story as the deal took place, Erna Low is sold.

Erna Low can offer flights from 21 UK airports direct to the mountains with resort transfers/car hire, or great value self-drive ski holidays including Eurotunnel crossings.