Motorhome skiing – How much cheaper is it really?

A couple of years ago we decided to invest in a Motorhome. Our motivations were varied but the biggest decider for us was based on value for money (VFM). You can see our full thought process here.

After finding the joys of Snowboarding at a relatively late age, 30 something/ ish, we noticed after a few seasons we were spending an inordinate amount of money on accommodation. It was our single biggest outlay each trip even if we tried to go for basic digs. Closely followed by lift passes obviously!

In the space of 3 seasons we spent an estimated £10k on hotels/ chalets/ apartments etc. Granted we did spend roughly 12 weeks on the snow in that time frame but it was money “down the drain”. Sure the lodgings were nice and well located but there had to be a cheaper way to still scratch our snow itch.

This season we decided to balance the books and see just how much better off we were financially.

Our Hymer B544 cost us more than 10k buts its an investment and they seem to hold their value generally. We can at any point sell it and cash in. We can’t however, do that with the money spent so far paying off other peoples mortgages!

So how much better off are we?

The following represents our actual spend for a two adult, 16 day trip to the French Alps over Christmas and New years in 2018. We didn’t scrimp and we didn’t go out of our way to look for cheaper alternatives in terms of travel to the resorts (ferries/ tolls etc) or food. We spent what we wanted, when we wanted. We boarded for a total of 10 days of the 16 and we visited 4 different resorts.

Food€220.70
Fuel€521.27
Drinks€109.26
Ski Passes€849.20
AireS€88
Flot Blue (servicing)€10.50
Gas€39.30
Tolls€169.90
Tours€16
Eating Out€275.11
Ferry€394.10
TOTAL€2693.34

So – how much would that trip have cost IF we had been paying for accommodation. How much extra would we need to spend if we had not taken our Motor Home?

As a buyer by profession I am always looking for a deal so my cost assumptions below take that into account. I have assumed I would scrimp and save. For example we would have flown and not driven as that works out cheaper (not by much but the pennies soon add up!). I would have needed to scrimp and save too as the accommodation costs would have battered our savings.

Below is a rough estimate to give you an idea.

I have changed a number of assumptions (with descriptions provided) in an effort to save some money where we could. I have also assumed the trip would have been less fancy free (aka more frugal) as I try to balance our books in light of the accommodation bill. Having said that my assumed accommodation costs are a best case scenario as I fear you would be hard pressed to find flexible accommodation for €100 per night peak season! You may however be a much better buyer then me so kudos if you can work your negotiating prowess!

Food €                400.00 Slightly more as would have to
buy more food in France and not
take with us from the UK
Fuel €                160.00 For the hire car x 15 days
Drinks €                109.26 Same
Ski passes €                849.20 Same
Tolls €                   80.00 Reduced as less driving in France
Eating out €                275.11 Same
Accomodation €             1,500.00 for 15 nights in 4 resorts average €100pn
(best case but unlikely in peak season for
decent digs)
Car Hire €                394.00 Economy for 15 days
Flights €                260.00 London Heathrow To Geneva
excluding extra baggage allowance

TOTAL €             4,027.57

So in a motorhome cost us €2,693.34 and in hotels etc Would have cost us €4,027.57

The simple above illustration suggests that overall we would have needed to spend an extra €1334.23 for a similar holiday without our Hymer.

Interesting food for thought!

Based on this rough calculation – our up front motorhome investment will be recouped in around 3 winter seasons. Assuming obviously we continue to use up our entire annual leave allowance searching and playing on the white stuff!

That does not even cover the countless pennies we have saved being able to use our home on wheels for the rest of the year! Only a few months ago we rocked up for my God Mothers Birthday and parked our bus on her drive to avoid a taxi/ hotel cost!

Love our little life AND saving the pennies! 🙂 Money in the bank as they say!

Happy holidaying!

If motorhoming AND snow sports is your bag then check out our other ski resources here https://motor-roam.co.uk/motorhome-ski-resources

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8 Comments

  1. Yep. Agree 100%. We have spent the last 20 years doing exactly the same. Our last trip covered 4000 miles, 11 countries in 6 weeks and the total cost was £3500 for everything. Our last ski trip lasted 5 weeks 2500 miles and cost £2400 for everything. Fuel, food, beer, ferry, gas, lift passes, Aires, Tolls. I agree the outlay and running costs are a factor but we think it’s a no brainer for the long term savings and quality if life.

    • Muffin

      January 29, 2019 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks for the comment Derek! Its great to get other peoples thoughts and experiences on costs! We love the quality of life it brings us!

    • Sounds great, but how much skiing did you do?

      Lift passes are typically (Avoriaz, Chamonix, Courmayeur) around £40+ per day and you averaged £68.57 per day for everything.

      • Muffin

        February 28, 2019 at 1:51 pm

        Hi John – we boarded for 10 days out of the 16. It will be interesting to hear how many days Derek hit the piste for?

  2. Thank you both for your input. I’ve now decided to definately invest in either a fully insulated camper or will self build one for next season. I started at 55! But am truly hooked.

    • Muffin

      January 30, 2019 at 6:37 pm

      Hi Ivan – thanks for the comment! Amazing that you have decided to go for it. In my humble opinion it does not matter how old you are – if the snow bug bits you have to listen! Enjoy and keep us updated on your journey. You might find the post on choosing the right van for you helpful. Good luck!

  3. We went on a longer 26 day trip, visiting multiple resorts with our car.

    Your flights, Rental car, tolls and fuel: 894

    Ours: 859 to drive from East Anglia to the Alps, driving around and visiting five ski resorts over 26 days involving lots of to- and fro-ing and some side trips. Avoiding the tolls, I estimate similar with a motorhome.

    Lift passes averaged 46 per day. This is a fixed cost.

    Accommodation was just under 2,000 for 24 nights, or 84 / night for two.

    It was a mix of very nice BnB, some hotels, a few nights in the valleys and AirBnB apartments averaged around 82 / day. Quality was good, but it took an effort to find it. Much more convenient to have your accommodation with you.

    We’re considering a motorhome to allow us to travel round, visiting smaller resorts, avoiding crowds and chasing powder. On our figures the main saving will be accommodation.

    • Muffin

      February 28, 2019 at 1:56 pm

      Hi John – I totally agree -the accommodation cost is the primary save. The “save” in time and effort finding suitable accommodation (for us) is a huge bonus. That added to the fact that I can quite literally take my kitchen sink – and my comfy bed – makes for a much more relaxed experience. Check out the ski resource page as there are lots of new places being added at the moment. Good luck in your adventure!

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