Tips & Tricks


Travelling to Chalet Vincent

By Plane

1. If travelling from Heathrow by British Airways book well in advance for the lowest fares.
Contact www.britishairways.com.
2. If travelling from Gatwick considering booking into the short term car park in advance as the prices are similar to turning up at the long term car park and you only have a short walk to the terminal. Consider the south terminal short term car park and travel across by monorail. It has larger spaces and better deals. Have BAA confirm the booking by text then you won't be searching for that piece of paper for the booking reference when you arrive home.
Contact www.gatwickairport.com
3. When hiring a car at Geneva make sure you hire from the Swiss side not the French side. Some web sites will still try and offer a car from the French side. It is a pain to get to the French side of the terminal and you will have a problem coming back to the airport as all the road signs are to the Swiss side. You will also have to purchase a vignette (approx 38.50 euros) - the swiss road tax if you follow the wrong route.
4. The best deals for car hire can be found on the comparison website www.travelsupermarket.com

By Car

1. The journey takes about 8 hours from Calais (580 miles) if you only stop for fuel /comfort break. It is motorway and dual carriageway the whole way to Chamonix.
2. The speed limit is 130 km/hr if the roads are dry and 110 km/hr if the roads are wet.
3. The tolls each way are about £77.00.
4. If you speed on the A26 from Reims back to Calais you will get caught for speeding! The fine is proportinate to the speed you were caught doing and is paid "on the spot".
5. In addition to the usual european requirements you must have snow chains in the winter months and have a high-vis vest at all times accessible from within the car. If you hire a car at Geneva they should provides these.
6. If travelling by the tunnel consider spending the additional cost for flexiplus. You can take the next available train so you don't have the stress of missing your booked train if the traffic is bad and priority boarding means it is faster to get on so saves on travelling time. Remember that instead of having to purchase food and papers in the main terminal building you have your own dedicated lane to a private lounge where you are provided with picnic style food hampers, hot and cold beverages as well as newspapers and magazines free of charge. You may find with a large group that the additonal cost of flexiplus would match what you would spend in the main terminal building anyway.

In Chamonix

1. Prices in Chamonix shops are much higher than outside the valley. Consider shopping for food and alcohol at the Carrefour in Sallanches on the way to Chamonix. It is right beside the autoroute and the new road junction means it is only a small detour for big savings.
2. Don't miss the Saturday market in the town. 8:00am to 2:00pm.
3. Don't panic at noon on Saturdays - the town tests the natural disaster siren at this time!
4. If hiring skis/boards or buying equipment or clothing don't miss Technique Extreme. See www.technique-extreme.com It provides the best value in the town but you may need to book in advance at peak periods for ski /board hire. Good value = very popular = runs out of equipment.
5. Best sites for news and whats on are:
www.chamonix.com
www.chamonix.net
www.chamonet.com
6. Best site for snow conditions and lift passes:
www.compagniedumontblanc.fr
7. If you know no French don't worry as English is the 2nd language but at least learn four words and use them often - Bonjour, Au revoir, S'il vous plait and Merci. It will be very much appreciated.