Ben’s Blog | News From Ben’s Bus
New Youth Football Team Sponsored by Bens Bus
We’re delighted to have just received this photo of the Under 11 youth football club we sponsor. Wessex Giants play in the south Somerset youth league and are doing great! We’re so pleased that our money has bought them new kits and assistance to fund training programs. Good luck for the season boys and keep active!
Travel Restrictions Ease & Snow Arrives in France
It’s as if the Snow Gods heard the announcement that double-jabbed Brits will face less stringent travel restrictions. There’s no longer a need to take expensive tests and both France and Switzerland have moved to the Green List. The news was greeted with jubilation by the ski industry and skiers alike.
24 hours later – the snow starts falling in most of the resorts we cover. It’s a good omen!
Of course, the highest ski resort in Europe picked up some snow. Our transfers to Val Thorens run regularly from Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon Airports
ALPE D’HUEZ (and LES 2 ALPES)
Alpe d’Huez and Les 2 Alpes also received their first snowfall of the Autumn. Travel there from Grenoble and Lyon Airport.
VAL D’ISERE (AND TIGNES)
Val d’Isere and Tignes have an excellent snow record.
La Plagne is linked toLes Arcs via the Paradiski Express lift
Ski Holiday Flights | How to Reduce CO2 Emissions
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT WHEN FLYING TO YOUR SKI HOLIDAY
After a summer of extreme floods, heatwaves and wildfires, the issue of Climate Change has never felt so real. Sustainability has become an important part of all our lives. Many travellers are now asking “How can I reduce my carbon footprint and still fly to my ski holiday?”
Carbon offsetting initiatives such as easyJet’s sustainability scheme are helpful, but they don’t eliminate the CO2 emitted when flying. However, done right and over a certain distance, flying is not actually as bad as some people think. Trains and cars still use energy and electricity is not yet 100% green. The extra emissions caused by congestion if everyone were to stop taking planes needs to be considered.
TOP TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR CO2 EMISSIONS WHEN FLYING
1. TAKE DIRECT FLIGHTS
A large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions on short flights are used on take-off. There’s a huge selection of direct flights to airports such as Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon, so it’s hard to justify stop-over flights via places like Amsterdam or Munich.
If you can’t find a flight that suits your budget / time, Skyscanner has a great function where you can click “Add Nearby Airports”. You could also fly into one airport and out of another if the times / prices suit you better.
2. USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO GET TO THE AIRPORT
For some people, driving to the airport cannot be helped. Electric cars are great, but remember that not all electricity is green yet and your car still contributes to congestion. Consider getting a taxi to the bus / train station if you have bags / children in tow.
Most UK airports do have good public transport access. Find out how to get to your UK airport by bus or by train. It can also be cheaper when you factor in airport parking and it’s a nicer way to arrive, since you’re usually dropped right outside Departures.
3. USE SHARED TRANSFERS TO GET UP TO YOUR SKI RESORT
Most of the big resorts like Tignes, Val Thorens and Val d’Isere have at least one shared transfer service, public bus or train service. See a list of which ski resorts we cover.
Just one Ben’s Bus can potentially replace 15-20 private transfers / hire cars on the road. On the busy weeks for ski resorts, the congestion on the access roads can sometimes result in total gridlock. This slow moving traffic caused by so many vehicles considerably increases the CO2 emissions / person.
4. HIRE SKIS IN RESORT
Ski hire shops have come a long way in recent years. Prices are very reasonable and probably comparable with the extra cost of bringing your skis / board on a plane. That extra weight adds a lot of CO2 onto your carbon footprint.
Most shops have a large range of modern equipment and some even deliver to your accommodation. You don’t need to lug your gear to and from the airport and wait at the oversized luggage. Visit our discounted ski hire page to get a quote.
5. PACK LIGHT
Every extra kilo in your bag means more CO2 going into the atmosphere. This article by Fly Aware explains how if everyone on a Heathrow to Frankfurt flight took 1kg less in their luggage, in 1 year they would have collectively saved 60 tonnes of Co2!! You’ll also put less strain on your body, so you’ll arrive fresher and fitter to enjoy your ski holiday.
Set yourself a challenge this year to see which of our top tips you can use and how many kilos you can shed:
– DON’T OVERPACK. Give more thought to what goes in your bags. Do you really need all those clothes? Potential Saving = 3kg
– LAPTOPS and chargers don’t make for a relaxing holiday. Maybe your phone can do everything? Potential Saving = 2.5kg
– LIGHTWEIGHT SKI GEAR. For instance, Merino wool thermals are very light and effective. Potential Saving = 1kg
– TOWELS & LINEN. Check if your accommodation could provide or rent towels and sheets. Potential Saving = 1kg
– TOILETRIES such as shower gel and shampoo could be bought in resort and shared. Potential Saving = 0.5kg
– CO-ORDINATE with your friends so you don’t bring 4 sets of hairdryers / speakers. Potential Saving = 0.5kg
– DUTY FREE. Check if your arrival airport offers a pick up service. Potential Saving = 1kg
– LOSE WEIGHT. Easier said than done! Potential Saving = ????kg
For those who aren’t regular skiers, or just trying it for the first time, you could rent your ski clothes in resort. This would also save you a lot of money.
6. CHOOSE A RESORT IN EUROPE
The US and Japan are inviting, exciting destinations if you’re lucky enough to afford it. Perhaps those long-haul flights could be used for a longer trip though? You could include skiing in a 3 week holiday to that country? The ICAO has developed a flight CO2 calculator. Below is a list of how much CO2 is produced for a Round trip flight from London, in economy class.
Tokyo, Japan = 774kg of CO2
Denver, Colorado, United States = 764kg of CO2
Geneva, Switzerland = 200kg of CO2
As a comparison, driving to Geneva, Switzerland = 171kg of CO2 (according to the CO2 myclimate website). This is based on a 2,000km round trip from London to Geneva in a mid-range petrol car with 4 of you in the car. This is interestingly not that much less than flying! Put a roof box on the car and it adds between 10-25% to your fuel bill, so flying becomes a carbon-efficient way of getting to the resort.
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Ski Season 2021/22 Airport Transfers
CAN I GO SKIING NEXT YEAR?
The 2020/21 season was just a tad frustrating for skiers and boarders, as nearly all ski holidays were cancelled. So many of you are now asking…. will ski resorts open in 2022?
All European ski resorts will almost certainly open for the 2021 / 2022 season. High vaccination and low hospitalisation rates have brought confidence back to the ski holiday industry. However, many Tour Operators are no longer running the traditional catered chalet holiday, partly due to Brexit. Instead, self-catered accommodation seems increasingly popular.
Scroll to the bottom of this post to read about our extra Christmas Holiday weekday services.
2021 / 2022 WINTER SKI SEASON – AIRPORT TRANSFERS
Select a Ski Resort below to see how we can get you from your airport to your destination, or scroll down for more information.
Our transfer buses can also help you get to La Tania, Peisey and Les Coches (from Aime) La Rosiere, Villard Reculas and Auris en Oisans. Our transfers from Grenoble Airport are currently only on sale up until the 26th March 2021, which is when the airlines change to their summer schedule. We will be running buses in April 2022. You can find out more on our Easter and Spring Transfer Buses Page.
Apart from our special transfers for the RISE festival, our Saturday-only service starts on the 8th January 2022. We generally have only a mid-morning service, although in March we also have a late afternoon bus. The resorts we service are listed on our Lyon Airport page. Our transfers are now on sale and you can get a quote or book online!
Our ski transfers from Geneva Airport run on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season. We also have some weekday buses over the Christmas and New Year weeks (scroll down for more details). For our most popular routes, such as Geneva to Val Thorens, Geneva to Tignes and Geneva to Val d’Isere, we have up to 8 buses per Saturday.
If you are heading to Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes, we will have a bus connecting with every single scheduled flight, any day of the week, throughout the season. Our services to other resorts such as Tignes and Val Thorens, will run on week-ends all the way through season .
2021/22 SKI SEASON TRANSFER PRICES
We’ve frozen nearly all our prices for the 2nd year running. That means you’ll pay the same this season as you would have done in the 2019/20 season. You can see our fares on our Prices Page. A Return costs about £90pp for resorts like Val Thorens, Tignes, Val d’Isere, Les Arcs, La Plagne and Meribel and just over £50pp for Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes. We still have discounts for groups and children. Sign up to our Mailing List at the bottom of this page and like us on facebook to get access to any promo codes.
WHAT REFUND GUARANTEES ARE THERE?
We know that you need the peace of mind of receiving a refund should you need to cancel. Flexibility to change your booking for free is another key requirement for many holidaymakers. That’s why we recommend upgrading to our new product, Ben’s Bus Plus. This allows you to book with confidence.
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS WEEKS
This year, Christmas Day and New Years Day falls on a Saturday, the traditional changeover day in ski resorts. A lot of airlines don’t actually fly on Christmas Day. The resorts know this and a lot of accommodation providers will change their holiday packages to a Sunday – Sunday in December, reverting back to a Saturday – Saturday in early January 2022. We’re running some extra buses from Grenoble and Geneva over the festive period.
If you are planning a trip between Grenoble Airport and either Les Deux Alpes or Alpe d’Huez, we connect with every single scheduled flight. So whatever day you fly in or out, we will have a bus for you.
PLEASE NOTE: The information below does not apply to our Lyon Airport routes, which start on the 8th January 2022.
Saturday 18th December : Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.
Sunday 19th December : Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.
Saturday 25th December : No Service except from Grenoble Airport < > Les 2 Alpes and Alpe d’Huez
Sunday 26th December : Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.
Monday 27th December : Late morning and early evening service from Geneva Airport
Tuesday 28th December : Late morning and early evening service from Geneva Airport
Saturday 1st January 2020 : Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.
Sunday 2nd January 2020 : Frequent service, in both directions, on all our routes.
Monday 3rd January 2020 : 3 services from most resorts to Geneva Airport
To keep up to date with all our news, follow us on facebook.
Read our latest blog post for some top tips on how you can reduce your carbon footprint if you are flying to your ski holiday.
We’re also looking at starting our Food Shopping Delivery Service to Tignes, Val d’Isere and Val Thorens for this season.
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Skiing in The Time of Brexit
HOW WILL BREXIT AFFECT ME IF I WANT TO GO SKIING IN FRANCE?
Thinking about skiing in France in the 2021 / 2022 season but worried about what paperwork you will need? There have been a few changes due to Brexit, so it’s understandable if you’re confused. We’ve been keeping a close eye on things and have summarised what we’ve learnt below.
Our blog post about entry requirements for Switzerland and France is also quite useful.
Our page dedicated to Coronavirus and Safety explains what you can do to help everyone stay safe whilst on our ski transfer buses and on holiday.
Read about our Refund Policy and how upgrading to Ben’s Bus Plus gives you the peace of mind everyone is looking for.
WHICH AIRPORT ARE YOU FLYING INTO?
If you are flying into Grenoble Airport or Lyon Airport, and skiing in France, then you only need to worry about what France asks of you. You’ll either need to be fully vaccinated or have a negative test. Regardless of where you are coming from, you will need to fill in the Declaration sur l’honneur form.
If you are flying into Geneva Airport, then you also need to consider what the Swiss ask of you. If you are fully vaccinated and have tickets booked to transit straight to France, you should be ok. All the ski resorts we cover are in regions in France so you need to ensure your comply with the French rules. You will need to fill in an entry form before landing at Geneva Airport.
I AM BRITISH AND COMING IN FROM THE UK
Brexit hasn’t had much impact on Brits holidaying in France. However, since the UK’s departure from the EU, British nationals are required to have at least 6 months validity on their passport. Use the Government’s passport validity tool to be sure. Ensure you have adequate health insurance and/or check your E111 is still valid. You can find more up to date info, including about Covid-19 on the UK FCO page for France or the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The Ambassador’s website has regular updates with the latest news.
The information above is intended as a guide only. Ben’s Bus cannot be held responsible for inaccurate or out of date information. To be certain of the current laws, guidelines and entry requirements, you should visit the official Government websites. This page was last updated on the 26th Nov 2021.
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Ben’s Bus Plus Refund Guarantee
Posted 3rd November 2020
NEW! UPGRADE FOR BETTER REFUND TERMS
We understand that in these uncertain times, you need the peace of mind of booking with confidence in case you need to cancel your booking. That’s why we’ve introduced Ben’s Bus Plus. For a small surcharge, you could get a 100% refund should you no longer be able to travel. You’ll get extra benefits too, including free unlimited changes to your booking. Visit our Ben’s Bus Plus page for full details and Conditions.
Ben’s Bus Plus is available on all our transfers, including our buses from Geneva Airport to Val Thorens, Geneva to Tignes, Geneva to Val d’Isere, and Grenoble Airport to Alpe d’Huez. Visit our ski resorts page for a full list of available routes. To find out more about what we’re doing to help mitigate the effects of Covid-19, visit our Safety Page.
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Travel, Entry & Quarantine Rules | Skiing in France and Switzerland
TRAVELLING TO FRANCE, INCLUDING TRANSITING THROUGH SWITZERLAND
Due to the constant rule changing by the various governments in Europe, we are keeping all the information regarding entry requirements for Switzerland, France and for returning to the UK, on our Safety and Covid Page. Please ensure you expand and read all the sections on this webpage.
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New Bus Stop in Mottaret Le Hameau
Posted 16th July 2020
NEW BUS STOP IN MOTTARET LE HAMEAU
We’ve listened to our customers and have added a new stop in Mottaret. Now all our services from Geneva Airport to Mottaret will make a stop at Mottaret Centre and Mottaret Le Hameau.
The Hameau area includes accommodations such as Residence Le Lac Blanc, Les Logis du Meribel, Residence Club Odalys Le Hameau de Mottaret and VVF Le Fontany a Meribel. There are also 2 hotels, Les Arolles and Hotel Tarentaise close by.
The area of Hameau is above the centre of Mottaret and so previously customers would have to take the shuttle bus to get from our stop in the centre up to the Le Hameau sector. The problem is that in the early hours of the morning and late in the evening, the shuttle bus might not have been working, which meant a bit of a walk. So our services will make a stop on the roundabout at the top of the road, so it’s just a very short walk to many of the large accommodations centres in Le Hameau. Click on the map to view a larger version.
Our services from Grenoble Airport and Lyon Airport still only make stops at Moutiers, but from here you can use public buses or taxis to take you onto your accommodation.
Our cheap shared ski transfers from Geneva Airport will continue to make stops at Meribel and Meribel Village, Les Allues and Brides Les Bains.
We hope you can make use of this new stop and that it will enhance your holiday experience.
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Charity Donations from Ben’s Bus Customers
Posted 8th May 2023
BEN’S BUS CUSTOMERS HELP GENERATE £1, 200 FOR CHARITY
Thank you to all our customers who opted in to donate 25p to charity when they booked their ski transfer in the 2022 / 2023 ski season. As promised, Ben’s Bus has matched the total amount donated by our customers. This year our passengers generated £570.25 in charitable contributions, so we’ve rounded that up to £600 and doubled it, to make a total of £1,200.
We also added an extra £300 to the pot as we were unable to donate the £300 last year to the Ski & Snowboard National Foundation,
We’d like to send out a huge thank you to all our customers who travelled from Geneva Airport, Grenoble Airport or Lyon Airport and opted to give to charity.
WHERE THE MONEY GOES
We gave £500 to SolarAid, which helps Africans use their natural resources to improve their lives with minimal impact on the environment.
We gave £500 to WaterAid, a charity helping to deliver clean water and sanitation to people around the world.
We gave £500 to Shelter, a UK homelessness organisation.
Our Environment and Charitable Donations page can tell you more about our Policy for Charities.
A huge thank you from our chosen charities and and from Ben’s Bus to all of you who donated. Hopefully next year we can generate even more money! Stay safe in these difficult times and and we hope to see you again next season.
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How to Avoid French Holiday Ski Resort Traffic
DRIVING TO THE ALPS FOR THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS? READ OUR TOP TIPS ON BEATING THE TRAFFIC
If you’ve travelled to a French ski resort during the school holidays, you’ve probably experienced some heavy traffic. Bottlenecks can form at motorway toll stations and when 2 lanes turn into the 1-lane mountain roads, causing huge tailbacks. If it’s snowing, things can get really messy as vehicles pull over to put chains on or, even worse, lose control and cause an accident.
It can be a stressful start or end to your holiday. We’ve created some top tips to help you avoid spending half a day stuck in a traffic jam. Or read our suggestions on how to kill time at the airport.
WHAT ARE THE WORST DATES TO TRAVEL?
The French take holidaying as seriously as they take striking. And they’re good at it. They get 2 weeks off for Christmas and then another 2 weeks for February half term. In February they split the country up into 3 zones, each one taking a different 2 week period. This spreads the load evenly, but it means there are a total of 8 Saturdays in the winter season when the traffic can be pretty nasty.
Here’s a list of dates when you should expect a lot of cars on the road. You should plan your journey more carefully on these dates and take some precautions to make sure you don’t get caught out.
HEADING UP THE MOUNTAIN
23rd & 30th December 2023 – You may find the days either side of these will be busier than usual too.
10th, 17th, 24th February & the 2nd March 2023 – The 17th & 24th February will be particularly bad.
HEADING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN
30th December & 6th January – If it is snowing on these dates, the traffic will be quite horrendous!
17th & 24th February and 2nd & 9th March – The 24th February & 2nd March will be the worst dates.
The Annecy Carnival the 24th February and the Geneva Motor Show is the 2nd March. You should avoid these areas after 8am if you can.
BE PREPARED – BRING PLENTY OF FOOD AND WATER
However you are getting to and from the resort, whether it be on a shared ski transfer with Ben’s Bus, a private transfer or driving in your own car, make sure you have enough food and water, especially if you are diabetic. Keep any medicines in your hand luggage and make use of the toilets before you get into your vehicle.
It’s not unusual for an airport transfer from Geneva to Tignes to take 5 or even 6 hours instead of the usual 3 & 1/2 hours. So bring a book, some games for the kids and lots of pre-downloaded videos to view on your device.
AVOID THE MOUNTAIN ROADS BETWEEN 8AM – 2PM
Plan your journey in advance. If you’re heading up to the resort, try to get to Grenoble or Albertville by 9am. Between 11am and 3pm the roads climbing the mountain can be moving at a snail’s pace. When leaving the resort, try to do it before 07:30 or after 14:00. The worst areas are between Bourg St Maurice – Moutiers (transfers from Val Thorens & Les Menuires don’t take that road), the ring road around Grenoble and the Lyon and Chambery motorway peages.
If you’re on a Ben’s Bus leaving Grenoble, Geneva or Lyon Airports between 10am – 4pm, you will probably hit some heavy traffic. Your Ben’s Bus eTicket will mention if we have allowed extra time for your journey. If you are heading to La Plagne, Les Arcs, Val d’Isere or Tignes, our drivers may have to take a legal break en-route. This is to comply with EU legislation and is designed to protect all road users. Use the facilities at the airport or in the resort before you leave as not all of our vehicles have toilets. If you need to go en-route, just ask the driver to pull over at the next convenient place.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE IS GOLD!
Book your ski transfer with a reputable and established company. Ben’s Bus has been working in the mountains for 15 years and works with local coach companies. Our drivers know the cheeky short cuts and how to avoid the bottlenecks. Our coordinators consult traffic websites and traffic cameras and our drivers and reps report where the roads are congested.
Top Tip: Don’t rely completely on Sat-Nav as it might try to take you across mountain passes that are closed in the winter!
CHOOSE YOUR DATES WISELY
The easiest way to avoid the rush and the crowds is to take your ski holiday in January or March. You’ll also get cheaper deals on accommodation and the queues for the ski lifts will be much smaller. Plus, you’ll get that table at your favourite restaurant! This website is a good source of information about school holidays in France https://about-france.com/school-holidays.htm Of course if you have kids in school, then that’s not possible.
Updated 6th August 2023
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