At Easter 2024, Iain Martin, presenter of The Ski Podcast and founder of Ski Flight Free, travelled from Brighton to Les 2 Alpes in a luxury splitter van.

What is a splitter van?

Firstly, let’s clarify what we are talking about here. A splitter van is like a minibus, but with much more storage and way more space for the passengers.

In this case, Iain rented from Vans For Bands – a company that does what it says on the tin: it rents vans for bands. Bands take these vehicles because they need lots of space to store their instruments and speakers and because they are often on the road for weeks at a time.

The company has a fleet of 60 splitter vans, which are typically rented out all summer as bands go from festival to festival. In winter, however, there’s the opportunity for the ‘general public’ to rent them – and they are perfect for a ski holiday.

vans for bands les 2 alpes 2024

How many people can travel in a splitter van?

Most of the vans have capacity for 9 passengers, with three in the front and six, in two facing lines of three, in the back.

This was Iain’s annual family trip, and his family was joined in the van with another family from Brighton.

vans for bands 2024

What are the advantages of driving in a splitter van?

There are so many advantages of travelling like this. The most obvious are:

  • Costs (Eurotunnel/Tolls/Fuel) are split between two families instead of one
  • There are more adults to share the driving
  • It’s much more sociable
  • There is so much room for those in the back, compared with a car
  • The seats are super comfortable
  • There are TV screens to watch movies on to help pass the time

This video will give you a much better idea of what travelling in a splitter van is like:

It’s a much lower carbon cost than flying…

The other key bonus is that the carbon footprint of your ski holiday will be significantly reduced if you travel by splitter van.

The fuel economy was not amazing in the van at only 27 miles/gallon. However, according to the Carbon Footprint calculator, this would generate 570 kg/CO2e for the return journey of 1353 miles between Brighton and Les 2 Alpes.

However, according to calculations by Protect Our Winters, the carbon cost of flying is around 500 kg/CO2e per person. This means that for nine people flying the total carbon cost would be around 4500 kg/CO2e – around 8 times as much.

So, there is a significant saving travelling in a van, with a carbon footprint per person equivalent to just 12% of the amount generated by flying.

Kids watching a movie

Costs

The total journey cost is detailed below:

Diesel – £321
Peage – £248
Eurotunnel – £456
Van Hire – £1600

Total – £2625
Total Per Person – £291

While that may sound quite a lot per person, please consider that this figure includes:

  • All travel from Brighton to Les 2 Alpes
  • Unlimited luggage (there is enough room for every person to take their own skis and boots, as well as bags!)

So if you fly, you need to include:

  • the cost of the flights
  • the cost of return travel to the airport in the UK
  • the cost of return travel from the airport in Europe to the resort
  • the cost of airline baggage fees

If you’d like to find out more about hiring a luxury splitter van from Van for Bands, please contact them via their website.

You can listen to Iain’s interview with Vans for Bands founder, Tarrant Anderson, and find out more about Iain’s trip in Episode 209 of The Ski Podcast: