November 9, 2018
Shared or Private – Which Ski Transfer is Right for You?
When choosing an airport to ski resort transfer there are plenty of considerations to make before you book your journey. Many different types of ski transfer exist – taxi, coach, train and even helicopter – but from most people a transfer by road will be the best option.
Assuming you are taking a ski transfer by road, the biggest decision is likely to be whether you select a private taxi transfer or a shared coach transfer. Often this will come down to a balance between cost or convenience, and each group will be different in what they rate as more important.
Snowcompare deal with booking both private and shared ski transfers throughout Europe which puts us in a good position to discuss the ins-and-outs of both travel methods. Here are what we think are the major factors that should go in to your decision:
Group size is key to choosing a well-priced transfer. The vast majority of private transfers are run in minibuses with eight passenger seats, and charge a set price based on the use of the entire vehicle. If you have a group of 8 people then splitting the cost of one vehicle means a relatively cheap door-to-door private transfer.
If however you are travelling as a smaller group then you will still have to split the cost of the whole private transfer between you. This can increase costs quite considerably and mean that a shared transfer becomes a more attractive option. Shared transfers allow you to pay just for the seats you use, whether there are 2 or 22 of you travelling.
If you are a young couple or group of friends then waiting a little time at the airport until your shared transfer leaves in order to save some money probably isn’t that big of a deal. Similarly, when you arrive in resort after a long journey and are dropped off in a central location it’s probably not too much hassle to walk to your accommodation. If this is the case then the cost savings of a shared transfer outweigh the potential inconveniences.
However, of your group is made up of families with young children the idea of extending your travel time via a shared transfer might seem like a nightmare. To make them economical shared transfers are likely to stop at locations along the route as well which leads to a longer overall journey. If moving luggage through the snow when you arrive in resort sounds like a nightmare then we would definitely recommend the convenience a door-to-door private transfer provides.
By this we mean both the airport you fly in to and the resort that you are travelling on to. Large airports like Geneva or Grenoble deal with thousands of skiers and snowboarders each weekend and are therefore very well catered for by a range of companies running both private and shared transfers.
Similarly, the larger and more popular your ski resort of choice means the more likely it is to have a good selection of timetabled shared transfers running to it. Smaller resorts will either have very limited shared transfer options, or possibly no shared transfers at all.
Private transfers will run from any airport to any ski resort when pre-booked so are a great option no matter which destination you are looking at.
Dates & Time
As mentioned before, private taxi transfers will collect you as and when needed if they are booked and paid for in advance. The majority of ski holidays tend to run from Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday, and the number of ski transfer vehicles can be limited on these days.
It is highly recommended to book a private transfer early to get the best deals if you are travelling on a weekend, and definitely recommended to start planning early if you are taking a holiday at a busy time of year like Christmas or Easter. If you leave booking a private transfer too late then you will be left to select from the more expensive companies who still have space, or perhaps left with no private transfer options at all.
Conversely, for shared transfers it is much more beneficial for companies to run these at the busiest times during the ski season. As an exercise in economics these guys want to fill their buses and coaches as full as possible to maximise profits. Therefore there tend to be more shared transfer options available on weekends.
If you are travelling during the week, or late at night or early in the morning then it may be very hard to find a suitable shared ski transfer that works with your flights.
Whichever option you choose, it makes sense to look at available ski transfers at the same time as booking flights – rather than as an afterthought.
There’s no denying that this is a huge factor for most people. Unless you are a Russian Oligarch visiting Courchevel by helicopter, skiing holidays are a major expense. The general rule of thumb is that shared transfers are cheaper but less convenient, while private transfers offer door-to-door convenience but at an increased cost.
This isn’t always the case though – sometimes shared transfers aren’t available for your resort, or at the times you are travelling and private transfer will be the only option. Or you may find that actually with your group size it is more economical to hire a vehicle and driver to chauffeur you up the mountain.
Every set of circumstances and group of people are different, and as such it is important to check out all the available shared and private ski transfer options nice and early on in the planning process. Luckily Snowcompare.com is making this easier than ever before. We’ve brought together the best local transfer companies and put them all on one website. This means you can check what options are available, see what the different prices are, and book a ski transfer right from our easy-to-use website.
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