TBW: WHY YOU DON’T NEED A SNOW SHOVEL
We spent hours researching snow shovels before making what was not an insignificant purchase in the lead up to our motorhome ski adventure in the Alps – and you might be surprised to learn, it wasn’t a snow shovel because… you don’t need a snow shovel.
One last run then?
We’ve got a policy. Nobody ever says “one last run then?”. Never, ever, ever. It’s probably fatal, we’ve never risked it to find out.
Winter wonderland to dirty hole – the truth lurks under the snow
I am vindicated. I knew 200 powder free nitrile surgical gloves would come in handy but I didn’t expect it to be on our penultimate day skiing in a winter wonderland.
5 useful things you didn’t know you needed for your motorhome ski adventure
We covered motorhome ski essential kit in our blog titled ‘Our Zero BS Motorhome Ski Check List’ which caused consternation with some in the motorhome community. Why? Because we think there are a number of things that people call ‘essential kit’ that’s total nonsense. Our feelings haven’t changed on the topic of glue guns and inflatable mattresses and if you want to read about some of the other daft things people think you should take, check it out here. As a follow up from that blog, and inspired by someone more organised than we are (Wandering Bird – follow her), there are a few things that we have on our motorhome ski road trip that might not immediately spring to mind and you may find useful. Some of them we came across purely by accident, some of them were strategic purchases – all of them are invaluable to us – here they are and we’ve included a few options that were in our short list. Draining Mat This was a gift and honestly, the thought of not having it, or one like it, brings us out in a sweat. You do not have enough surface area in your motorhome to drain […]
How we became Red Bull athletes (by accident)
I’m a 39, wine drinking, female. I do not feature as part of a demographic in any of Red Bull’s marketing meetings. James, a slightly unhinged 35 year old male however features heavily on their spider diagrams of targets. They needn’t waste their budget – he’s in. When I was sat in a meeting in Les Deux Alpes a few months ago whilst James turned his hand to skiing with his BFF Reuben and I was informed about an annual ‘thing’ that Red Bull stage in various resorts, nothing registered. And I mean nothing. That information went in the brain file labelled ‘stuff for the kids and plonkers to get involved in’. For a start, it involved bibs. I’m not a bib sort of gal. Sporting some fresh Helly Hansen swag that I’m testing for work (crap job but someone’s got to give it a proper run in!)… I felt no need to cover my mint jacket (complete with life pocket) with some sort of park-rat style basketball shirt. No thanks. It also involves a disclaimer (disguised as a registration form – you can’t trick me Red Bull know this game intimately), some sort of timing tag and what turned […]
Whale Vs The Beast from the East
You barely even think about your heating systems at home until they stop working (unless you’re a plumber!).
What we do and #vanlife tips for working and not working on the road
We’ve had a few people raise eyebrows when we say we left our jobs and hit the road. There are of course a bunch of people who plan long in advance of taking off on life affirming adventures – we do not fall into this category.
Our Zero BS Motorhome Ski Check List
Lots of people have asked us what we’ve taken on our motorhome ski adventure – our natural instinct for over planning meant that we researched this extensively before we left, tried to get the best deals on everything we needed, and this is what we now live with on a daily basis. It’s worth noting, we have a finite amount of space… as do you if you’re going on a motorhome or campervan skiing holiday. Our list is based on the fact that we don’t have an external garage and we don’t want to carry a single thing that we don’t consider essential – life in a motorhome is cosy enough without too many ‘in case of emergency’ items. Some of the lists we’ve read seem bonkers – unless you’re travelling in a 7.5t RV, we have no idea where you keep all this stuff, let alone why you need it. Add to that the monumental expense and suddenly your adventure becomes comparable in cost to a 10 day all-in catered chalet experience for 20! We will no doubt eat our words when we desperately need everything we opted not to take! What we have learned is that the winter […]
A message to everyone at the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome show
Tuesday 20th February 2018: Alagna, Italy Just Do It. Do not leave the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome show without a plan as to how you’re going to get yourself a home on wheels. You’re visiting for a reason. Some of you are visiting because you have a dream, some of you are already living it and are inspiring other people to do so. Some of you are meeting old friends and some of you are meeting people you know from their YouTube channels! Everyone’s ideas of what they want to do with their motorhome life differs greatly – from weekend warriors exploring their local regions to others, like us, with a very specific goal in mind – giving ourselves the freedom to pursue our favourite activities. In our case, chasing the best snow around the Alps all winter long. Granted, our story is a little extreme and I know that the idea of giving up houses, packing everything into storage and running away from home isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t elements of what we’re doing that aren’t exactly the same as everyone else with a motorhome. The range of options is mindboggling – […]
Everything in a motorhome is a compromise
Of course it is. We’re not daft enough to think we can move into a road vehicle, be it for a weekend or indefinitely, and not understand there are going to be some trade-offs to make. So we think it’s time to stop selling the ‘home from home’ marketing BS and start selling the real dream – the one where the compromises are fun (rock, paper, scissors for who’s going to empty the toilet cassette) – and living a life more connected to your consumption is actually quite refreshing. Our generation wants a simpler life to escape to every now and then. Don’t get me wrong, in our journey across the Alps this winter, we’ve seen some motorhomes that make 2 bed luxury riverside apartments over-looking the Thames look like nasty holes, but the vast majority of motorhomers, particularly those who tour in winter, live a life of compromise. If you don’t like the following realities, book an AirBnB. Our top motorhome compromises Water Consumption You have a tank – whether it’s 20 litres or 200 litres (ours is 100 litres), when it’s empty, you have to fill it back up and that means one of you has to move […]
Why ski-in-ski-out is so last season
There are alternative ski-life options to ‘ski-in-ski-out’ and they come with a host of perks. From going home leaner and fitter to benefitting from cheap ski accommodation and finding secret resorts… this is why we think ski-in-ski-out is so last season.
Welcome to the vlog!
Whilst I’ve been blogging, James has been putting up YouTube videos of our motorhome ski adventure for the last few months so welcome to the vlog! If you fancy a giggle, watch the back catalogue – particularly ‘the one where: James learns to snowboard’ but in the meantime, here’s a look at Châtel part deux. Vlogging is not easy and whilst I’ve spent the vast majority of time running out of shot (I’m better at it now than I was in the beginning), James has really taken to it. As someone who had never picked up a vlogging camera until the day we went to collect our motorhome from Elddis, he’s doing really well and getting a lot out of it… rage, frustration, Tourettes and arm ache mostly. If you enjoy them, please like, subscribe and press the notification bell in YouTube – it helps his ego and makes the pain of editing slightly less torturous! There’s loads more to come so stay tuned!
“They’re not like slippers”. Yes they bloody are – Apex boots changed my life.
…and other first world problems. If you love skiing and hate boots or simply need to do a lot of walking, read on. In my late teens I bust my ankle badly. Not an unusual thing to do but without going into too much detail, all the soft tissue was annihilated and ultimately it was a career changing injury. However, after fifteen years of rest (yes, I took the medical advice very seriously!) I recklessly undid all the hard work I’d done sitting on my ass, by slipping off a curb and we were almost back to square one. I’m resigned to the fact that I either take a considerable period of time out of normal active life to undergo reconstructive surgery or, I suck-it-up-buttercup. For now, I have opted for plan b. What that does mean is living with a certain amount of background pain which is amplified when I do certain activities. Skiing is one. I re-entered the world of skiing after a 17 year absence in January last year and vividly recall a teary phone call to an experienced (and equally battered) friend…“when is this going to stop? I can’t cope with this pain… seriously, I might […]
The ‘new normal’ on our motorhome ski adventure
We can’t work out if it feels like a long time since we left the UK or just yesterday. Whichever it is, we now have an entirely new normal.
Why you should travel by ferry – Dover to France the best way
There’s no escaping it – the Chunnel was a game changer. 35 minutes to France, super straight forward, roll on, roll off. I use it for work regularly and when travel itself is not the purpose of travelling (if you get what I mean) then no doubt, it has it’s plus sides.
Essential Motorhome Ski Kit: Karcher Window Vac
I can’t remember being this excited about anything since the first Dyson handheld thingy that completely revolutionised dog and stair ownership. The Karcher window vac is awesome. We accidentally brought a Karcher window vac with us – it was very much on the ‘nice to have’ list but got bumped when we panic bought the whole of PC World in the last days before we left on our Winterized adventure. More concerned about out tech needs whilst on our radical sabbatical and my ability to ‘digital nomad’, than the practicalities of living in a motorhome as sub-zero temperatures, getting hold of this domestic gadget somewhat appeased us and convinced us we were fully prepared for life on the road. The less said about that, the better. Gadget Envy Forget the brand spanking new Elddis motorhome (one like this) we’re cruising about in. Our Karcher has been the envy of all our fellow winter travellers. Much to our surprise, we have no need for it at all in the cab of our van. We’ve got a pimp screen cover (kindly lent to us by Van Comfort who saved us from buying the wrong tool for the job when we initially approached them for advice) […]
3 ways to motorhome ski
OK, so we’re a very long way off knowing what we’re doing or being any kind of authority on the matter of motorhome ski life but we very definitely know more than we did 27 days ago.
Whatever they tell you, #vanlife requires a sense of humour…
It’s actually pretty tricky to write an explanation to that from perhaps the most idyllic bar/ restaurant in all the Alps (Le Hors Piste, Chatel)! We’re dry, have mains power, speedy wifi and people bringing us amazing food and drink.
You’re not an ice road trucker and you do need winter tyres
We’ll be frank, we weren’t 100% sure that you do need winter tyres or that they were necessary for this trip.
East Bound ‘n’ Down – Winterized journey to the Alps
Day 6 and we’re having a cheat week in an amazing AirBnB near Geneva for Christmas… pre-planned so family could come out to join us but it’s the first time we’ve come up for air since we left home in Oxfordshire last Sunday.
Winterized gets snowed in
You couldn’t write it. We got snowed in at Elddis. Yup. The day we were collecting our van; the day before we were due to have our winter tyres fitted; the day before the day that we were due to do a dummy overnighter. It snowed. Hard. The journey north Elddis is a truly British manufacturer and upholds some of the manufacturing traditions that are rare in modern robot-run warehouses. Friends and family open days and Friday early shutdown, Elddis is the stronghold of a small former mining town in the North East of England. And the nicest thing of all is that having only visited a few times, we really feel like family. Despite having spent five and a half years in Newcastle as a student, 15 years of southern life means that a trip up north is still ridiculously exciting for me and Thursday was no exception. If a road trip past Watford Gap and collecting the motorhome wasn’t enough, as we hit the M18 it started SNOWING…. So here’s where we start to uncover the motivation behind this winterized motorhome ski trip… IT’S SNOWING… if you understand the way in which that statement should be read aloud […]
Beginners Guide to vlogging kit – what you need, and what you don’t.
As soon as YouTube celebrities starting showing up on the red carpet at film premiers ‘Vlogging’ became a real word. It’s an actually thing and you can be one. All you need is your face and a video camera. But how do you start? Here’s our beginners guide to vlogging kit.
What the…..how much loo roll?
Anyone who has been following our blog will know by now that we are ridiculously lucky. From being loaned our motorhome to getting a whole heap of equipment lent or gifted to us, we are very aware of how fortunate we are.
Finding an alternative ski holiday
If you search ‘alternative ski holiday’, you’re going to find lists of less common ski and snow sports destinations – little know off-grid Norwegian towns, remote Italian mountain villages and the fast growing resorts of Western Europe. And yes, that’s one alternative to the traditional European Alpine ski holiday but if you’re looking for something really different for your 2018 week in the snow, the are lots of options to consider.
Getting fit for a motorhome skiing holiday
There’s tonnes of information on the internet about getting fit for a skiing holiday. There is absolutely nothing on getting in shape for a motorhome skiing holiday.
Luxury travel – what does it mean?
If you stick ‘luxury travel’ into google, you’ll find names like Cox and Kings, Abercrombie and Kent and Elegant Resorts filling the first pages with 5 star hotels and first class flights. Click through to ‘images’ and you’ll find two dominant colours and pictures that are almost as toe curling as the touched up front covers of glossy fashion magazines.
Top 5 must-have ski gadgets for 2017/18
Snow sports are heavily gear oriented and ski gadgets are part of every self-respecting snow-bum’s kit list. You can even convince yourself that a ski holiday is completely impossible without the latest NASA spec technical equipment. Nevermind that people have been getting about on planks of wood without bluetooth-piste-side-manufacturer-support for centauries.
Guaranteed snow every ski holiday
Feeling disgruntled about the snow-lotto you play when booking your precious week in the mountains? Fancy spending some time touring the alps? Perfectly happy with negotiating a few switch-backs and stomach-lurching cliff edge roads for guaranteed snow?
This trip can’t really get much better. Our road trip proper now starts with a bonafide boat trip. Not only are we moving to the mountains this December but we’re doing it in some style.
Meeting The Grey Gappers
I’ve spent nearly every birthday for the last 11 years at the NEC in Birmingham and I’ve learned a few survival tricks in that time. Show-shoes – flat and squidgy. Caffeine – consume well in excess of your RDA – a dangerous amount is optimum.
Winter motorhoming – we thought we invented that
Honestly, we genuinely thought we’d come across a secret way to travel which was only known to a very small handful of nomads and hippies. We thought we invented winter motorhoming (evidence here).
“If it’s got tyres or testicles, it’s going to give you trouble”
Fortuitously, winter tyres are the least of our worries. It’s one thing both of us know a thing or two about and it’s been a priority to get good shoes on the motorhome from day one. I’m a secret tyre geek. I love tyres and I love tyre people.
#AdventureMiles and value exchange
To put you in the picture, we’re giving up our jobs (or at least James is – I perhaps naively think that I can ‘digital nomad’, vin chaud in one hand, laptop in the other, smoothly gliding through a snowy pine forest with planks stuck to my feet), and we’re heading off on the adventure of a lifetime.
Winterized and Fall-Line Skiing
Turning our trip from a ‘jolly’ into a radical sabbatical was never the plan, not really. It wasn’t until we had buried ourselves in the internet for two days without coming up for air that we realised we had an opportunity to put something together that might offer value to other people looking to road trip around the Alps in winter.
Winterized Partners with Elddis
If we’d known that four months ago we’d be writing this blog, we wouldn’t have believed you. We’re now part of the Elddis Family and this road trip just took on an entirely new meaning. If you’re sitting comfortably, let us begin.
#vanlife is mostly an endless discussion about excretion
Declaration: We do solemnly promise, that from this day forward (unless something truly hilarious happens (which will undoubtedly only be funny for one of us) there will no further potty chat… winterized #vanlife vows.
38 teaspoons, 5 quiche dishes and the 10K skip
Just over a year ago, I was mindlessly watching British weekend staple viewing Sunday Brunch, and they were interviewing the author James Wallman who was plugging his book, Stuffocation: Living More with Less. By the end of the day, I’d ploughed through a good chunk of it and had one of those life changing moments.
Top 5 Road Trip Planning Resources
Here are the top 5 road trip planning resources we got our paws on before we started to put together our winter 2017/18 road trip to the Alps. In no particular order…
The JFDI Road Trip
Dear Absolutely Nobody (let’s see if anyone is interested in our road trip) It’s sort of ‘Day One’ … at least an important day… the day pen goes to paper for the first time.