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I wanted to go for skiing from July 10, 2013 to July 15, 2013 at Tignes, France. I live in Leuven, Belgium but boarding a carrier from Brussels is also fine. I have search for numerous options bus connections, trains etc. but they are all expensive. Moreover all this hassle has left me confused with which option to choose. I also searched for car pooling options but it looks like there are none to Tignes. Any help appreciated!

EDIT:

I searched carpooling but nothing was available from Brussels. The closest point available to Tignes by carpooling was Chambery(I may be wrong here), but again nothing from Brussels. Next I from all places in France to Chambery (so that I can reach there from Brussels using some other way, kind of via route) but nothing sensible appeared in search.

I searched for trains here, but the return journey tickets are beyond EUR 250. And after that I have to go from station to Tignes, that is not included.

I made some similar searches on Eurolines website too, but all in vain.

I searched for flights here between Chambery and Brussels(no result) and Geneva and Brussels(got few flights) but this option is again reaching beyond EUR 200(after including transfer from airport to Tignes).

I would be looking at something something below EUR 150. Travel dates are set and I'm not at liberty to change them. If it matters, I'm also not a resident in EU.

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@MarkMayo I searched for hitchhiking too, to the best of my knowledge, but no good news there too. –  Aman Deep Gautam Jun 25 '13 at 13:34
    
How old are you? Are you eligible for youth tickets (up to 25 years old)? A Youth Interrail one country pass for France is €144. You can connect with local trains (it will take a long time) that don't need expensive reservations so you only need to add Brussels to the border. –  gerrit Jun 25 '13 at 13:56
    
@gerrit I am 22 years old. Also a student here, if that helps..:) –  Aman Deep Gautam Jun 25 '13 at 13:58
    
Try this website for car-sharing: covoiturage.fr i find a shitload of offers, not always exactly to Tignes, you can finish by bus i assume. –  travelot Jun 25 '13 at 14:36
    
It's a shame you didn't book earlier - I strongly suspect if you'd booked 90 days before when the cheap train tickets went on sale you would've been able to book it within that budget... –  Gagravarr Jun 25 '13 at 15:59

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Possibly the cheapest non-hitchhiking option

On Eurolines, I find tickets from Lille to Lyon for €58 (youth). If you add to this a local train from Brussels to Lille and local transportation from Lyon to Tignes, this is likely your cheapest option:

  • Train Brussels – Lille: Belgian railways, €15
  • Eurolines bus Lille – Lyon: Eurolines, €58
  • Train Lyon – Chambery: SNCF, €17.90
  • Local transportation Chambery – Tignes

Total Brussels – Chambéry, one-way, €90.90. I don't think you'll find any cheaper alternative. However, do read on for possible other hints.

Interrail (EU-residents)

This answer may or may not help you, but can apply to budget last-minute train travel in general, so I still answer it.

An Interrail Youth One Country Pass for France is €144. This permits you to travel on trains within France for 3 days within one month. You will need to add a round trip ticket from your station to the French border. Interrail is only available for European residents. Otherwise, the next cheapest option is the Eurail Benelux+France Youth Pass, which is €229 and unfortunately more expensive than what you require.

Most trains require additional reservations and in France, these can be quite expensive and are quickly sold out. The German railways offer you to search for trains that do not require reservations. Selection All without ICE should be sufficient. This means your travel will take a very long time. You will need to search for a connection that does not pass through any other countries than France. For example, from Lille to Chambery, there are connections lasting 12–16 hours with 3–7 changes. Add to this your transportation to Lille and from Chambery, and your connection will not work within a single day, but require to spend the night somewhere.

Regional trains

That being said, you might find cheaper options through SNCF by selecting a clever via station. For example, from Lille via Dijon to Chambery I find one-way tickets for €87, around €20 cheaper than options I find without this via. The trick here is to find a route that will use mostly the slow regional TER or SNCF INTERCITÉS trains, as opposed to TGV. Don't forget to select your correct age range.

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