Ask the Experts: Roadtrip & Ski Combo?

Have you ever woken up in the early hours of the morning, and wished that an STA Travel Expert was there to answer your burning questions? Well, now you can. Almost.

This is Ask the Experts. Granted, it’s not the most imaginative name for a feature. But I reckon you get the gist. You do the Ask part. We’ll do the Expert part.

We’ve lined up three of our finest travel experts from around the nation, to preside over your travel questions. In no particular order (unless you know your A-Zs) we have Heather from our Nottingham branch; Kim from STA Travel Dundee; and Mark from our branch in Belfast.

If you have a question that you would like to put to one of our resident experts, drop an email to social [at] statravel [dot] co [dot] uk, with the words ‘Ask the Experts’ in the subject line.

So, without further ado let’s head straight for the panel, and this week’s burning question of desire:

My girlfriend wants to do a ski season, I’d prefer to take a long road trip. Any idea how we can combine the two and keep the peace? Jeffers, Plymouth

Heather D

How about Canada? The rocky mountains give heaps of opportunities for ski seasons. And when the ski season finishes? You can head to the Rockies! The stretch from Banff to Jasper is rated by National Geographic as one of the world’s best road trips, and takes in some amazing peaks and glaciers.

Stop along the way at Lake Louise, and hike to various lookouts for views across the Rockies, or relax and take the gondola. The Columbia Icefield Centre is definitely worth a visit, not least because it brings the opportunity to climb the glacier. Scenery aside, you can also observe local wildlife, such as big grizzly bears, moose, and the fantastic bighorn sheep.

Jasper, Alberta, Canada
Image courtesy of natalielucier

If you don’t fancy the long drive and you want to meet people and share the experience there are plenty of great trip options. We have some great advice on working in the USA.

Kim L

Hmmm… I like your thinking, Heather! A short hop across the Atlantic to Canada is definitely the obvious choice. But how about thinking further afield? Take a look at Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. Often referred to as having the best powder in the world, Japan will appeal to both your cultural taste buds and inner sushi-ness.

This huge and sparsely populated island, with its abundance of national parks, are an adventure waiting to happen. Discover vast empty plains, crystal clear lakes and soaring mountain landscapes. With plenty of English signs, Hokkaido is ideal for exploring by car. Roads are well-kept and quiet, plus they drive on the left… bonus!

A self-drive itinerary taking in Niseko (home to three world class ski resorts), Toya and Lake Shikotsu National Park area — which is centred around a stunning lake with the smoking Showa Shinzan volcano as a backdrop — would be totally perfect for you. You could also call on Rusutsu, only 2 hours from Chitose Airport and on route to Niseko. It’s one of the largest full service resort complexes in Hokkaido, and hailed as the island’s best kept secret! Shhhhh…

Mark R

You beat me to it, Heather! I’d also head towards North America, but I’d do things slightly differently.

Fly into Los Angeles and take a trip from Los Angeles to San Fransisco via Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Route 66, as well as Yosemite National Park. This can be done on a self drive as part of a classic Route 66 trip, or if you fancy someone else doing the legwork, check out our LA to the Bay tour.

From San Fran, I would fly to Burlington and onto the ski resort of Stowe in Vermont. We’ve got some great fares on the route right now. Stowe has a great vibe and is fantastic for snowboarding and skiing, has slopes to suit all skill levels, and has equipment for hire locally. Season runs from November through to late March. Stowe also has a killer social scene, night and day. Having been there myself I’d recommend this bad boy all day long!

Can you improve on the panel’s expert opinions? Share your opinion in the comment thread below, and get the banter rolling.

Remember, if you have a question for our panel of experts, drop them an email to social [at] statravel [dot] co [dot [uk] with ‘Ask the Experts’ in the subject line.