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Dover to Milan -  Flying v Driving

Dover to Milan - Flying v Driving

Free flights for press trip to Fiamma Milan, so why did we drive?

Background information

The Caravan Writers Guild were invited to a factory visit at Fiamma, a third generation manufacturer of motorhome and caravan awnings, bike racks, levels, locks and various accessories. Fiamma had offered to pay for guild members return flights from the UK to Malpensa, Milan.

The list of budget flight options

We had 2 choices, Gatwick departing 5am or Stansted at 11am We would have had to leave Folkstone at 1am and 6am respectively. We live 7 minutes from the Channel tunnel and 20 minutes from Dover port!

Fiamma offered the basic flight only, options were down to us.
£80 Airport parking for 2 nights.
£66 baggage £16.50 x 4.
£28 Fast track security £7 x 4.
£30 Extra leg room at £15.
£204 Total costs for us to pay

Ryanair carry on bag size was 40cmx20cm25cm (pants and a tooth brush). This all seamed like a carry on to me.

Then I thought, why don’t we drive?

Eurotunnel from Folkestone-Calais 1.5 hrs including: driving there: 7mins, checking-in and customs 45mins, and crossing 35mins. Driving time from Calais to hotel just outside Malpensa airport was calculated on Via Michelin at around 11 hrs, an additional 5.5 hrs. But we could leave at a more suitable time of day, and don't have baggage or liquid restrictions. 

Additional costs would be fuel; tolls France; tolls Italy and road tax Switzerland.

Route and costs were calculated in advance using Via Michelin, www.viamichelin.co.uk, who estimated it was 1014km costing £71.61 which was broken down into tolls: £33.96 and Vignette for Switzerland £37.65. That just left fuel, calculated at €112 (for a diesel car).

We drove to Milan!

Our flight allowance was £129pp return flights, I could cross the channel for the same money. Interestingly there wasn't a lot of price difference between ferries and Eurotunnel, so we took Eurotunnel. Here is what the rest actually cost us:

Fuel cost actual 90ltrs at €1.68 = €151.20 (each way)

Tolls France Actual: Class 2: €44 (each way)

Tax Switzerland: actual under 3.5t: 40CF (one year)

Tolls Italy: 0 

Flying vs Driving to Milan

On time alone, flying is quicker and £156 cheaper. Return drive cost £390.40 plus our Swiss vignette that worked out at £35. We took 3 days to get there and back.

However we turned our drive into a Road Trip enjoying Eastern France, my favourite part of France, Switzerland and the lakes of Italy. Read about our trip here. Read about our camper here.

We arrived fresh for our Fiamma tour, read about that here, with everything we needed. Personally I would drive every time. However, there is a caveat to this: I would not drive if I was simply going on a city break to Milan, big cities are always best visited using public transport/on foot.

Full disclosure

Our trip was organised by Fiamma, for Caravan Writers Guild members. Fiamma paid for our Eurotunnel crossing, our hotel and parking and all our food and transport during the event. Our Aviva travel insurance is aCaravan Writers Guild member benefit.

Free flights for press trip to Fiamma Milan, so why did we drive?

Background information

The Caravan Writers Guild were invited to a factory visit at Fiamma, a third generation manufacturer of motorhome and caravan awnings, bike racks, levels, locks and various accessories. Fiamma had offered to pay for guild members return flights from the UK to Malpensa, Milan.

The list of budget flight options

We had 2 choices, Gatwick departing 5am or Stansted at 11am We would have had to leave Folkstone at 1am and 6am respectively. We live 7 minutes from the Channel tunnel and 20 minutes from Dover port!

Fiamma offered the basic flight only, options were down to us.
£80 Airport parking for 2 nights.
£66 baggage £16.50 x 4.
£28 Fast track security £7 x 4.
£30 Extra leg room at £15.
£204 Total costs for us to pay

Ryanair carry on bag size was 40cmx20cm25cm (pants and a tooth brush). This all seamed like a carry on to me.

Then I thought, why don’t we drive?

Eurotunnel from Folkestone-Calais 1.5 hrs including: driving there: 7mins, checking-in and customs 45mins, and crossing 35mins. Driving time from Calais to hotel just outside Malpensa airport was calculated on Via Michelin at around 11 hrs, an additional 5.5 hrs. But we could leave at a more suitable time of day, and don't have baggage or liquid restrictions. 

Additional costs would be fuel; tolls France; tolls Italy and road tax Switzerland.

Route and costs were calculated in advance using Via Michelin, www.viamichelin.co.uk, who estimated it was 1014km costing £71.61 which was broken down into tolls: £33.96 and Vignette for Switzerland £37.65. That just left fuel, calculated at €112 (for a diesel car).

We drove to Milan!

Our flight allowance was £129pp return flights, I could cross the channel for the same money. Interestingly there wasn't a lot of price difference between ferries and Eurotunnel, so we took Eurotunnel. Here is what the rest actually cost us:

Fuel cost actual 90ltrs at €1.68 = €151.20 (each way)

Tolls France Actual: Class 2: €44 (each way)

Tax Switzerland: actual under 3.5t: 40CF (one year)

Tolls Italy: 0 

Flying vs Driving to Milan

On time alone, flying is quicker and £156 cheaper. Return drive cost £390.40 plus our Swiss vignette that worked out at £35. We took 3 days to get there and back.

However we turned our drive into a Road Trip enjoying Eastern France, my favourite part of France, Switzerland and the lakes of Italy. Read about our trip here. Read about our camper here.

We arrived fresh for our Fiamma tour, read about that here, with everything we needed. Personally I would drive every time. However, there is a caveat to this: I would not drive if I was simply going on a city break to Milan, big cities are always best visited using public transport/on foot.

Full disclosure

Our trip was organised by Fiamma, for Caravan Writers Guild members. Fiamma paid for our Eurotunnel crossing, our hotel and parking and all our food and transport during the event. Our Aviva travel insurance is aCaravan Writers Guild member benefit.

Christopher Doree

Christopher Doree

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