I joke that I was born with two left feet. But I love to travel and a smart savvy tourist knows a great travel experience begins when you start off on the right foot. But sometimes it takes equal parts planning and luck to bring the magic. Our weekend family trip to Mont-Tremblant Resort was luck, planning and magic all rolled into one pretty winter family travel experience.
Our trip began with a quick train ride from our house in London, a short shuttle to Billy Bishop Airport and our first ever flight on Porter Airlines. When I travel with my family I like certain things to be orderly and organized and this experience getting to Mont-Tremblant Resort was one of our best trips ever. Porter made it seem effortless. (which was good because skiing and lifting the heavy skis, boots and polls at ski school was going to require a lot of effort. But that’s another post. In fact, we did so much in Tremblant, that I have made this a series.)
First of all the short shuttle and ferry to Billy Bishop Airport meant we didn’t have to worry about parking at all. Bonus, right? I have never flown from Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto so I allowed a half hour for us to get on the ferry and to the airport. LOL. Little did I know the ferry is about 3 minutes in length and that might be stretching it. Easy check in at the airport and a super fast check through at security ( made a tiny bit longer only because one of my awesome kids decided she might need scissors for crafting on the plane and had tucked some into her school backpack carry on. Yeah….trust me these girls know better, because we travel a lot together. Anyways, that was a simple whoops and confiscated pair of scissors and a super funny explanation to younger daughter who thinks in black and white and was stupefied that someone would keep something that is not theirs. “But Mom those are not her scissors. Aren’t they going to give them back?” See these are all the funny unexpected events that are part of family travel and have potential to derail a great trip, but thankfully that was only a small blip on the radar.)
Anyways, a very short walk down the hall and there we were in Porter Airlines lounge. Wait, what? It’s open to all? Not just business and first class passengers? What a concept! At this point we had a bit of time to burn, because, as I said, I wanted this experience to be organized and I didn’t want to be that guy or gal running for the plane and missing their flight. (Tried that once at London International Airport and it’s no fun). The Porter Airlines lounge has a business centre and an open area where snacks are free, and so is coffee, tea, pop, water and refreshments such as iced tea. Loved that. We snacked and relaxed. One or two of us played Minecraft and one of us read the newspaper and I tweeted and caught up on emails. Happy Mom so far. Porter Airlines lounge alone is worth the small extra effort getting to Billy Bishop Airport.
Something I learned from this trip was that it is completely possible to leave Toronto on a Friday or a long weekend, hop a flight to Tremblant International Airport and be there at Mont-Tremblant in 65 minutes door to door. That’s ridiculously efficient and fast. The flight is about 50 minutes. Obviously our trip took a bit longer because we live in London and that adds a two hour drive or train ride to Toronto.
Aboard the plane, service was impeccable and friendly and staff was courteous. I obviously recognize that Porter Airlines and Billy Bishop Airport are both much newer and cleaner than Pearson, which is the airport we typically fly from as a family. But the customer service experiences are night and day. People at Pearson are rarely pleasant and we have had a lot of bad flights there this past five years. That simply made me appreciate Porter Airlines even more.
Are we here already? A choice of snack, a choice of beverage, free in flight wine, beer, juice or pop and there was barely time to find the washrooms and sit back down and then we landed.
Beautiful details inside. It all adds to the experience. We were all happy to be there and half a dozen shuttle vans were already waiting outside. Our luggage arrived fast and safe, with us (remember our cruise, when the luggage barely made it to us before we boarded? Yeah, there’s none of that here. Just peaceful, leave the city behind and find your happy place.) Oh, and the best part about the shuttle drive was spotting numerous deer all along the scenic forested areas we drove by to get to the Upper Laurentians. I mean you know you are in Quebec mountains when you start seeing deer on the horizon.
We arrived and were checked in at Ermitage Du Lac with plenty of time to be: fitted for skis, helmets, snowsuits and related gear. We managed a tour, had a leisurely and lovely Tapas dinner at Gypsy Restaurant and Lounge inside the Westin Resort at the village in Mont-Tremblant Resort. And then we prepared for family ski lessons and dog sledding the next day! This was a trip that started on the right foot which was super important because we were up for adventure and we planned to squeeze in as much sightseeing and adventure as our family could handle. By the way did you know Mont Tremblant is celebrating its 75th anniversary? You can read more about that on Facebook. Also there’s still plenty of time to drive or fly to Tremblant for the March break. Plus the web site has some excellent deals on ski passes and other packages.
Many thanks to Tremblant, Mont-Tremblant Resort and also Porter Airlines. It’s easy to see why Porter Airlines has earned the top small airline in the world award from Condé Nast. Stay tuned for the rest of the posts from this Go Big or Go Home Travel experience! We were guests of Tremblant and we were treated very well and loved learning to ski. Read all about that in the next Tremblant Travel post. You can also follow along via instagram. My channel is here: http://www.instagram.com/inkscrblr and Mont Tremblant has its own glorious Tremblant instagram feed which is incredible but the way. The social media person at Tremblant told me she literally skis all day and takes videos and pictures for their social feeds! Awesome job!
Stay tuned for Part 2: Can Your Family Learn to Ski in 2 days?