Escapes

The Mobile Hostel Bus of Your Powder-Hound Dreams

Travel to the best slopes of Switzerland in style—a newly crowdfunded sleep-in bus will take you there

An idea of what the Nomads Bus will look like on the inside once it's been refurbished.     Photo: The Nomads Bus

For those of us who just want to hit the slopes, finding ideal lodging can be a painstakingly annoying afterthought. Optimal pricing and amenities can make or break a ski trip—hotels with the right mix of affordability, flexibility, and comfort aren't easy to find and can easily tie you down. Fear no more: A successful Indiegogo campaign has got you covered.

Yesterday, a Belgian-based group raising money for what they call "the Nomads Bus"—a mobile hostel designed to shuttle lodgers to the best powder in Austria, Switzerland, and France—closed its Indiegogo effort after surpassing its goal of 20,000 euros in about six weeks. Spearheaded by two self-described nomads named Val and Tim, the fundraising drive raised 23,115 euros—that's more than $31,000 for our stateside readers—which should be more than enough to bring the Nomads Bus to fruition.

The Nomads Bus will travel Europe in search of the best skiing destinations—options include Austria, France, and Switzerland (pictured).   Photo: squirrel_photography/Getty Images

Where will the money go? For starters, Val and Tim plan to buy and ship a 40-foot school bus from Florida to Belgium. That's right, the bus your kids dread getting onto in the morning could soon be shuttling thrill seekers to the best powder in Europe. From there, they plan to spend the summer renovating the bus with their friends, but in the greenest, most cost-effective way possible.

Still, the costs are expected to add up: 3,000 euros for a solar system, 4,000 for a wood stove, 1,000 for a compost toilet, and so on. It all comes back to the campaign's goal: to create an awesome adventure experience that's also not for profit, eco-friendly, carbon neutral, and sponsored by small indie brands.

Let's Be Nomads announced on June 2 that it had found its dream bus: this Thomas school bus in Tennessee.   Photo: Let's Be Nomads

Getting in on the fun shouldn't be too tough if you're willing to shell out a little cash. Donors who committed upwards of 350 euros to the Indiegogo page got first dibs but didn't come close to filling all the slots. The Nomads Bus hosts five guests at a time and offers multiple packages, all currently discounted:

  • For 50 euros (currently 40) per night, you can purchase the "Super Flexible Package," which allows you to choose as many nights as you want but forgoes many amenities.
  • For 399 euros (currently 349), you can purchase the "Short Stay Package," which gets you four nights of the basics plus a three-day ski pass, daily organic breakfasts and dinners, and one transfer to another resort.
  • For 749 euros (currently 649), you can purchase the "All-In Week Package," which nets you a seven-night trip with a six-day ski pass, organic breakfasts and dinners, pickup and dropoff at the Innsbruck train station or airport, sheets, towels, and private ski lessons. 

But there's more! If cold weather isn't your thing, the bus plans to continue operating in the summer, when it'll cruise along the Atlantic coast as a mobile wave-chasing hostel for avid surfers.

Find out more about the campaign and how to sign up through the Nomads Bus Indiegogo page.

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