Heading off around Europe with a group of friends setting your own agenda makes for a great holiday. If you’ve passed your test recently, then it’s a tremendously liberating feeling taking to Europe’s open roads after hours of driving lessons and studying for the driving theory test and learning the all-important rules of the road. The lessons picked up during the study and practice sessions will act as the building blocks for an unforgettable adventure on the continent.
Whether it’s a tour deep into the hinterland of various countries or picking out the obvious highlights, the choice is yours. So whether it’s exploring deep into rural France or hitting Italian cities, driving gives you a wide variety of options.
To a degree, it’s also possible to vary your trip depending on your circumstances. For example, the one-night stay in that charming Italian hillside village might be extended if you like it so much. Similarly, the three days you thought you’d stay in Madrid could be reduced if you feel a bit overdosed on city dwelling and the weather is more suited to relaxing on the beach.
By doing your research and planning, you can ‘do Europe’ at a reasonable cost. Of course, if money isn’t an issue then all well and good but if you’re watching the Euros, then it’s certainly possible to have a great trip without breaking the bank.
There are many great and relaxing things to do that involve little or no cost, and boxing clever with your accommodation can save money. For example, the savings you’ll make staying in suburban hotels when visiting major cities on your route can soon add up compared to staying in or nearer city centres. Hostels will be cheaper still.
Variety of experiences
A varied itinerary gives you a wealth of different experiences. One day/week you could be enjoying the scenery while navigating twisty Apennine Italian roads; the next you could be drinking coffee in a bustling Parisian pavement cafe. The following week you may find yourself in Germany twisting through Bavarian villages before, a few days later, taking a sunlit route through Spain with spectacular mountain views.
There’s lots of routes to choose from; to get you thinking start here.
Your car, hire car or camper van
You might take your own car or you might have access to a camper van. If the latter, there are many campsites and areas providing cheap or free places to park up for the night. The camper van option gives you an almost free rein in that – with your accommodation and vehicle one and the same – you won’t need to pre-book as much in advance.
You could hire a car for all or part of the trip. The big strength of a road trip should be that is as flexible and fun as possible – combining flights and driving to cut costs or make the most of your time can be a good option.
A great holiday
A European road trip is a great way of seeing several countries in one fell swoop, and gives a great sense of independence travelling around under your own steam with like-minded friends. For new drivers it can be a great experience and a treat for working hard to pass that test.