My friend and I are thinking of driving around Europe in a land rover defender for 3 or 4 weeks during the summer. There are 5 of us in our early twenties 4 with driving licenses. We intend to stay in youth hostels and campsites. has anybody done this?
The alternative for us is inter-railing but with driving we could bring more luggage and see more of Europe
The big issue I am thinking of is cost and any problems associated with long drives.
Any advice would be great!
We did Spain to Turkey and back last summer in a normal car. The experience is good.
The major costs are for petrol and for tolls. I was surprised how often I had to stop to pay tolls on European roadds, particularly in France.
I'd probably do the drive rather than the inter-rail, although you are somewhat cocooned when you're in your car rather than on the train where you can meet other people. Also, when you have a car you tend to push yourself to see that "little bit more", so don't make the mistake of spending your whole time driving.
I'd go for the car too. I've not toured Europe yet, although that's next on the list and when I do it it will hopefully be a driving tour like you've described.
I did my first RTW this year and we drove most of it. In Australia we drove Adelaide - Sydney the scenic route, and from Sydney to Cairns on public transport. We really missed the car and wished we'd had it for the whole time, it was just so much easier and we had much more freedom on where we could visit.
Also, to save money I would recommend taking a tent as a back up option if you have a car. We did this and it was a saviour on the nights we stayed outside of cities.
Have a fantastic time!
I always felt stuck at the end of a train journey without a car.
So would recommend the motor, although 5 in a defender will get claustrophobic quite quickly.
As someone already said, don't spend all the time driving. This was a big mistake I used to make all the time.
I found it better to do a day of driving with perhaps one short stop en route then spend a day or three at each destination. Then its off to the next location. Party on...
make sure you dont make the mistake of driving into big cities............. dunno where youre from, but if youre english its gonna be a hell of a hassle and not exactly safe to drive on the wrong side of the road in a city youre not familiar with. stay in places a bit outside of the cities, take public transport in! parking can be RIDICULOUSLY expensive and a complete waste of money....
get a GPS or hire one, you have no idea how handy they can be!!!! (unless you have one :D)
thanks for the advice.
Seems like we're going to take the driving option but the defender seems to be out. Looks like we will have to buy a second hand van or bring 2 cars.
Im worried about bringing the 2 cars as they are small ones and could get a bit claustrophbic.
We intend to bring my 8 man tent so that will cut down on some cost.
we took the car to europe last year and drove to belguim luxembourg austia switzerland liechenstein hungary romania slovakia poland and czech republic we really had no problems we didnt come across many tolls mostly we had to buy road tax for some of the countries we use diesel so it was cheaper.