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Europe Road Trip Advice?! :)

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1. Posted by Nath.Sarah (Budding Member, 10 posts) 30 Jan '11 11:42

Nath.Sarah has indicated that this thread is about Europe

We are first time travellers planning to do a 4 week (ish) road trip around Europe this summer and need a lot of advice on how to go about it! :)

We plan to drive from home, camp wherever we go and use the channel tunnel to save on ferry fare. I will post our first draft itinerary:

Lincolnshire
Dover
Paris
Lyon
Marseille
Nice
Florence
Rome
Venice
Milan
Lichtenstein
Zurich
Stuttgart
Luxembourg
Liege
Brugge
Dover
Lincolnshire

We plan to camp whenever possible, and will happily stay anywhere around our target destinations - so long as they're in driving distance so we can have a good explore.

We have travelled within the UK but never abroad and never so far. We think we could well be being too ambitious with the scope of our trip!

Be very interested to hear views on our trip and are open to suggestions for alterations to destinations :)

The selling points for the whole trip are ITALY, with a scenic drive home through the alps.

We appreciate any info/advice/help with our plans!

Nathan and Sarah :)

2. Posted by boulderman (Respected Member, 412 posts) 30 Jan '11 12:04

You will need 5 nights in Rome, 2 in Brugge, 1-2 Venice, 3-5 Paris, 2 Milan, 2 Zurich, maybe 2 Lyon.

Si

3. Posted by vanbest (Budding Member, 19 posts) 30 Jan '11 17:55

Information about the camps on your itenerary will be available in lonely planet western europe or Europe.
If you want to save on accomodation and enhance local experience use couchsurging.org
There is no one golden itenerary where every one goes, people go wherever they like.
There are no difficulties or something or something from first perspective, perhaps parking is hard to find Paris :) and cheapest petrol is in Austria :) I would recommend to visit Vienna and Zalzburg too, and just cross the border with Germany to see Neuschwainshtein castle.
Be careful about Austria highways you have to buy a permit to use it, but there no signs enforcing it, however if you will try to leave country without it they will make you pay fine 120 euro, you can guy those at petrol stations.
Make deeper reseach on places you want to visit in each country and off you go, lonely planet will help you with that.

4. Posted by BadlyBurnt (Budding Member, 13 posts) 31 Jan '11 00:33

I agree with boulderman, 14 towns in 4 weeks is too much especialy since a lot of them are cities are worth spending several days in.

A good resource for routeplanning round Europe is www.viamichelin.com
It not only gives you a route, travel time and estimated fuel and toll costs, but also allows you to choose between fast or scenic routes.

The route looks great tho - can you extend your trip ?? :)

[ Edit: Edited on 31-Jan-2011, at 00:35 by BadlyBurnt ]

5. Posted by Nath.Sarah (Budding Member, 10 posts) 1 Feb '11 08:12

Hey all,

Thanks for your replies. We would LOVE to extend our trip a little but budget and our inexperience propably mean we shouldn't.

We have £5000 in savings but doing the trip on £3000 would be ideal.

We'd probably be just as happy visiting less places and spending longer in each as it would be a wrench to leave somewhere with so much beauty and things to do, knowing we wouldn't be back for so long. Number one and two on our wish list is Roma and the Alps though, so to do both these properly we'd have to go through so many nice places.

Very open to any suggestions or advice as we're still in the very early planning stages.

Nath and Sarah

6. Posted by Nath.Sarah (Budding Member, 10 posts) 7 Feb '11 12:03

Just a bit of a nudge,
;)

wandering if anyone could tell us how long we could realistically go for with this budget?
also, is there any important information or advice you think we should know before contemplating driving through europe?

:)

thanks everyone.

7. Posted by mapsandmoxie (Budding Member, 75 posts) 7 Feb '11 17:14

I can't really help you out with budgeting for a roadtrip in Europe as I am not familiar with fuel costs, but I do know that tenting in most places will be feasible. There is a campground in Paris, for example - Bois de Boulogne (sp?) - and in Rome there is one as well (I don't remember the name). In both places you are within a reasonable distance to walk to main centres esp. with the help of public transportation which might be easier/cheaper than parking (I dunno how many people are going or the parking costs...) Considering that you have a car it might be cheaper staying a little further away, but then you'd have to drive in and find parking.

Either way, you shouldn't need a hostel/hotel unless you choose for a night or two, or are really off the beaten path (Venice aside - there was no easy access one that I could find there). I did 13 weeks and slept in a bed a total of 3 times to cut costs when I went.. discounting a hospital visit :P haha.

Aside from that, your budget will depend a lot on where you eat, how much you drink, and your general style of travel. I do agree with the other posters that 4 weeks is not nearly enough to see everything you want to and would advise either lengthening your trip or narrowing down where you want to go. You could easily spend 4 weeks in Italy alone.

Good luck!

Post 8 was removed by a moderator
9. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member, 560 posts) 8 Feb '11 04:09

I'd say keep your plans loose and I'd stay off of motor-ways. Personally, I'd avoid cities unless you really want to visit them. Let's face it. Most European cities can be reached by cheap flights anyway. I'd also plan on sleeping in the car too. It's often the easiest solution some days.

Biggest thing I learnt was to watch out for over-loading. It'll drastically increase fuel costs, chances of over-heating, etc, and make driving a real pain. It's amazing how little you need. And as you're looking at a few thousand miles, it really ought to be considered.

BTW - Norfolkline take cars Dover-Dunkirk for about £20 each way. Depends on what time you want to cross though. Anyway, good luck with it. It's gonna be brilliant! 8]

10. Posted by Nath.Sarah (Budding Member, 10 posts) 8 Feb '11 11:12

Quoting flutterby7

I can't really help you out with budgeting for a roadtrip in Europe as I am not familiar with fuel costs, but I do know that tenting in most places will be feasible. There is a campground in Paris, for example - Bois de Boulogne (sp?) - and in Rome there is one as well (I don't remember the name). In both places you are within a reasonable distance to walk to main centres esp. with the help of public transportation which might be easier/cheaper than parking (I dunno how many people are going or the parking costs...) Considering that you have a car it might be cheaper staying a little further away, but then you'd have to drive in and find parking.

Either way, you shouldn't need a hostel/hotel unless you choose for a night or two, or are really off the beaten path (Venice aside - there was no easy access one that I could find there). I did 13 weeks and slept in a bed a total of 3 times to cut costs when I went.. discounting a hospital visit :P haha.

Aside from that, your budget will depend a lot on where you eat, how much you drink, and your general style of travel. I do agree with the other posters that 4 weeks is not nearly enough to see everything you want to and would advise either lengthening your trip or narrowing down where you want to go. You could easily spend 4 weeks in Italy alone.

Good luck!

haha, what was the hospital visit for? :)

i think we'll probably end up finding campsites a bit out of the city (i assume it'll be cheaper?) and with public transport nearby :)
We'll have to sit and work out our budget at some point with rough estimates. :)