As the world opens up again for travel, we're willing to bet that road trips are going to be the big summer trend. If you're planning a driving holiday in Europe there's a lot to consider, from destinations to driving routes and from packing essentials to memorable activities along the way. That's where we come in. We know all the tips and tricks to plan and execute a road trip adventure that will add the sizzle to your holiday...
Decide on the Destination(s)
When it comes to planning a European road trip, the first step is deciding on which country (or countries) you want to aim for. Whether you fancy a beachy break to Brittany, a spot of surfing in Portugal or a foodie escape to Italy's hinterland, we can help you decide on a dreamy destination to aim for. On our list of green light destinations, you can browse the countries that are open to UK travellers without any restrictions to worry about, making picking that next destination as straightforward as possible.
Select Your Stop-offs
The beauty of road trips is that they allow you to truly get to know a destination. Instead of simply speeding between hot spots, make the time to stop off at plenty of picture-perfect places along the way. Discover quaint villages while road tripping around Normandy and Brittany, nip across the border into Spain for a visit to the world-famous Guggenheim Museum while touring Bordeaux and the Basque Country, and combine lovely lakes with mighty mountains on a driving adventure in Italy.
Pack the Essentials
Without any luggage restrictions to abide by, European road trips let you fill your boot with all the summer essentials - whether it's boogie boards for the children or a prime spot for your favourite pooch (on the Eurotunnel you can bring the dog along for the ride with their own pet passport). Make sure to do your research beforehand to make sure you don't forget any of the real essentials too such as a GB sticker for your number plate, headlamp beam deflectors and a breathalyser if you're travelling through France.
Opt for Efficiency
When it comes to planning a successful road trip, efficiency is key. On the Eurotunnel, you can cross from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes - the perfect speedy start to your holiday. We recommend upgrading to FlexiPlus tickets which give you the added benefits of a dedicated check-in, access to the exclusive lounge serving complimentary soft drinks and snacks, and priority boarding on the next available shuttle so you don't have to worry about catching a specific train.
It's all About the Journey
Road trips are a celebration of the journey as much as the destination. While gazing out the window is all well and good for a while, the longer legs of the journey require a spot of entertainment. With our regional playlists (and reading lists for passengers) you can immerse yourself in the country you're travelling through and, if you've got children in tow, our Sharky & George activity packs - stuffed full of fun games and challenges - are guaranteed to keep them happily distracted while you're en route to your next stop.
Hunker Down in a Hotel Hideaway
After a stint of travelling, nothing beats the feeling of arriving at your destination and spending the evening unwinding in a luxury hotel. We can recommend the best properties whether you're after an authentic homestay or a private villa within a hotel that gives you the benefits of an independent stay with all the added services. After unpacking, treat yourself to a delicious dinner, a spa treatment and an early night - the ultimate indulgences after a day on the road.
Take the Time to Explore
One of the many benefits of a European road trip is that you can keep to your own schedule. Without any flights to worry about, make the most of the opportunity to explore at your own pace and pack in plenty of memorable experiences, from a river cruise in the French Basque Country to a private cooking class in the Spanish city of San Sebastian. With our bespoke itineraries, you can enjoy a road trip that is tailored just to you, so get creating!
Fuel up on Fabulous Food
Discovering new foodie treats is one of the many joys of travelling, especially after a tiring day of touring. Indulgence is key whether you're tucking into a divine pizza in Italy, tasty tapas dishes in Spain or a sinfully sweet pasteis de nata (custard tart) in Portugal. If you want to transport the culinary magic home, don't miss the chance to hone your skills in a cooking class and load up the boot with goodies to take home.