The-Acre

Europe, drive or fly?

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Having done a road trip last year to Austria, and another one last month, we decided to go back for a few days to do the things we didn't manage before.  This time we flew from Gatwick (one hour forty to Salzburg) and rent a car.  Being there only four days was one reason to fly and rent.  Having weighed up the pros and cons of flying or driving I can honestly say driving from home wins easily.  A much more relaxed affair, much more independent, the ability to take as much luggage as we want and much more comfortable driving than the VW rental with its vast amount of plastic. No waiting at airports, no noise (plus a Calais wine stop!) Just my thoughts but next trip, definitely in my own car.  Anyway, nice to be home with lower temperatures!

 

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Driving wins every time.

My wife and I have driven from home in Preston, Lancashire, to and around Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and lots of other places too.

We never have any hotels booked in advance so we can just please ourselves where we go and how long we stay - been doing it since 1991 and never had to spend a night in the car because we failed to get a hotel :laughing:

One of the more unusual hotels we've stayed in is Hotel Jested in the Czech town of Liberec - it's at the top of a mountain in a television transmission tower!

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I envy you guys who drive to Europe - I have never done it and don't know how I would cope!

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33 minutes ago, cruisermark said:

I envy you guys who drive to Europe - I have never done it and don't know how I would cope!

It's actually really easy. In fact I found it easier in my own car than in the left hand drive rental.  We found a satnav essential, apart from anything else it helps to understand the various speed limits in kilometres to miles. 

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1 hour ago, Herbie said:

Driving wins every time.

My wife and I have driven from home in Preston, Lancashire, to and around Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and lots of other places too.

We never have any hotels booked in advance so we can just please ourselves where we go and how long we stay - been doing it since 1991 and never had to spend a night in the car because we failed to get a hotel :laughing:

One of the more unusual hotels we've stayed in is Hotel Jested in the Czech town of Liberec - it's at the top of a mountain in a television transmission tower!

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That's amazing, and a brilliant view I'm guessing.  We'll see how Brexit works out but next year I think Austria again and then on to the Czech Republic and maybe Poland.

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I have to say a road trip to Austria would be amazing. Definitely takes more dedication than flying and renting but if you're fully for it then I'd say drive every time! The driving experience would be good too.

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drive every time. a relaxing and purposeful adventure, taking your time and experiencing weird and wonderful hotels and B&Bs AND amazing scenery usually

Cost of taxi to airport or parking fees, time to get there and several hours maybe for check in and maybe delayed flights too .........  and back !

No contest really coz there's lots of cross channel options. My holiday starts as soon as I'm on the ferry at Dover, imagining it's a mini cruise, the start of the holiday :yahoo:

And if you try flying Ryanair or EasyJet you might just get huge problems at some time ( or lucky if not ) ............  my travel agency business will NEVER book pax on either of these two incredible ( for all the wrong reasons ) airlines

Just take your amazing car and enjoy the drive around and across mainland Europe and further afield maybe .......  it's a wonderful experience

ENJOY your car at all times

Malc

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I use Tesco club card points for euro tunnel crossing . Easy peeeesey. 

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50 minutes ago, HarryM said:

for euro tunnel crossing .

I don't know  :no2:  I've used the Tunnel a few times and it all seems a bit soulless too me

the adventure on the ferry ticks all my boxes for the start of the true holiday break  😉

Malc

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It looks like driving is the winner then.  Being able to stop wherever you want, or whenever you see something interesting, slightly more difficult when flying!  On our trip in May it was just so nice to turn off the motorway, drive for 20 mins and have lunch in a French village. I must say I do like the Eurotunnel, I doze for 35 minutes then I'm driving in France.  I can see the attraction of the ferry but unfortunately I would also see my breakfast again as I really don't have sea legs!

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3 hours ago, The-Acre said:

really don't have sea legs!

you'd have to be really really unlucky to have a rough or  stormy passage .....  and you can doze for 45 mins on the ferry too  😉

Malc

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12 minutes ago, Malc said:

you'd have to be really really unlucky to have a rough or  stormy passage .....  and you can doze for 45 mins on the ferry too  😉

Malc

I do like the idea of the ferry, and I would enjoy it with a smooth crossing, it's just that the image from years ago of other people's vomit overflowing from the sinks with every wave has never left me!

🤭😨🤪

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We drive thru Spain every year, after taking boat from Portsmouth. So easy in Spain , nice clear new motorways. Used to drive thru France aswell But now we have visited places like Bordeaux, La Rochelle ,Biarritz we don’t bother with France anymore. 

Roads not great in France , endless tolls and you can guarantee to be stopped by police . 

Would like to do east Europe in the future 

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On 8/3/2019 at 8:03 PM, Dealkent said:

We drive thru Spain every year, after taking boat from Portsmouth. So easy in Spain , nice clear new motorways. Used to drive thru France aswell But now we have visited places like Bordeaux, La Rochelle ,Biarritz we don’t bother with France anymore. 

Roads not great in France , endless tolls and you can guarantee to be stopped by police . 

Would like to do east Europe in the future 

What's it like coming back to the UK roads every time? I always imagine getting the driving experience in a foreign country would actually make you better over here once you switch back over to your regular ways of driving. 

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57 minutes ago, Eastwood1994 said:

What's it like coming back to the UK roads every time?

The first few minutes feel strange being on 'our' side of the road again but after that it's like you've never been away. It's approximately 320 miles from Dover to home and after the first 10 you're back in UK habits.

We don't often bring beer back with us as it's too bulky but if we happen to discover a really special one, we do bring some back. Many moons ago we were on the outward journey of our holidays and had a beer in Germany that we both thought was excellent, so before moving on the next day I got a 12-pack and put it in the boot.

After another three weeks and maybe 3,500 miles travelling, it was only when we got home and I was unpacking the car that I discovered I'd picked up the alcohol-free version!!  :wallbash:

This is what our car usually looks like when it's coming home (this just happens to be our old Nissan Maxima QX SE+ which is very LS400ish). My wife's mobility scooter is also in the boot buried under that lot somewhere! And the final photo is our booty  :laughing:


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3 hours ago, Eastwood1994 said:

What's it like coming back to the UK roads every time? I always imagine getting the driving experience in a foreign country would actually make you better over here once you switch back over to your regular ways of driving. 

never felt any difference at all tbh .................. remembering being in mountainous Switzerland some years back and driving on their side of the snowy road with the steering wheel in our cars putting the drivers view into the abyss down the mountainside immediately outside my window ............... a tad scary at the time I felt  :whistling:

Malc

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4 hours ago, Eastwood1994 said:

What's it like coming back to the UK roads every time? I always imagine getting the driving experience in a foreign country would actually make you better over here once you switch back over to your regular ways of driving. 

Having gone through this experience coming back from a fortnight in France just two days ago, the biggest difference I find is the condition of our roads and the driving standards. Far more stupidity seen in 120 miles home from Folkestone compared to 1500+ miles in France.....

Haven't flown on holiday for years, we've really enjoyed our annual driving trip to France. Particularly good this year in the new-to-me RX.

Tunnel generally efficient (although it was suffering delays on Sunday PM), but going out we've settled on the Newhaven-Dieppe night-time crossing. Ideal for getting down to the south coast after work, getting a few hours kip in the cabin then being in France bright and early and getting some miles (or kilometres I should say) in while it's quiet, or taking time to visit places en-route to our destination. If it's rough then you've got your own toilet in the cabin......

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When we did Europe in June with a hire car I really didn't get on with it.  Driving on the right, steering wheel on the left, and having to change gear (something I'm not used to ) with my right hand, that didn't feel good at all.  Driving on the right with my own car I found easy.  Waiting to see what happens with something some of you may have heard of called Brexit before making firm plans for the next trip.  

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8 minutes ago, Spottedlaurel said:

Having gone through this experience coming back from a fortnight in France just two days ago, the biggest difference I find is the condition of our roads and the driving standards. Far more stupidity seen in 120 miles home from Folkestone compared to 1500+ miles in France.....

Haven't flown on holiday for years, we've really enjoyed our annual driving trip to France. Particularly good this year in the new-to-me RX.

Tunnel generally efficient (although it was suffering delays on Sunday PM), but going out we've settled on the Newhaven-Dieppe night-time crossing. Ideal for getting down to the south coast after work, getting a few hours kip in the cabin then being in France bright and early and getting some miles (or kilometres I should say) in while it's quiet, or taking time to visit places en-route to our destination. If it's rough then you've got your own toilet in the cabin......

I have found that having a cabin and a bed to rest on helps with the sea sickness.

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44 minutes ago, The-Acre said:

Waiting to see what happens with something some of you may have heard of called Brexit before making firm plans for the next trip.  

Why?

Life is too short. What will happen will happen and it won't affect my travelling one little bit.

Get in the car and go enjoy!

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I drive down from Wirral to Andalucia ( and back ) twice each year-1600 miles each way, then another couple of thousand whilst I`m down there.All a breeze.

Continental road users show more knowledge and respect towards each other than we do. Roads in France are very enjoyable and the Autoroutes are basically empty. Fuel is expensive.

Roads in Spain are delightful and Tolls have been removed in Northern Spain.Fuel is cheap.

I am booked on the Shuttle from Dover to Calais in mid September.

I will spend the first night in Normandie in the village of St Leger aux Bois. I will then drive close to Limoges and stay in the village of Saint Junien. A visit to the tragic village of Oradour sur Glane follows, then I will stop overnight just North of the Pyrenees in Mont de Marsan. My fourth and final overnight stay will be just North of Madrid in the wine growing region of Aranda de Duero. 

The drive will be unhurried and an absolute pleasure. The people I meet and the places I visit cannot be reached by Easyjet or Ryanair and I wouldn`t have it any other way.

I will begin my return  journey on 29 November and I commend Continental motoring to those of you that have not experienced its delights and pleasures.

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9 hours ago, Herbie said:

Why?

Life is too short. What will happen will happen and it won't affect my travelling one little bit.

Get in the car and go enjoy!

Why?  Good question!  John will have the answer, too much wine! 🍷

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3 hours ago, The-Acre said:

Why?  Good question!  John will have the answer, too much wine!

In that case you have the perfect excuse to go and stock up with more!  :laughing:

Seriously, just pack a bag and go. No plans, no worries about what'll happen with Brexit, just go, be spontaneous.

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1 hour ago, Herbie said:

In that case you have the perfect excuse to go and stock up with more!  :laughing:

Seriously, just pack a bag and go. No plans, no worries about what'll happen with Brexit, just go, be spontaneous.

All very true.  Anyway, our next trip will involve much time spent in Switzerland! 🇨🇭

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4 hours ago, The-Acre said:

All very true.  Anyway, our next trip will involve much time spent in Switzerland! 🇨🇭

Do not forget that you will need an International Driving Permit to drive in France and one for Spain, should we exit the EU on 31 October.

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