Author Topic: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?  (Read 1284 times)

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Offline Ben1989

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Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« on: January 17, 2017, 08:41:53 AM »
Hi all,

Just thought I'd ask the question to see if anybody has driven to Europe?

I have such a strong desire to do it but my wife thinks I am crazy and that it's easier (and cheaper) to fly to wherever we want. She makes sense (as most wives do) but there's something really appealing to me about getting in your car from home and going wherever you want.

To Dover, as we live on the Wirral/Liverpool, takes 5.5 hours and then to wherever! Im feeling somewhere in North France or Bruges?!

Anybody done it? Is my wife right? haha. Or it awesome?!
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Offline ksand24

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2017, 10:04:38 AM »
My family have been doing it for years and years.

I spent most of my childhood holidays in France and we drove there every single time. I've been to France about 10 times in my life and have only flown there once (for a school trip) - the rest of the time, we got in the car and drove there. We often went to the Dordogne in southwest France, so we would take 3 days to drive down there, staying near Calais the first night, then about halfway down to the Dordogne second night... then on the way back, we would spend a couple of days at Disneyland :).

My parents took me to Paris for my 30th and we were going to fly and stay in a hotel for 2 nights... however, they then discovered it would actually be cheaper to drive there and camp for 6 nights, so we did that stayed for the whole week instead!

Offline sonofasailor

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2017, 10:29:11 AM »
Just thought I'd ask the question to see if anybody has driven to Europe?

I have always wanted to buy a cheap 125 motorcycle, ride it as far west as possible, sell it when it conks out and fly home. I call it Project 125.
Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across - Sun Tzu

Offline jimbocz

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2017, 10:31:14 AM »
I drive to France frequently and it's no problem.  I live in Twickenham Middlesex so it's a 2 hour drive instead of 5 from Liverpool.  We drove to Paris and Bruge over Christmas, a few years ago we drove to Prague. 

Sometimes I go for the day, fly my kites on the beautiful French beaches, shop for food and get home in the early evening.

Flying is miserable and I much prefer driving.

The ferries are cheaper but take forever to load and unload.  You can use Tesco points to pay for the tunnel and make it cheap or free.

I get  European breakdown protection but it's not necessary.

You'll need to google and find the stuff you must bring, like safety triangles and breathalyser kits and buy all that in advance.

Offline jimbocz

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 10:33:56 AM »
I'd suggest you drive down and stay the night in Dungeness and see the beach and light house.  Cross the next day and stay in bolougne, see the aquarium.  Then explore France

Offline Ben1989

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2017, 11:25:53 AM »
Just looked at Ferry prices etc and I'm very shocked at how expensive they are! I'm not quite sure what made me think they were less in price but I thought they'd be something along the lines of £30 each way. Instead the prices are roughly £60 each way. Dang, that's quite steep. Doesn't seem that it's going to be an efficient trip.

Dordogne looks magnificent! Is it possible to get there, experience the region and home within a long weekend do you think? i.e. Friday to Monday?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 11:30:38 AM by Ben1989 »
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Offline jimbocz

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2017, 11:45:06 AM »
I think the tunnel is about 65 return, but that can go up significantly during school holidays.

Im at work so I can't google much.  How far from Calais is the place you want to stay?  Google will tell you how many hours of driving

Offline ksand24

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2017, 12:00:49 PM »
Just looked at Ferry prices etc and I'm very shocked at how expensive they are! I'm not quite sure what made me think they were less in price but I thought they'd be something along the lines of £30 each way. Instead the prices are roughly £60 each way. Dang, that's quite steep. Doesn't seem that it's going to be an efficient trip.

But I think you only pay per car on the ferry, so if you have a full car (5 people), it's only about £25 each, whereas 5 people flying to France could cost a lot more... then again, you have the petrol to think about, so it really just depends what works out cheaper for you and what you feel is the best option.

Quote
Dordogne looks magnificent! Is it possible to get there, experience the region and home within a long weekend do you think? i.e. Friday to Monday?

Do you mean by flying or driving? Driving, it's about 14-15 hours each way from Liverpool, so you'd need at least 2 days to get there and 2 days back.

By plane, you can fly to Bergerac, but as the Dordogne is in the middle of the countryside, in order to see the region, you'd probably need to hire a car.

Personally, I wouldn't spend less than 2 weeks in the Dordogne... but then again, it's my favourite holiday destination :).

We used to do Eurocamp at a gorgeous campsite up in the hills called La Paille Basse, near Souillac (www.lapaillebasse.com/en/home). They stopped offering Eurocamp tents there a few years ago, so after that, we just took our own tents and did it ourselves.

Offline jimbocz

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Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2017, 01:29:45 PM »
Ksand is right about the distance, it's way too long for a weekend.

Why not explore the coast around Dieppe and Hornfleur?  There's tons to see on that part of the coast and it's close to the tunnel.  I think you could do that in a long weekend.

Offline omglolmax

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2017, 04:52:07 PM »
I have always wanted to buy a cheap 125 motorcycle, ride it as far west as possible, sell it when it conks out and fly home. I call it Project 125.

where to? wales?  :P

I've never driven to Europe before, but I sure would like to. My better half is Italian and we always say we want to drive down once and pack the car full of food and wine. For just the 2 of us it always works out to be way more expensive than Ryanair... but as they say in German 'the journey is the destination'. Some day!

If you're driving a long way in France/other places, think about tolls as well.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 04:55:31 PM by omglolmax »

Online KFdancer

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2017, 05:08:45 PM »
Am I the only one who hates road trips?   ;D

Offline Albatross

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2017, 05:27:48 PM »
I have always wanted to buy a cheap 125 motorcycle, ride it as far west as possible, sell it when it conks out and fly home. I call it Project 125.

If you're talking about American motorways, I'd be scared shitless doing it on a 125!  :o
I did it on a 250 and it was fairly gruelling...

Offline Dennis the Menace!!

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2017, 09:15:58 PM »
Hi,

As per above, you'll have a long journey to the South East Coast, then the crossing and then wherever you want to drive to. If it's for a weekend, it's going to be very tiring and you'll most likely not venture 'far' into Europe! If it's perhaps for 7-10 days or possibly longer, then it becomes more viable, but again depends on what you and the family are going to do there.

I've literally just 'hopped' into a car/van and driven across a few times now. I've not gone for holidaying, one time was to help my best mate move all his stuff back here from Amsterdam Holland and another time was a very very last minute trip to the Nurburgring Germany, both over 3 day weekends.

The Van journey was decent enough, just slower than I'd have liked as it was a Luton sized thing (16 foot box with a tail lift). I did give it some throttle to see what I could get out of it which was sort of fun! A weekend of packing and a bit of partying and it was time to drive the thing back, much slower of course, still took the best part of a day!

The Nurburgring trip was fantastic - went with a friend and his two mates in two 'very FAST' BMW's so it wasn't 'long' before pulling into Dover!! A quick Rail drive on/off crossing and it also wasn't 'long' before getting to the Nordschleife - excellent, exhilarating fun for 2 days and then a just as quick if not quicker return back to the UK (south east).

I was knackered on both visits!

Both visits were awesome!

As soon as I get the chance, I'm doing it again, Nurburgring is always a standard choice but may well also do Le Mans or Spa as well - these two venues are if you are into track/fast cars/automotive/driving fun !

Cheers! DtM! West London & Slough UK!

Offline Ben1989

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2017, 09:10:10 AM »
Thanks everyone for your replies - I wasn't expecting this many!

I think for now I will limit my venture to Northern France. If I was fortunate enough to live near London I think my options would be more open and maybe would allow us to be more free-spirited. I'm wanting to go during Easter weekend but my wife will be 7 months pregnant  ???

Honfleur looks gorgeous, definitely up there as an option, plus Dieppe.

Is Normandy good? I went as a kid during primary school so I remember nothing haha.

DtM, which BMW exactly? M3? E92?

And KFDancer I think my wife falls into your category. I think it's because she drove from NYC to LA as she moved to LA. She hated it.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 09:11:20 AM by Ben1989 »
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
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Online KFdancer

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Re: Anybody just hopped in the car and driven to Europe?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2017, 09:12:59 AM »
I really like Normandy.

I can also tell you that at 7 months pregnant a long car journey for only a 3 day trip sounds like complete and utter torture.  But it's possible your wife "does" pregnancy better than me.   ;)