We used to drive across Europe quite a lot when I was growing up as we would go skiing quite frequently, usually to the Alps. I think Austria was the furthest country we drove to and to get there we had to go through France, Germany and Switzerland I think. It took way longer than planned too due to an avalanche blocking off a mountain road, we were stuck in a tunnel for hours!! I remember playing games with my sister, when we weren’t fighting, or when she wasn’t being sick. I can also remember moaning unless our parents put kid’s CDs on, as a parent myself I’m not sure it’s something I could do with my kids!!
As an adult I’ve driven down through France and Spain a few times as Matt’s mum used to have a house in the south of Spain. There was one particular occasion when Matt and I drove over, it must have been about 13 years ago now and the entire trip was a disaster. We realised, on a mountain road, in France that there was something wrong with the van. Luckily Matt is a mechanic so knows about engines but he didn’t have any proper tools with him. We managed to make it to the house but the van was un-drivable by this point so we spent the first week of our month stay trying to locate an English speaking mechanic. I can’t remember the exactly details but basically the van was off the road for weeks and by the time we started the drive home we knew that it hadn’t been fixed so we pulled over to phone up the breakdown company. Unfortunately we weren’t covered though because we’d only taken out cover for the first and last week, not the entire time so our policy was invalid!
Matt managed to take some kind of heating element out which stopped it overheating but also stopped the heaters working and I can still remember driving in the dark, on a road in France, in the pouring rain. It was winter so absolutely freezing and we had no idea if the van was going to make it back or not, if it didn’t then we would miss our ferry crossing!! Luckily it did and we made it back but there wasn’t anything fun about that road trip!
If I could plan my dream road trip now then it would include stopping off at vegan restaurants and driving through beautiful scenery. I would absolutely love to drive up to Scandinavia. Or do a road trip down through Italy. This article has 10 suggestions for great European road trips. I would want to do it in a big campervan.
Obviously we have learnt from previous mistakes and would definitely check we had proper breakdown cover in place for the entire journey!! Also do all the proper checks before leaving like making sure we had an MOT and replacing any tyres. You can book an MOT online with Kwik Fit.
I would also love to do a road trip across America at some point too, maybe we should start with Europe though!