Whether it is the holiday season or a short bank holiday, you should never rule a road trip out of your wishlist. Road trips are a great chance to combine closeness to nature with visiting cities and having an adventure at the same time.
Travelling with family is what makes a road trip even more exciting because apart from spending quality time together you can collect the best memories, pictures, and stories. So whenever planning what to do on your next holiday, why not decide to explore Europe by road?
Are we there yet?
If you travel by car with kids this question is your absolute nightmare.
But jokes aside, before scheduling a trip from the UK to other European countries you need to know the estimated time and distance between your starting point and destination. For example, the driving time from London to Amsterdam (which, by the way, is an amazing place to explore) is approximately six hours.
Keep allowance for breaks and restroom trips on the way, especially when you’re with your young ones. The following infographic is a good estimate of time taken travelling from London to most European destinations.
Knowing the limits
Whether you drive a car or ride a motorcycle, certain limitations apply to everyone.
Drivers from the UK might need extra documentation once the UK leaves EU. Similarly, motorists are required to purchase an International Driving Permit (IDP). Check out if you need to carry a green card to Europe whilst travelling by road in advance.
Motorists should make sure that they follow the speed limit because the speeding fines are definitely not worth it. There’s quite a big variation of speed limits for different countries in Europe ranging from as low as 100 km/h in Denmark to as high as 140 km/h in Poland or Bulgaria. So keep a note before you set out to drive so you can avoid hefty fines.
Planning and preparing
Once you’ve chalked out a rough plan for travelling, move on to making all the necessary preparations.
First of all, take your car or motorcycle for servicing so that professionals can check whether you brakes work properly, tyres are well inflated, the oil is changed, and transmission is in order. Then prepare all the extra equipment, starting with an emergency kit.
Be ready even for the worst-case scenario by keeping a protection kit with jumper cables, and other necessary tools and accessories. You might be required by law to carry such items as reflective jackets, warning triangles, breathalyzer, etc. Expect fast changing or extreme weather conditions such as driving in the snow (a bottle of good de-icer might be of great help!). After all, any emergencies or unexpected situations may cause huge delays, costs, and stress so be sure you don’t get stranded.
Car seats for kids are essential and so are the snacks and activities that you will need to keep them busy. Remember that your sat-nav will be your best friend while travelling so make arrangements to protect it and ensure that it is in order. You can use Rapid Detailer for greasy fingerprint removal from sat-nav screens or windows.
Double check if you’re bringing along all the required documents such as passport, UK driving license and the International Driving Permit, travel and vehicle insurance documents, VISA (if required), breakdown cover etc. For safe passage through different countries, check out for other miscellaneous stuff as well as extra costs related to it – for instance emission stickers, entering fees, vignettes, etc.
Naturally, when traveling abroad by car from UK you’re most likely to use the motorway network. Remember that different rules apply to different countries. Below you’ll find the information regarding speed limits and toll roads on motorways in Europe, divided according to the toll collection systems:
- Countries with free public motorways
- 2) Countries where vignettes are required for motorway usage
- 3) Countries with paid motorway networks