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The Joys of a Driving Holiday in Europe

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Tuscany, Italy

Talk about a car holiday these days and everyone assumes you want to re-live college days where you could pack into a cheap car with some friends and go off on an adventure somewhere which usually involved a dire shortage of finance, lashings of alcohol, and uncomfortable accommodation. That is, if you’re American. But to Europeans, the concept is rather hazy.

But if you can’t beat them, you join them, right? The whole concept of a driving holiday seems so alien nowadays, despite cars having rapid technological improvements making them much more comfortable and enjoyable for long distance driving, it seems that fewer people all the time even consider driving while on holiday – you could probably blame this trend on low-cost airlines and better infrastructure such as the Euro-star and Coaches which can now go across EU borders unrestricted. But that also means Europe’s easier than ever to drive around in on holiday, what with satellite navigation and the like of which only James Bond had in our parent’s generation, not to mention that unique example of quintessentially Germanic hyper-efficiency, the Autobahn.

Here are pretty compelling reasons why you should go on a driving holiday:

You could rent a convertible

Sounds corny, but what could be better than leisurely cruising through a narrow road on a Bavarian pasture with the wind in your hair while at the throes of a BMW cabriolet? As they say, simple things please simple minds. And what’s wrong with that?

It can be romantic for couples

If you feel your relationship has reached the twilight of your youthful passions, what can be better than some forced alone-time with your spouse? You’re sure to enjoy, or at least endure, the intimacy of being inches away from her side. Good luck.

You get the mobility you otherwise wouldn’t have

Ever used to feel that the idyllic tourist town the tour company dumped you in for accommodation lacked a) entertainment or b) competitive pricing? Now you can just hop in your rental and won’t have to face the bother of being picked up by a strange, sweaty (albeit friendly) bald man if you need to get somewhere pronto.

You can travel much further and do more in a shorter amount of time.

Everything’s at your reach! You don’t have to sit languishing at the train station on a bench with a dismal bottle of imitation Cola wondering if trains actually run on time where you are. Just remember to buy a decent road map or a Satellite Navigation system if it isn’t built in.

It can be quite cheap

Petrol’s not as costly as it used to be, and you could always rent a diesel for added economy if needs must. Just don’t go driving around the UK or Denmark, where petrol is more valuable than gold-encrusted lemonade in the Sahara Desert.

Happy Travelling!

Photo of road, Tuscany, Italy by fortes

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer paul crompton

Paul Crompton is an avid reader and has a passion for cars and technology, primarily. He loves traveling to whichever exotic travel location which is cheap. His dream is to become an advertising executive.

5 responses to “The Joys of a Driving Holiday in Europe”

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  1. Margaret Leach says:
    March 28th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    We did out first driving holiday in 1965 – my parents, myself at 15 and my sister, 11. We drove through Belgium and Germany to Salzburg, then over the Grossglockner to Southern Austria and on to Vienna. As far as I remember, we were in a Morris Minor. I have been hooked ever since – on driving holidays and Germany/Austria. In 1970, we drove again through Germany, Innsbruck and into what was then Yugoslavia, staying in Communist era hotels in Ljubljana and Zagreb, private rooms in Dubrovnik and dreadful wooden huts in the Plitvice national park. We loved Yugoslavia but I can remember now the relief when we got back into Austria. In the early 1970s, my parents and my sister actually did a driving holiday from the UK to Romania. We rarely booked anything in advance on any of those holidays. Amazing memories.

  2. Faraz says:
    November 18th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Hey..interesting article. Im hoping to do one of these on our honeymoon, but i have no idea where to start, what roads to go through and the generalities. Any pointers?

  3. Paul Crompton says:
    November 19th, 2009 at 12:22 am

    Hi Faraz!

    I would say that one of the joys of the driving holiday is that you pick the next road traveled on – it’s not so much a case of where to go, it’s how you get there!

    I would advise just doing everything spontaneously – who knows what you find?

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