Road trips are a thrilling way to experience a plurality of destinations, and a fun form of travel in and of themselves – but why extend them to travel abroad, when we have planes for fast, hassle-free international travel? And what should you be thinking about if you are planning on such a trip?

Why Travel by Car?

To an extent, the question “why travel abroad by car” has already been answered. Road trips are a uniquely fun way to experience a holiday, giving you the complete freedom to tailor your routes and destinations to your liking. The open road is a different viewpoint, as well, that enables you to discover the amazing places in-between your chosen destinations.

There is also a growing list of reasons why holidaymakers may be interested in eschewing air travel – beyond the fact that some people simply don’t like to travel by air. The carbon cost of air travel has become much more widely known in recent years, leading the climate conscious to seek more sustainable ways of travel. Add to the growing frustrations with airlines this summer, as understaffing causes unprecedented disruption to travellers, and a road trip becomes a much more palatable option to even the casual traveller!

Driving from the UK to Europe

Getting to mainland Europe from the UK might seem a little difficult, though, given the vast bodies of water between the coasts of each. Thankfully, though, there are two key ways you can get your car across to Europe and beyond.

The first is the Channel Tunnel, which runs from Folkestone to Calais under the English Channel. Cars do not drive through this tunnel, but are shuttled by a proprietary train system. The journey is a brief 35 minutes, after which you depart Calais and are relinquished to drive wherever you please!

There is also the possibility of reaching mainland by ferry. There are many shuttle ferries that cross the Channel and the North Sea, enabling you to take your car to France or the Netherlands by boat. These routes can take a little longer, though.

Important Considerations for Driving Abroad

As accessible as driving abroad can be with these travel options, there are still some key measures you need to take to ensure your trip goes smoothly. For starters, you will need to brush up on the driving laws in the countries you plan on visiting – including the side of the road on which they drive!

You will also need to make sure your car is ready as can be for the trip at hand – both mechanically and legally. A service is a good idea before any road trip, and even more so for an international one where you’ll be a long distance from your preferred mechanics. Changing your tyres ensures they won’t go flat or bald mid-trip, and topping up your oil can keep your engine happy for longer.

Legally speaking, you will need to ensure you have a UK sticker prominently displayed somewhere on your car; this is a relatively new requirement, following the Brexit withdrawal agreement, and replaces the prior need to display a GB sticker.

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