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JTE Travel Tips - Book Flight & Hotels Online

Travel Mode - Road

Travelling by road is one of the easiest options because most people already own a car. Depending on the distance you need to drive, a car journey can be a very pleasant experience because you get to see different places enroute.

Lamborghini on freeway-min

Of course, road travel does not just include car journeys, you could be traveling on a motorbike, driving a motor van or a car pulling a caravan. This is often the best way to see your country of origin, but it can also be a very good way of travelling across Europe.
There are several different ways you can cross the channel from the UK and driving to France or Spain is one of the most popular types of travel for the Brits.

You can cross the channel in only 35 minutes using the Euro Tunnel, which is a train service which you drive onto and drive off at the other end. The train is so quick that you do not even get out of your car, you just sit in your car in a very large train carriage whilst the train zooms through the tunnel. You don’t even get the chance for a decent kip!!! The Euro tunnel is based in Folkestone and goes to Calais.

Another option is to drive onto the car ferry at Dover which also docks in Calais and takes about an hour and a half to get there. The Euro tunnel is quicker but if you do not like tunnels the boat may be a better option. There are also other car ferries available from other parts of the UK to France however these boat trips take longer, some of them overnight.

If travelling to Spain instead of France, you can get a car ferry directly to Santander or Bilbao. These trips take about 36 hours, so you need to take plenty to occupy yourself whilst you are on the boat and don’t forget mobile and internet signal on these boats is not very reliable once you are out at sea.

Always remember that if you take an English car to Europe, you will then be driving on the “wrong side of the road” In the United Kingdom the steering wheel is on the left-hand side and in Europe the steering wheel is on the right-hand side. So, if you plan to drive in Europe you need to be a confident but careful driver and ensure you look up any differences in the driving rules. For example, in Belgium and the Netherlands traffic should give way to the right and in The Netherlands, bikes always have right of way.

Many European countries require foreign drivers to carry their car ownership documents with them including their passport’s, driving license, the cars V5 registration document as well as drivers travel insurance and car insurance.

It is also very important to check if you will be driving through any low emission zones which have been introduced into many cities like London, Madrid, and Paris. If you do not register your car on the appropriate website, even if your car is low emission compliant you could be fined.

Unlike the UK Europe has a lot more toll roads which can be a pleasure to drive on because they are rarely busy and tend to be very well maintained but remember to budget for the cost of the toll roads. The prices can often be found prior to making your trip.

Finally for those people driving electric car drivers it is essential to plan your journey around available charging points and do not just assume that because in the UK there are numerous charging points that it is the same in other countries. Most European countries are just beginning to catch up with the UK and in places like Spain diesel cars remain very popular.

Another popular option is to take a flight and then hire a car or motor home to tour around your chosen destination. This provides you with much more freedom to explore your destination and if you choose a motor van you also have your own accommodation. There are many resources available for planning scenic travel routes for tourists and it can be one of the best ways to explore the local way of life.

If you are planning to hire a car or campervan it is always better to do this as part of your holiday booking instead of waiting until you get there. The internet is full of horror stories about car rental companies adding on secret extras or telling you they have given you a free upgrade and then charging it to your credit card. Both things have happened to us in the past and it is almost impossible to recover your money after the event, even from the credit card company.

You should always be very careful with local providers who may try and give you an unroadworthy vehicle. Check the tyres and ensure they provide a rescue service if the vehicle breaks down.

For most travellers booking their holidays it is much better value to book a package holiday including the car hire, the flight and hotel together. You can almost guarantee that the combined price will be cheaper than the separate price for each item and you then have the reassurance of knowing that the car will be available at the airport.

Also, when booking a package holiday you can include airport parking, car hire, or transport from the airport to the hotel and back, together with tour and exhibition tickets. Buying a package holiday is not only cheaper but can also give you the opportunity to pay for the holiday in instalments depending on when you make the booking and the date of travel.

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