Have a vacation to remember this year by getting behind the wheel. Trips in the car can lead to great adventures - and if you plan for the road ahead, you can enjoy a driving holiday that costs less than flying or taking the train.
For a driving holiday to France, or further into Europe, your first mission is crossing the Channel. Speedy ferry crossings to Calais and Dunkirk are usually cheapest. For overnight journeys, remember to budget for the cost of a cabin - although the Telegraph reports that Brittany Ferries prices have fallen in recent years. Whichever route you take, book well in advance to keep costs down.
If you go under the Channel, no snorkel is required. The Eurotunnel ‘Le Shuttle’ operates 7 days a week and travelling off-peak and booking ahead saves you money. The Eurotunnel doesn’t charge luggage supplements and if your dog has a passport, take your pooch with you to save on kennel fees.
Cashback on cover
According to TopCashback.co.uk, adding cover to your car insurance for a three-week driving holiday to Europe through their site gives you access to a £28 cashback deal (the deal covers breakdown cover policies between £144-£240.99). Travellers can also take advantage of cashback deals on travel insurance policies.
Find your fuel
Will Craig, MD of LeaseFetcher, recommends researching fuel costs before setting off on a driving holiday to Europe. “Each country has a different tax policy,” Will says. “Some have lower VAT rates, others have higher duties - and that doesn’t account for the varying price of the actual fuel. The difference in prices is immense.” Will suggests filling your tank before travelling somewhere with high petrol costs, or heading straight to the petrol station at a destination with cheap fuel.
Alan Lynch, founder of comparison website Compare & Choose says renting a car for a driving holiday to Europe is a smart move - particularly if you lease your car and want to avoid cranking-up your annual mileage. “When renting, you can rest assured that your car won’t suffer the effects of your trip,” Alan says.
While, Samantha Lee, marketing director at Avis Car Rental says prices are lower the earlier you book, with access to a wider choice of vehicles. “Picking the right car can make all the difference,” Samantha says. “Some rental companies offer an extensive range of vehicles so take advantage of what’s on offer.” To avoid paying costs on car rental damage that you didn’t actually cause, Samantha also recommends inspecting the vehicle carefully before you drive away.
Know the roads – and the rules
A successful, affordable road trip requires research. By route-planning ahead, you’ll work out how to avoid toll roads and learn the rules of the road in the country you’re travelling to. On a driving holiday to France, for example, you can be issued with on-the-spot fines if you don’t comply with local driving laws. These include carrying equipment such as headlamp converters and a hi-viz vest. For the full list, check out Drive France.
If you follow these helpful tips, your next holiday is only a drive away!