I think I am a bit lucky that I was born in Europe and not in for example Oceania. I’m not saying this because I think that Oceania is less beautiful and worse compared to Europe. No, on the contrary. If I could, I would travel to this continent every now and then to discover the most beautiful places over there. But why in the name of Lord am I happy to live in Belgium? Well it’s a central location and we have the accessibility to visit many countries while on a budget. Of course I don’t know how it feels for residents of Australia to travel to other places, but at least it seems to me more expensive than, for example, traveling around Europe to other European countries.
Many of my readers, however, are situated on the other side of Belgium, namely in the United States (it’s an advantage if you blog in two languages). Many Americans dream of a journey through Europe. Since I have visited quite a bit in Europe, both alone, with my family and with friends, I have written this article.
Because how do you start planning a roadtrip? What are the advantages of a Eurotrip with the car? The cons? How much would that cost?
There are many questions that end up in my inbox that I want to answer today. So take a drink, a notebook and a pen and let’s start with this article!
Pros and cons: traveling by car
- Stop where and for how long you please
- Seeing the landscapes change
- Traveling to small little towns which are so cosy
- Unlimited baggage in your car (let’s say how much your car can take)
- Ultimate feeling of freedom
- Small costs can end up in a big budget
- Not really eco-friendly
How much will it cost
Of course, this depends entirely on you: do you want to travel through Europe with 5 * hotels? Or are you satisfied with a 3 * B&B? Are you going to rent a car or are you taking your car from another continent? Will you drive past péages (toll roads)? Do you buy vignettes or stickers in advance or on the spot? What kind of petrol do you need for the car?
In Europe you have many costs that you have to take into account. That is why it’s impossible to give the “right” cost because it depends on everything and more. When I traveled through Germany, Switzerland and Italy, it already costed me € 200 excl. Diesel, for a vignette, toll and a sticker.
FAQ – Traveling by car?!
Is traveling in Europe expensive by car?
Short answer: that depends. You have the highways where you sometimes need to pay toll, petrol costs, vignettes and so much more. By adding the “small” costs together, you end up having a high number.
What are toll roads?
When I did a road trip with my family we drove along the scenic roads, the smallest villages and the most pleasant cities. This doesn’t mean we never took the highway, because of course we did. Toll roads are mostly on highways where you have to give toll (money) when you pass a certain point.
A vignette, is that necessary?
In some European countries it is really highly recommended to buy one, otherwise you will have a fine given to you by the police. So keep in mind that you first need to look up which countries you’ll be traveling to and if a vignette is a must. Every European country has its own rules.
Are insurance policies an unnecessary luxury or not?
If you rent a car it is more than normal to take an insurance. This is the same in every country and is no different in Europe. Certainly during a car trip certain things can happen such as a flat tire. Seriously; you do not want to find out that the flat tire wasn’t insured.
What do I need to ride a car in Europe?
Every country has its own conditions and rules, so please look this up in advance! In general you should have these objects/documents:
- A drivers license
- First Aid Kit
- A reflecting jacket
- Sticker/ vignette
- Fire extinguisher
- Breathalyzer for alcohol (ex. in France)
What is the emergency number?
It is very important to know that 112 is the emergency number in Europe. Keep this number somewhere safe so you don’t forget it.
What do I need to know about the internet in Europe?
The internet in Europe is reasonably good and fast. But don’t forget that every time you cross a border the connection drops (unless Europe is in your subscription). Don’t panic though, you have two options: you can buy a new SIM card each time you enter the country or buy a bundle in advance that includes European data roaming.
How long do I need for a Eurotrip?
That depends, of course, on your wishes and the countries you want to visit. Of course the countries in Europe are close to each other, but if you are in the east of the country and you have to go to the neighboring country in the west, it can take a long time. Always count time for the toll roads. Even though you can drive faster, the queues at the border can rise and can let you lose time.
Which way of the road do Europeans drive?
Most European countries drive at the right side of the road. But not all of them. You can look this up on this page.
What are the traffic rules?
Every country has its own rules. Some countries don’t have the rule of right, others do. Basically this rule tells you that people who come from a road that’s located on your right side have priority on that cross road.
How do I survive long distances?
The best thing about a trip by car is the ultimate sense of freedom. You can drive by car and then say in the middle of nowhere: hey here I want to take a picture (if it is safe!). Long distances don’t have to be boring. Take your favorite food and drinks with you, make sure you have sufficient distraction (if you are not the driver) like reading a book or listening to music, and so on. With the right distraction, I ensure you that those long distances won’t seem that long.
More travel inspiration? Read these articles!
Have you already did a roadtrip in Europe?
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