Whether you want to visit the metropolis that is Paris, visit a few exquisite Italian wineries, or pass by the ancient wonder of Stonehenge, a European road trip is going to require careful planning. Proper preparation will ensure a relatively smooth ride from destination to destination, even allowing room for the occasional misstep.
This is a road trip that will require the careful allotment of Euros and the proper planning of destinations, routes, the proper accommodations, and the selection of an appropriate vehicle. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of tips to help make your planning a little easier!
1. Compile a List of Travel Destinations
There are thousands of amazing things to see in Europe—unfortunately, you can’t fit all of them into one trip! Careful planning of your stops will help avoid running around in circles. Check out a large online map that will point out notable attractions in different parts of Europe. Compile a list with your friends or family to account for everyone’s preferred destinations, then start mapping out ahead of time how to get to each of them.
You can either create a driving route that is governed by these attractions, or focus on landmarks that just happen to conveniently be placed along your predetermined driving route. Also note how many days you are going to stay within each area so you can plan your accommodations accordingly.
2. GPS Is Your Best Friend
Although there is no denying the nostalgia that comes with using a paper map, you may be forced to spend most of your time trying to locate where you are, folding and re-opening the map every couple of minutes. They are great for a backup no doubt, but it can get annoying.
A GPS device will allow you to live more in the moment, even enjoying trips off the beaten path, knowing that your GPS will guide you back if you were to venture too far. It is always recommended to use an actual GPS device, rather than a smartphone. GPS networks tend to have better coverage—you do not want to drive through a dead zone without cellular coverage and if you are travelling with a US cell phone, using data is a project in and of itself. It’s very possible to setup your US phone for this, but just not the best use of your buck.
Traditional rental car outfits charge a daily fee to use a hand-held GPS unit, which you will have to be responsible for taking in and out of your car. Nearly 95% of the Peugeot vehicles we provide, however, have built-in Peugeot GPS units, and we don’t charge extra fees for using them. Additionally, they are programmed in English, can be put into many other languages, and always include the most up to date software for all of the European map pack locations!
3. Select Affordable Accommodations, Even With Groups
We have an entire article on some unique accommodations you can find while traveling Europe for hotels, hostels, and B&B’s. Something we failed to mention was the option of a camping experience. In fact, some of our clients even sent us some pictures and testimonials of their recent trips that included pulling over for a quick nights snooze in a lovely campground!
If you are traveling with a relatively large group, then you will also find hostels to be very cost effective, even allowing your group to tap into local culture and customs. Not to mention, you may be able to book the entire room out so as to not have to sleep next to strangers.
When booking a hostel, online reservations will be required, with some hostels allowing immediate, same-day service.
4. Select The Right Car For The Ride
Now this is a bit controversial, but someone has to say it: Not all car rental outfits in Europe are created equal. If you are a true utilitarian type and don’t mind “winging” it, you can certainly get by with renting a car from a traditional car rental outfit that won’t offer a guaranteed model or luggage space capacity and transmission type.
When you book a long-term car rental in advance with Auto France, however, you will travel in a guaranteed vehicle model that you can get familiar with and have the opportunity to research beforehand using our plethora of Peugeot vehicle manuals and other online resources. They provide precise dimensions both inside and out.
We know it’s important to get acquainted with your options ahead of time. So we’ve put together this fantastic guide that will show you all of the different Peugeots you will have to choose from if you rent from Auto France.
Remember, an open mind is absolutely required when planning a road trip. Smart travelers plan ahead, but leave room in their itinerary for surprises and new experiences. As long as you have the right tools at your disposal, such as a reliable rental car, anything wonderful is possible!
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