There are a few places in the world that will always have a piece of my heart.
The south of France is one of those places. We went there for a holiday every summer from the year I was eight until I left home for university. Always to the same place, Camping du Pylone, in Antibes. With that as our base we would go for days out visiting places like Monaco, Menton and Frejus. I’ll be honest and admit that as a child these trips were possibly wasted on me, but as I got older I appreciated getting to know the area better much more.
If I was going to plan my perfect European road trip it would definitely be based around this whole area that feels like quite a big part of my life story.
I would start the trip in Italy, in the beautifully quirky village of Dolceacqua.
Steve and I went there with my parents back in 2007 and absolutely loved wandering round the winding cobblestoned streets. I would love to go back and take some more photos, especially of the bridge that featured in a few Monet paintings.
From Dolceacqua we would head into France and along the coast.
We would stop in Menton, Monte Carlo and Nice before reaching Antibes.
At this point I would make sure we had a bit of a prolonged pitstop to revisit some places that hold special memories for me.
We’d go for a swim at the beach, visit the market in the old town and wander round the Picasso museum.
Then it would be on to Cannes and Frejus before heading away from the coast to Mandelieu-la-Napole and then Grasse. After a stop to visit at least one of the perfumeries there we would finish off the road trip in slightly more dramatic fashion by taking the route napoleon north.
This perfect road trip of mine is just a daydream at the moment but if you’re thinking of actually taking a trip like this then there are a few things to keep in mind before you hit the road:
Obviously the first thing to do is plan the route you’ll take.
Work out how long it’ll take you to drive from your starting point to your finish line and plan where you’ll stop for meals and overnight stays along the way.
Make sure your car is ready
It’s worth having your car checked over before heading off on a long road trip to make sure that everything is working perfectly.
The best thing to do it take it to a professional who can let you know if you need anything like a new car battery or new tyres before you go. You should also check that your oil levels are ok and that you have enough screenwash.
I’m not just talking clothes and toiletries here.
You need to make sure your car is packed with a few important things before you head off on a road-trip.
Here are some things you might want to pop in the car:
- Water and snacks
- An in-car charger for your phone and satnav
- A good old-fashioned map in case your satnav lets you down
- A first aid kit
- A high visibility jacket and warning triangle, in case you break down
Make sure you’re ready
Allow plenty of time before you leave to make sure you have a valid passport. You’ll also need to sort out travel insurance and check you have an EHIC in case you need any medical care while you’re away.
Read up on the country you’ll be travelling in so you’re familiar with the rules of the road there, including the laws on how much you can drink before driving.
The one other thing I would be sure to do is take my camera and plenty of memory cards with me, to capture all the stunning scenery along the way.
If you were going to go on a European road trip which countries would you want to visit?