With Airline prices being variable and inflexible, it is no wonder that about 50% of our clientele will drive from the UK to Pagel during the holidays. Being under your own control, it is a lovely way to see and experience more of France on the way. There are a number of ferry ports available but in the main guests will arrive in either Calais or Dieppe for their journey. The Eurotunnel is of course the quickest and most efficient way.
So having driven this route for over 16 years here are our top tips!
- Be prepared– Having made sure your car is in good working order it is also necessary to ensure your insurance is covered in France and sensible to have breakdown cover too which can be quite inexpensive. Have all paperwork with you such as insurance, mot, drivers licence etc. A website such as drive-france.com is always a good reference point. They can also provide a simple all in one travel kit that will contain all of the roadside equipment you are required to carry by French law. http://www.drive-france.com/products/all-one-kit . The tolls can now be paid for by card but there is also a dart tag available making it really easy from saneftolling.co.uk
- Plan the route – Sat Nav is a great tool but it can get you into trouble around Paris. It is worth having a paper road map as back up too and often much easier to refer to get a sense of direction whilst on the move. Avoiding Paris and its Periphique is always a good idea and Rouen is a great town to head for from both of the ferry ports mentioned and then onto Orleans missing Paris.
- Be ready for the Children – After many years doing this journey with 3 children it is well worth planning! Plenty of drinks and snacks, toys and probably a good supply of DVD’S to watch. Make sure all gadgets can be charged on the way. We spent hours on one of our last journeys playing good old fashioned games like, i-spy, number plates and yellow car!
- Regular breaks – The French Auto routes are very well organised with a great supply of stop areas ‘Aire du Bois’ and service stations, most with a play area. So try and take a regular 20 minute break every couple of hours and get some fresh air! Swop drivers at that some point too if possible. Maybe consider stopping overnight half way down. There are some great roadside hotels like Campanile half way down at Orleans which are great to break up the journey.
- Enjoy! – The Autoroutes in France are some of the best roads in Europe making driving easy and scenery can be stunning at times in the beautiful countryside. We will be looking forward to welcoming you all at the other end.
We look forward to seeing you there!