Organizing a family road trip from the UK to Europe? We have traveled to the globe many times over the past eight years, driving from London for vacations in France, Switzerland, and Italy. In this post, I’ll offer advice on how to plan a vehicle trip to Europe as well as suggestions for family road trips there.
traveling from England to France
The two main ways to cross the English Channel by car to get from England to France are to take a ferry boat or the Le Shuttle customer flight.
Le Shuttle Eurotunnel
Taking the Le Shuttle ( previously Eurotunnel The Shuttle ) from Folkestone to Calais is the simplest and quickest mode of transportation between England and France. The walk in the car flight just lasts 35 days.
For each of our family road trips to Europe, we took the Le Shuttle, and we also took some vehicles trips with our dogs. Every day, we discovered that using the Le Shuttle was simple and smooth from beginning to end.
Le Shuttle makes it simple to make a reservation and maintain your online ordering, including adding customer information and making adjustments. Le Shuttle offers three main categories of tickets: Standard ( non-refundable ), Standard Refundable, and Flexiplus.
Le Shuttle even offers discounted tickets for day trips, overnight stays, and brief remains. Standard Refundable one-way ticket prices with Le Shuttle begin at £150 per car, while Flexiplus’s stop at £274. View the most recent Le Shuttle solution rates.
We have found it worthwhile to pay the additional fee to guide Flexiplus tickets because our family road trips to Europe are often during busier times, such as bank holiday vacation, half word falls, and school holidays. You can arrive at any time on your scheduled travel day with Le Shuttle Flexiplus, and when you pass border controls, you will be given concern for boarding.
After border control, there are Flexiplus Seats at the Le Shuttle Kent and Calais stations. Wraps, sandwiches, sauce, fresh fruits, appetizers, and desserts are all available for free in the lounges.
a boat ship
The most affordable way to travel between England and France is typically by ferry from Dover to Calais. Ferry bridges typically take an hour and a half to get to Calais.
From Dover to Calais, there are a number of ferry boat selections, including P&, O, and Direct Ferries. On board boat ships, there are frequently amenities like duty-free shopping, restaurants, and restrooms. The cost of a vacation on P&, O Ferries, for one car and up to nine people, begins at £63 one way and £126 return.
Verify the most recent P& and O Ferries ticket rates.
Driving within the EU Standards
Make sure you are knowledgeable about the most recent federal tips when planning a road trip from the UK to Europe. GOV is the best resource for UK vehicles in Europe. Driving in the Union for the UK, AA driving in Europe, and Europe’s Green Flag Essential Checks.
An English identification ( on your license plate or decal ), lamp beam converters, a first aid kit, warning triangle, and high-visibility jacket are among the mandatory driving equipment requirements in Europe. We have the AA Euro Travel Kit, which includes all the necessities for driving throughout Europe.
If you’re taking the Le Shuttle, you can also buy a AA Euro Travel System or any other necessary items at the Flexiplus Lounge or the Gravesend Terminal.
Road Trips to Europe with Kids
One of the best ways to go Europe with kids is on a road trip because there are so many interesting places to visit. I’ll discuss tips for road trips to Europe with kids from our family vacations driving from the UK in this area.
Traveling by road in France
Paris ‘ Disneyland
For day trips and road visits from the UK to Europe, Disneyland Paris is a well-liked place. Over the years, we have planned some road journeys to Disney Paris. From the Le Shuttle or boat stations in Calais, France, Disneyland Paris is a short 3 minute 30 minute drive away.
Around Disneyland Paris, there are many lodging options, many of which are just a quick flight ride from the theme parks. The Disneyland Hotel, which is situated at the Disneyland Park access and will reopen on January 25, is the closest on-site Disney Paris resort. The distance between Disney Village and the design area doors is 10 to 15 miles, including the Disney Hotel New York, the Art of Marvel, and Disney Newport Bay Club.
In close proximity to Disneyland Paris, Val d’Europe is a convenient location to stay in. There are many motels, aparthotels, and Airbnb condos to choose from, all of which are close to stores, eateries, etc. For visiting Disneyland Paris, Hotel L’Elysee and Staycity Aparthotels are highly regarded lodging choices in Val d’Europe.
We stayed at a beautiful pet-friendly residence in Lésigny on our most latest road trip to Disneyland Paris. About a 20-minute push from Disneyland Paris, the Airbnb was tucked away in the south-eastern Paris cities. In our 2022 Disneyland Paris Trip Report, I provide more information about the Airbnb close to the park.
For advice and creativity on organizing a trip to Disneyland Paris, continue reading.
Disneyland Paris’s Top Franchises
Guide to the Attractions at Disneyland Paris
Disney Hotel New York: Marvel’s Art Review
Disney Newport Bay Club evaluation
Trip Report for Disneyland Paris 2022
Trip Report for Disneyland Paris 2021
Alps of France
For home summer vacations, the French Alps are a popular street vacation destination in Europe. The European Alps cities of Annecy, Chamonix, are about an 8 to 9 hours drive from the port town of Calais, France, if you are traveling from UK to France by car.
One of the best places to stay, there are many shops and facilities in the town center, and there is a ton to do for the entire family in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc ( also known as Chamnix ) during the summer.
Although it’s best known for being a winter sports destination, Chamonix-Mon-Blanc ( or simply Chamnix ) also makes an excellent summer base for taking part in mountain adventures. People in Chamonix and the surrounding area may take pleasure in activities like hiking, river snorkeling, mountain biking, road biking, and more. Enjoying family-friendly treks and trips to Merlet Animal Park are features of our summertime family vacations in Chamonix.
In this post,” Visiting Chamonix in the Summer,” you can find advice on traveling there as well as ideas for activities to do there during the summer.
Another well-liked location for a family vacation in the European Alps is Morzine, which is situated at the center of the Portes du Soleil region. Top-notch amenities, excellent eateries, and a summer schedule of family-friendly events and activities are all available in the wonderful mountain village and location of Morzine.
We frequently return to Morzine in the summer because of the variety of outdoor activities the beach and the surrounding area have to offer. There is a lot to do for people in Morzine, including the mountain walking and hiking trails, tree adventure playgrounds, an equestrian center, underwater centers, and much more.
The near Lake Montriond, a lovely mountain lake that offers many activities, from leisurely water sports to hiking excursions, is one of our favorite places to travel.
One of France’s most beautiful cities, Annecy is situated in the heart of the Rhone-Alps location. Since Annecy is only a 1 to 1 hour 30 minute drive ahead, you can easily mix it with Morzine or Chamonix while traveling by car through the French Alps. Annecy has been dubbed the” Venice of the Alps” because of its stunning lake surrounded by mountains and the charming canals that wind through its medieval center.
At Lake Annecy, which is regarded as the noblest river in Europe due to conservation efforts, swimming, flying, and water skiing are well-liked water activities. At Annecy, summertime rock activities include hiking, biking, canyoning, and skydiving. The Palais de l’Ile, constructed in the 12th era on a naturally rough beach, is one of the major attractions in Annecy’s traditional center.
For advice and ideas on organizing a road trip through the French Alps with kids, read on.
The European Alps ‘ Best Home Excursions
How to Visit Morzine in the Summer
Summertime Travel Guide to Chamonix
European Alps, La Bourgeoise SamonsHike
Hike Grand Balcon Sud Chamonix
Les Houches in the European Alps ‘ Parc de Merlet
Christmas Industry in Alsace
The Christmas areas in France’s Alsace region, one of the top tourist destinations in Europe, are generally open from later November to late December. Strasbourg, Colmar, Kaysersberg, Eguisheim, Riquewihr, and Ribeauvillé are among the best Christmas market cities and towns in Alsace.
We stopped in Colmar’s ancient community center during a road trip to Europe for the Christmas markets. Colmar, which is located in north France, is 45 minutes from Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsatian region, and close to the German border.
Colmar is a convenient location for exploring the Alsace Christmas Markets because it is only 20 to 30 minutes ‘ drive from the picturesque villages and medieval towns of Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, and Eguisheim.
If you have the time, visiting the nearby vineyards in the Alsace region’s grapes is also a wonderful experience. We stopped at Maison Gustave Lorentz, a winery about 30 minutes ‘ pull from Colmar, during our road trip to Europe for Christmas. Since many vineyards are only available on specific days of the week depending on the time of year, make sure to check the opening time.
For more advice and ideas on how to visit the Alsase Christmas Markets, keep reading.
Christmas Industry Guide for Colmar France
Road Trips to Switzerland
Switzerland is a great place for Europe street outings with kids because of its stunning natural beauty. Over the course of October third term, we planned a road trip to Zermatt, Lauterbrunnen, and Grindelwald in the Swiss Alps.
Keep in mind that your car must have a special toll sticker, or vignette ( sticker or electronic version ), in order to drive in Switzerland. When entering the country, you can buy the sceneonline or at conventions for CHF 40. On the European federal website, you can find more information or purchase a picture.
Remember that there are few rock transportation options and that some cafes nearby for a few weeks before the start of the winter season if you are planning an October road trip to the Alps. For instance, in the European Alps, the boat transfer from Grindelwald to Männlichen is usually shut down starting at the end of October.
Zermatt, which is in the Valais place, was the first place we stayed on our October half-term street journey to Switzerland. In order to discover the Jungfrau Region, we finally drove north to our Airbnb in Wilderswil, a small town outside of Interlaken.
Zermatt is a town without cars. You must park your car in the nearby town of Täsch, which is 5 km away, if you are traveling by car to Zermatt. There are three driving choices in Täsch: private car parks, Matterhorn Terminal, and coach stations.
At Taxi Christophe, a covered driving significant in Täsch, we made progress driving reservations. Additionally, Taxi Cristophe organizes e-cabs and vehicle transfers to and from Zermatt. We were dropped off at a vehicle stop at the Zermatt entrance by the taxi move. A short while later, an e-cab picked us up and drove us as near to our Airbnb apartment as possible.
The 35-minute cogwheel train ride to the top of Gornergrat ( 3100m ) was the highlight of our brief stay in Zermatt over the course of the October half term. With four stops along the way and a variety of hiking and snowshoeing options, the Gornergrat Railway is empty year-round.
We hiked to Riffelsee from Gornergrat, which is a short, quick downhill trek that takes about 30 days. At 2770 meters, the mountain lake Riffelsee provides breathtaking mirror views of the Matterhorn peak. The second stop on the Gornergrat Railway again to Zermatt is Rotenboden station, which is a short walk away from the river.
Location of Jungfrau
The Jungfrau area has so much to sell for outdoor activities, breathtaking natural beauty, and tourist attractions. It is a well-liked place for relocating to the Swiss Alps. The Lauterbrunnen Valley, Mürren, Gimmelwald, Grindelwald and Interlaken are all part of the Jungfrau place, which is situated in the Bernese Oberland.
Exploring Lauterbrunnen, taking the cable car to Mürren, and hiking along the Jungfrau Eiger Walk to Kleine Scheidegg were the features of our road journey through Switzerland.
A cable car from the Stechelberg station, which is a 5- to 10-minute drive from Lauterbrunnen village, can be used to travel to Mürren ( 1650m ) and take in the breathtaking views of the valley. Mürren is only a short funicular ride away from the fantastic Allmendhubel” Flower Park” playground ( 1932m ). ( Remember that only July through early October are permitted on the Allmendhubel playground. )
The next day, we traveled to Grindelwald and boarded a cord vehicle for Eigergletscher. Following the Jungfrau Eiger Walk, a 2 km trek with breathtaking views of the eiger, we descended to Kleine Scheidegg from it.
Before returning to Eigergletscher to board the cable car up to Grindelwald, we had breakfast at Bergrestaurant at the Kleine Scheidegg train, which I can highly recommend. The weekly Jungfraubahn coach is another option for transportation between Kleine Scheidegg and Eigergletscher. Typically, a station even travels between Grindelwald and Kleine Scheidegg, but when we went there, it was shut down for maintenance.
We picked a pet-friendly Airbnb rental in Wilderswil that was the right size for our family during our stay in the Jungfrau area. A pan, an outdoor patio dining area, and a garden area with stunning mountain views were all features of the Airbnb. Additionally, Wilderswil was ideally situated for exploring the local Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald hills.
Pet Travel to Europe
The ability to take our dogs to Europe during family vacations is one of the reasons we enjoy making road trips. Our German Shepherds Rex and Reya have traveled with us on highway trips to Fano Italy, Switzerland, Alsace, and the European Alps in Europe.
Most of the areas we’ve been to in France, Switzerland, and Italy have been very welcoming to puppies, in my opinion. Even though it does limit the options, we have n’t had any trouble finding pet-friendly Airbnbs. Before making a restaurant reservation, I always make sure that dogs are permitted, and most establishments are typically dog-friendly.
It’s crucial to discuss your specific travel needs with your veterinarian well in advance of your vacation when planning to take a puppy to Europe. Each country has different requirements, so you might want to start getting ready for your pet to go weeks in advance. GOV is the best source for the most recent information on traveling with a dog. Taking Your Pet Overseas in the UK.
Ideas for Europe Travel
I sincerely hope you found this article on organizing a highway trip in Europe with boys good! In our vacation guides, you can find more advice, suggestions, and ideas for traveling Europe with kids.
Favorite Activities in Fano Italy
Advice for Traveling to Granada, Spain, with Children
Hike with Kids to Lago d’Arpy, Aosta Valley, Italy
The Top Family Hikes in the French Alps
France in the Summer Guide by Morzine
France Chamonix in the Summer Guide
Where to have at Paris ‘ Disneyland
Disneyland Paris Attractions Guide
Christmas Industry Guide for Colmar France
Best Europe Road Trips with Kids Pin for Eventually