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Road trip to France from UK! Advice/guidance needed!!!!

Birmingham, United...
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Road trip to France from UK! Advice/guidance needed!!!!

Hi,

Me and 2 mates were looking into planning a road trip to the south of France. Currently in Birmingham, West midlands.

The dates we have in mind are from 7th - 19/20th June.

As this is our first time on a road trip, looking for some advice on the best places to visit on the way down from cherbourg to saint tropez (this is our goal location to reach!)

Our idea was to stop in campsites along the way to keep unnecessary expense down but really we are just looking for an experts help on getting the ball rolling

Thank you

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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1. Re: Road trip to France from UK! Advice/guidance needed!!!!

Hi I

Welcome to the Road Trips forum.

I would be happy to make some suggestions of where you might want to stop. However, a bit more info would be useful, such as your rough ages, interests, idea of a great holiday, etc. Would you be looking for cultural stops with historic towns with churches, Roman ruins or museums, foodie stops for markets, rural stops for scenery and some hiking and outdoor challenges? Perhaps you'd prefer amusement parks or recreational options. Please let us know.

Also, are you wanting single night stops? Or would you prefer to have a long driving day to somewhere, stay there for more than 1 night to relax a bit, then move on to your ultimate destination? Also, would this be the same for the return trip, or do you want a fast route out and a slow one back, or vice versa?

Will you be driving a car owned by one of you? If so, do you know what's required by way of insurances, breakdown cover, mandatory safety kit, etc?

You say you wishing to avoid unnecessary expense. Does this mean you have your own camping gear? Also, if this is the case, have you looked into ferry crossing costs? Returning the same route is always cheaper, and a Southampton/Portsmouth to Cherbourg crossing is almost never the cheapest route across the Channel, even if it saves a small amount of time. Also, are you aware of toll costs in France which only seem to get higher? Longer and slower routes are more cost effective as fuel is cheaper in France than the UK, but will influence how long you have to stop.

On the subject of costs, are yo aware that St Tropez and the whole of the French Riviera area, after Paris, is the most expensive part of France? You have to pay to use the beaches and prices in bars can be extortionate, but a camp site well away from the coast itself could make staying in this area more affordable. Do also have a google around for special events and festivals in the area, as that always puts the cost of anything up. You will have missed to Cannes Film Festival which is in May, so at least the havoc that creates in the whole area will have passed!

Even if you or your mates have never driven yourselves in France, have any of you been a passenger on a road trip in Continental Europe to understand what the differences on the road looks like and the challenges of driving 'on the wrong side of the road' are?

I'll await further info before commenting on stops, but I do have some ideas in mind.

SWT

Birmingham, United...
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2. Re: Road trip to France from UK! Advice/guidance needed!!!!

Hi SWT,

many thanks for your help on this, much appreciated

I have been to france a few times before as a passenger so i am aware of the difference in driving, currently sorting out european cover on both insurance and breakdown but i see you mentioned a mandatory safety kit?

We are all 20 years old so for us, we were looking at places with a more interesting nightlife but obviously still plenty to explore in the daytime,

In terms of driving and stopping, we would probably look at driving for the majority of 1 day and then spending a few nights in each town/city,

After having a second look, appreciate that saint tropez is a tad too far so any idea on a route based on the above would be smashing!!

We have camping gear but if you have a rough idea on the kind of gear we would need to stop at french campsites as i have never been myself, all advice is welcome

Again, many thanks for your help :)

Luke

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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20,492 posts
38 reviews
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3. Re: Road trip to France from UK! Advice/guidance needed!!!!

I posted a reply to this post ages ago, but it seems not to have posted.

Not enough time now to go into the details that vanished, but quickly:

For info on mandatory kit, see:

theaa.com/motoring_advice/touring_tips/compu…

If you have a look on the websites for Eurocamps or Keycamps, you will see what they provided with their fixed tents, if that's what you plan to use. If you camp, then you'd know what's missing so you need to provide that! Otherwise the pitches are totally bare so you need everything, but many of their locations have on site shops and cafes, etc.

I wouldn't discount getting as far as the Med in the time available, but I just think you need to be aware that some of the trendy place that feature in glossy pictures are extortionately expensive and unless you fit in, you won't actually get to see the glam bits. Far better to spend your time and money going to where you can do you own thing within your budget and still enjoy yourselves, and have some fun.

I'm no expert on what today's 20 year olds seek out, but I'm sure you would know or would know where to find that kind of info. A place on the Med to consider perhaps might be around Adge as that's still lively but attracts more locals.

Otherwise, if you want beaches, don't mind skipping the Med, and still want nightlife and other activities, consider heading towards the Landes area south of Bordeax around Arcachon, or north of Bordeaux there's lots of areas between that city and Ste Nazaire area, including the less well known Marais Poitevin and the Vendee in general.

Maybe you've done more research by now. If you want further comments, please ask.

SWT

4. Re: Road trip to France from UK! Advice/guidance needed!!!!

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