We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Self Drive Around Europe

Malaysia
Level Contributor
193 posts
20 reviews
Save Topic
Self Drive Around Europe

we (3 of us) are planning to do self-drive from amsterdam-belgium-france-spain-portugal. We have like 10 days to do so. We were wondering if

i. Is it a good plan ( to self drive)?

ii. The best n value for money car-hiring company in europe?

iii. suggestion or tips along the way

tq

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
86,945 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Self Drive Around Europe

If you pick up a rental car in Amsterdam and drop off in Lisbon, there will be a very substantial one-way fee. Someone has to go to Portugal and drive the car back to Holland.

You cannot do such a trip in 10 days. You will spend all your time in driving, and you will not see anything.

O Savinao, Galicia
Destination Expert
for Galicia
Level Contributor
6,071 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Self Drive Around Europe

I have given you an answer to the same question under the Spanish section.

Bellflower...
Level Contributor
5,129 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Self Drive Around Europe

Bonjour, Killerlan,

I agree with the others, but I think it would be best if you determined the timing for yourself .Use the following link to estimate the time and distance; the times in the link are very optimistic:

http://www.viamichelin.com/

The most you would accomplish is one day in a city per country. I would assume that you plan to fly open-jaw.

MrsJAS

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
25,034 posts
79 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Self Drive Around Europe

With so little time you don't have time to drive. You should fly into one major destination like Paris and then fly budget airline to a second destination like say Barcelona and fly home from there. You could do Paris, Barcelona and Madrid in 10 days but this would be pretty rushed. Or you could do Amsterdam, Paris and Rome, taking the Thalys to Paris and flying to Rome.

10 nights is 9 full days. Every time you change cities, you waste most of that day. Three destinations is the maximum to get anything out of the trip i.e. have time to actually see the places you are visiting. You might spend two nights and one day in Amsterdam and then 4 nights/3 days in Paris and 4nights/3 days in Rome and still have enough time to see the highlights of those places.

Driving makes no sense, you literally would do nothing but drive and see nothing but highways. And as noted the drop fee for the car in addition to the rent would probably be several hundred Euros.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
5,271 posts
210 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Self Drive Around Europe

Even with three of you driving, you cannot do this in 10 days. Have a look at the kms involved. It's just not practical

Edited: 20 December 2013, 10:11
Malaysia
Level Contributor
193 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Self Drive Around Europe

tq so much for the respond.. would take in consideration all the answer

tq

USA
Level Contributor
1,052 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Self Drive Around Europe

I am going to assume that you have 10 full days on the ground in Europe--so the 10 days do not include your flights to and from Europe.

Even if you just hit main cities along that route--you are looking at at least 26 hours of pure driving time NOT including stops for gas, food, WC, traffic tie-ups, etc. Add in such stops and you certainly would be looking at a minimum of 30-35 hours.

If you are into road trips where the main point is to just drive and you are not really concerned about stopping very long anywhere, it would be OK. But if you really want to see and experience the places you listed, then 10 days are not enough whether you drive, fly, use trains or boats or any other form of transport.

You are allowing 2 days in each country--much of which would be taken up by driving time (minimally you'd be looking at 7 or 8 yhours a day for each of the 5 main driving days, 3.5 to 4 hours a day if you drive some every day with only short stops here and there.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
4,633 posts
929 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Self Drive Around Europe

As others have said, driving will not work as your trip is short and the countries listed are far apart. In addition, 10 days is not enough time to see five different countries. To reduce travel time and increase actual vacation time, I recommend that you choose cities/countries that are reasonably close together (either Spain/Portugal or Netherlands/France/Belgium).

New Hampshire
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
21,261 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Self Drive Around Europe

You *could* do three countries in 10 days or so, but, as the others have noted, it's really not recommended.

What is appealing about those places to you personally?

Renting a car is not inexpensive, especially when you add the cost of fuel, tolls, etc. It can also be quite stressful, but also very, very, boring, particularly with three adults in a very small vehicle. For sure, the cost of returning the vehicle in another country is probably prohibitive.

10 days or so is really only enough time to explore one country, especially if you plan to spend any time in a major city and, for most, you'd want several days or so.

Lords Valley...
Level Contributor
1,601 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Self Drive Around Europe

With only 10 days to complete your trip, all you are going to see is road.