Europe is a relatively small continent, however it hosts something to please everyone’s desires. From pristine sandy beaches, to snowy mountains, to wonderful natural parks. People living within this continent have greatly contributed to have a legacy of a great history, a progressive future and home to delicious wines and drinks, making Europe an astounding place to visit.
There is little doubt that Europe should be on every travellers’ to-do list, however in this article we want to present the pros and cons of going on a Road Trip in Europe.
Pro #1 – The small size of the continent
For it’s size, Europe hosts many countries and therefore those who are willing to experience different cultures in a short span of time would truly appreciate this continent. The small size makes it also possible to do extremely diverse activities in a short period of time. For example, in Slovenia, you can be skiing in the morning and after a 1-hour drive you can be on a beach, having a dip in the Adriatic Sea.
Pro #2 – Good Quality roads and Ease of driving
Driving on European roads is truly a great experience. The roads tend to be of a very high level, with recently laid tarmac that grips the wheels of your car, whether it rains or shines. Google Maps is generally well updated and if you have downloaded the offline maps before leaving, you can rest assured that you’ll arrive to your desired destination. Another important aspect that impacts the ease of driving is the respect that other motorists show whilst on the road. Most people follow the rules of the road, and give way. So those suffering from road rage as safe here
Pro #3 – Accessibility and Points of Entry
The European Union has basically integrated most companies within Europe and there is practically no borders between the different countries. For example when driving from Hungary to Slovenia, or from Slovakia to Austria, there is no need to even stop the car. You’ll keep on driving through the border. This reduced bureaucracy reduces the time needed to arrive to places as you won’t have to wait in low, border patrol queues. Furthermore, all countries are connected with each other through motorways, which allows you to focus on where you want to go, rather on how to get there.
Con #1 – Fuel & Highway tolls
One of the major cost factors whilst on a Road Trip in Europe is Fuel. Prices tend to range between €1.00 to €1.50 per litre, which is not cheap, considering that you’ll have to spend about €50 to fill-up a tank every 2/3 days if you are on the move. Highway tolls are another cost factor. In some countries you’d have to pay for each highway, but in other countries like in Slovenia, Slovakia and Austria you’ll need to buy a sort of ‘Pass’. These passes come with a minimum duration of between 7/10 days and cost around €15. For example, when in Bratislava, we wanted to go for a day in Vienna, and then head to Czech Republic before heading back South to visit the remaining parts of Austria. This would have resulted in us having to buy the Pass twice (since we were staying for more than 7 days in Czech Republic). To avoid this extra expense we jumped on a bus from Bratislava to Vienna for just €8 per person (that helped us save money on the toll, the fuel, and the parking in Vienna – not a bad deal at all).
Con #2 – Expensive food and Accommodation
The prices in Europe are not cheap. If you are going to spend 2 months on the road and you eat our every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, your stomach would truly appreciate it, however you wallet not as much. There might be some cheaper options where you can dine, but since when on a Road Trip you are constantly on the move, makes it hard to always where the cheaper options for eating are. Similarly finding accommodation with a good value for money might not be very easy. Naturally, we use booking.com and Airbnb to find our bed for the night, but in certain cities even low quality accommodation would cost €40/night for 2 people. We kind of knew this before leaving home, so we loaded our car with camping equipment, but sometimes finding campsites close to where the main attractions are is not easy.
Con #3 – Hard & Expensive parking in Cities
Most European cities do their best to try to reduce the amount of cars roaming around in the city centre. This is great whilst strolling around the city, but proves to be a real challenge when on a Road Trip. Public parking space would be greatly limited, and parking illegally might result in hefty fines, or worse have your car towed away. Therefore parking legally is highly recommended, but using a paid car park is very expensive. For example in Bratislava, we would have paid €1 every for every 20 minutes. So we chose the second best alternative, we roamed around the city to find empty parking spaces in the street, and when we found one, we’d ask locals whether it is ok for us to park there.
As a final conclusion, one can notice that all positives relate to having a memorable vacation made out of amazing experiences and a high quality service, whilst the negatives related to a high cost. There it is recommended that you are financially prepared for this Road Trip before leaving, but if I were you, I would definitely add it to my bucket list. If you to get ideas of how best to go about this journey, go to our website which has detailed information about 2 month Europe Road Trip. If you want to go large and want to go on a trip that passes through the main destinations in all of Europe click here.
Romy & Luke are the hearts and minds behind www.Tagalongtravellers.com
Recently they have quit their jobs and set off on a 9 month travel journey before getting married but still found the time to write this article!