So if you have decided to drive to the Alps for the first time for your holiday, you can look forward to no liquid limits, as much sports gear as you can cram in without having to pay extra, and the flexibility of having your car in the resort. There are a few ways to make the journey more seamless, here are our top nine.
1 Will you do it in one hit, or break the journey and stop somewhere en route? Only you will know what’s best with sleep patterns, eating patterns and the required number of loo stops, but deciding in advance is a good idea, as is timing your arrival at the major motorway junctions and around big cities if you are going for the single hit approach.
2. If you’re stopping over, book your accommodation in advance. It’s always tempting to just keep adding a bit on once you get going on motorways that aren’t especially busy. However, having a target means that you are obliged to stop, and if you plan it based on expected total travel time then you know you’re not going to be overdoing it on purpose. Where you stop depends on your start point in the UK, your crossing time, and whether you want somewhere to walk around when you arrive or just somewhere to get your head down. For our guide to stop-over options, see our blog post about ways to split the journey.
3. Make toll booths effortless. You can sign up for a toll pass so that you sail through the péage without hunting for your wallet or needing your passenger to wake up from their snooze to wind the window down. Emovis will post to a UK address.
4. Think of some games. Eye-spy will get you so far, we use a variation of this and a memory game so you start with ‘I went to live on a desert island and I brought’ and then it’s something you have seen along the way. This works better in busier sections of the motorway where you might pass sights, villages, and other people in their cars than on the northern stretches where there isn’t much apart from fields and windmills! Each player remembers what has already been mentioned, and then adds an item. A similar alternative is ‘I got a new phone and I added XX to my contacts’. Each player has to think of a famous person, the first beginning with A, the next with B, the next with C, and so on.
5. Plan your stops and set expectations about them. Not always possible between toddlers, grandparents and little ones supping juice in the back of the car, but really if you can nail this it will make for a less frustrating journey along the way. The ‘Aire’ stops tend to be purely functional and make for quicker stops than the service stations, which can get pretty busy during the holiday periods. Think of packing your tissues and some antibacterial hand gel.
6. Get your car kitted out in advance. For the summer you need a ‘UK’ sticker, a high-vis jacket, a warning triangle, and headlamp beam deflectors. In the winter you need all of this and either winter tyres or snow chains. For the latest guidance check the RAC website.
7. Pack fruit, and drink water! Sweets have been part of a car journey for as long as I can remember, but the combination of caffeine and sugar might just mean you need more loo stops! Obviously, it would be unkind to mandate a strict diet, but sticking to healthier options will also mean you arrive feeling fresher too.
8. Pick up some basics if you are arriving late. French supermarkets are not renowned for convenience, so we would recommend having basics with you in advance rather than arriving and no one being able to eat breakfast or having to make a mad dash to the supermarket in the morning.
9. Get a playlist sorted! Everyone adds to it in advance, like for a wedding, and then the memories of the holiday will become associated with the songs! Bonus.
If you have any specific concerns about the journey or would like more ideas, feel free to get in touch by email or phone and we will be happy to help.
Sign up to our email list to receive news updates and blog posts as we launch them.