Planning Our Road Trip

Planning Our Road Trip

After a lot of umming and ahing, Jake and I have finally decided what we’re going to do after our ski season… we’re going on a road trip around Italy and The South of France!

The original plan

We originally thought about planning a trip around Europe and had a list of seven cities we were going to visit by plane/train, but as time went on and flights went up in price, we realised there were loads of added costs we hadn’t thought about (stuff like baggage and add ons) and it would be too big a commitment to book seven flights ahead of schedule, as so many things can change within the space of a few months.

We were going to visit: 

  1. Nice, France
  2. Vienna, Austria
  3. Budapest, Hungary
  4. Prague, Czech
  5. Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. Berlin, Germany
  7. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This would be an amazing trip, and will definitely look to do something similar in the future when we have the time to plan a bit further ahead. So, finally, we’ve settled on the idea of a road trip around Italy and The South of France instead.

The new plan

We’re both now flying home first from Geneva to drop off our ski gear and repack, as we’ve accumulated so much stuff since living in France for the last five months, it would be a nightmare to lug it all around with us. We’re then going to pack up the car and head off again, hopefully for around three weeks. We’re packing a duvet and a tent and plan to stay in a mix of different campsites and hostels on the way. We’re not going to plan too far ahead so we can have the freedom to change our minds and stay as many days as we want in each place. That’s the good thing about planning a road trip – you can pretty much do whatever you want as you don’t have to book in advance.

We have a rough idea of the route we’ll be taking, and it looks something like this… (the route going clockwise, so we’ll start by driving around Paris, then down to Reims to camp for the first night after our overnight ferry, then towards Lyon, where we’ll probably stay in a hostel to have a night out)

The route might change slightly on our way round, depending on which places we like the look of and find more we want to do there too. This is a very rough guide, so below I’ve listed some of the places we definitely want to stop at on our way round.

Vague list of where we want to go:

  • We’ll be getting the ferry from: Portsmouth – La Havre
  • Reims – Where we’ll probably camp for the first night
  • Lyon – Hoping to stay in a hostel so we can plan a night out in the city
  • Turin
  • Lake Como
  • Lake Garda
  • Venice
  • Bologna
  • Florence
  • Pisa
  • La Spezia
  • Genoa
  • Nice
  • Cannes
  • Saint Tropez
  • Toulon
  • Montpellier
  • Toulouse
  • Bordeaux
  • Then back up towards the ferry port in La Havre!

Now, that list includes 20 places and we’re only going for 3 weeks and probably won’t move places every single day, so this will change a lot I expect. We just thought it would be helpful to plan a vague idea of where we’re heading, to give us ideas of what to do and where.

We’ve been looking on the website pitchup.com to give us an idea about which campsites look good in France and Italy. Loads of them have really nice pools and cost about €12 a night to pitch up a tent, and some have other glamping options like yurts, lodges and cabins, so we can opt for an upgrade whenever we fancy it. We’re going to be travelling for Jake’s birthday on the 8th May, so I expect we’ll try to stay in something that’s not a tent to treat ourselves!

Here are some of the French campsite suggestions as shown on the website:

Road Trip Bucket List

We both have so much stuff we want to do on the trip. After spending all winter skiing regularly, we both want to do a lot of different outdoor sports during our trip, plus there are so many things I’ve actually never done yet so it’s a good opportunity to change that. Here’s the list so far:

  • Surfing
  • Paddle-boarding
  • Wine tasting in Bordeaux
  • Cycling/mountain biking
  • River swimming
  • Camping right next to the lakes
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding (Jake wasn’t hugely keen on this one but maybe I can persuade him…)

Hopefully we’ll add more when we see what we can do at various stops. Loads of the campsites that I’ve found have options to rent bikes, surfboards, canoes etc. to make use of the surrounding areas, which will be convenient and hopefully pretty cheap too.

My chosen travel app: Polarsteps

I’m going to try to record all of our stops on the new travel app I’m loving called Polarsteps, you might have read my previous blog post about it here. It’s an amazing app that helps record your travels and produces a route based on your photos taken in each place via your smartphone.

If anyone has any ideas of places to go or see in our trip, please leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading.

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17 Comments

  1. April 11, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    I envy your traveling experiences! Also your blog is so pretty I love the layout!

    • Polly
      April 11, 2018 / 5:26 pm

      That’s so sweet, thank you! I use pipdig for my blog theme, they have loads on their website! x

      • Preslie Olsen
        April 12, 2018 / 3:21 am

        I’m going to have to look into them ❤️

  2. April 11, 2018 / 8:06 pm

    Sounds like an excellent adventure. I just couldn’t do the tent thing but I bet it saves a lot of money. I’m gonna have to check out the app you suggested. Sounds so useful.

    • Polly
      April 11, 2018 / 8:12 pm

      Yeah, tent life isn’t for everyone! And that’s great, I hope you like the app! x

    • Polly
      April 11, 2018 / 8:35 pm

      Yes, so true! Thanks for your comment x

  3. April 12, 2018 / 1:41 pm

    Okay, so next road trip you go to the Netherlands? 😉 Lots of awesome places on your list though. If you wine tasting is your thing, you could also consider doing the cider route.. or, combine it with the cheese route.

    • Polly
      April 12, 2018 / 3:54 pm

      Yes, we’d love to visit the Netherlands as soon as possible! Thank you, a cider/cheese route would be right up my street! x

  4. April 12, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    Your plan changed a lot! What ultimately made you decide on France and Italy rather than some of the other places on your original itinerary?

    And how do you survive tent living for so long? What are your plans for food?

    Can’t wait to hear all about your trip!

    • Polly
      April 12, 2018 / 3:54 pm

      Our main reason for the change of plan was to save money and so we could have the freedom to visit lots of places for the lowest budget. Many of the places we’ll be camping have on-site facilities, so we’ll have hot showers and swimming pools in many of them so tent life isn’t actually difficult at all. We’re bringing a camping stove and most of them have cafes & restaurants too so food shouldn’t be a problem! Thank you for your comments! x

    • Polly
      April 13, 2018 / 1:23 pm

      Thank you! x

  5. April 13, 2018 / 1:23 am

    All of this sounds AMAZING. I’m impressed you can accomplish all of that in 3 weeks! Can’t wait to follow along, hear your updates, and of course see your pictures!

    • Polly
      April 13, 2018 / 1:25 pm

      Thank you! I think we’re being slightly optimistic thinking we can see all of these places in three weeks, but it’s good to aim high I suppose! x

  6. April 13, 2018 / 1:42 am

    Omg, I am shooketh to the core. Growing up in the US I have never imagined a road trip around Europe. It sounds like a dream!!
    Good luck on your journey and I can’t wait to see all the adventures! I’m subscribing to the e-mail list!

    • Polly
      April 13, 2018 / 1:29 pm

      Thank you so much! xx

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