On The Road Again…Road Trip in Europe?

Whew! I just returned from a quick road trip with my daughter and mom to the Dallas area. Most West Texans know this to be a regular sojourn for a variety of reasons. I’m sure five hours seems like a lot for people outside Texas, but for us, five hours means better shopping, way better food, visits with friends and touching base with family. In this case, we got to spend some time with my sister and her family (cousin time being the major highlight for my kiddo), and I had the pleasure of a long lunch over wine on a beautiful patio with my best friend. Add to that some fabulous meals and loads of belly laughs with my mama, and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent way to start spring break.

The need to visit DFW every so often means road trips are an inescapable part of my life…even though I much prefer my travel with a side of jetlag! A big part of my job is helping my clients determine if a road trip should be part of their Europe trip. The following make up my personal litmus test as to whether a rental car should be part of your jetlag plan:

  1. Do you truly feel comfortable driving in a foreign country…with signs in a different language…possibly on the opposite side of the road? This seems obvious, but it’s worth thinking through.
  2. Will you be commuting between major sites and staying in the city? If so, you don’t need a car. If you’re only going to be in major cities, you expressly should not get a car. I can assure you, you don’t need a car in Paris and you don’t want to attempt parking or driving in Rome. Just. No.
  3. Are you staying in the country OR do you plan to see the countryside? If so, you’ll need a car. Sightseeing the countryside of Ireland? A car will take you faster than a train, and you can stop whenever you like for those scenic shots. Heading to the Dordogne in France or a hilltop villa in Tuscany? Don’t just rent a car, get a convertible (if you can get your hands on one) and take your sweet time getting lost on those winding roads. It may just be the best part of your trip!

One last point worth mentioning: if you don’t feel comfortable driving, or if you know you’ll be doing a fair amount of drinking (whether by way of vineyards or town pubs), but you still want and need the flexibility of commuting by car, there are several chauffeur options available. Listen up, people: You DO NOT have to take a group tour in a motor coach just to have someone drive you from point A to B!! There are local guides who will drive you around (for up to 8 hours a day usually) wherever you want to go! This is a favorite Jetlag Experience of many of my clients and it is more economical {or valuable} than you might think.

I’m definitely not suggesting that you make every Europe trip into a road trip, but I do want you to consider a few great ones. I will post some inspiring ideas in the next couple of weeks to get you excited. First up, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, will be one I’m designing right now for some clients visiting Ireland!


Consider this ^^ your tease! Please check in later this week for my road trip highlights of the Irish countryside! Until then…

Ciao Chow!