“That is ridiculous” was my first reaction upon hearing that our friends, instead of simply hopping on a two-hour flight from Heathrow Airport to Geneva and renting a car upon arrival, were instead going to drive from central London to Switzerland for a ski holiday; 12 hours on the road?…“Why would anyone do that? We will never do that.”
And now we do that…all the time. And we love it. In this context, “we love it” describes how I feel and how I think the rest of my family should feel.
Having moved to London over a decade ago, the easy access to Europe has been, and continues to be, just too tempting. Throw in the cost of plane tickets for two adults and three children and driving becomes a more logical option for frequent travelers who like prefer back roads to the beaten path.
I can’t get enough of our European road trip adventures despite the numerous pee break requests, the inevitable vomiting and the incessant whining and complaining; sometimes my kids can be annoying too. Actually, my wife is hesitantly supportive and enthusiastic of our European road trips, and our three sons (ages 8, 3 and 2) if properly bribed, can feign excitement about anything…for at least 7 minutes.
For the last few years we have gone on road trips every chance we get; long haul trips (12 to 20 hours) from London to the Continent and shorter day, overnight or weekend trips within 4 to 8 hour radius of London. Driving Dad and family are constantly on the move. I was told, by less adventurous friends (*yawn), that having one two three kids would be the death knell to our frequent travels. But they weren’t, we just changed our mode of transportation.
Driving to a destination 15 hours away is probably appealing to very few people. Throw in three active kids and that number of people gets even smaller. But all you have to do is sit back and read about our travels. And who knows, maybe you will be tempted to hit the road yourself.
As featured in the Wall Street Journal and on the Wall Street Journal’s Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero