Hola, bonjour, hello… I know, it’s been a while since I saw you last! But in my defence moving back to the UK was tricky, with one of the contributing factors being the perilous drive through France.
On that note, here’s a few quick tips for road-tripping through France so that you actually make it to your destination. Because let me tell you, sleeping in a Fiat Panda that’s completely full, with two people and a Golden Retriever in the front is a suffocating alternative. Literally.
1. Use the tolls. I mean this! We were on a tight budget and decided to save a few hundred by avoiding them. BIG mistake. It took us twice as long and we got diverted (and lost) on the country roads too many times.
2. Fill up with petrol when you can.There seemed to be a distinct lack of services driving through France, but this could have been down to our no-toll route. Nonetheless, beware just in case!
3. Invest in a SatNav. You’re probably smart and already have one of these. We, on the other hand, decided to brave it with printed off Google Map instructions and a giant map of France. Well, Google Maps never works, and in reality, we should have learnt this lesson from our American road trip…
4. Be aware of driving at night. This is a big one to be aware of considering the lack of street lighting after hours in France. In case you didn’t know, our English cars have their lights pointed the other way to mainland Europe drives (driving on the opposite side of the road and all). This was never much of a problem for me in Spain as I didn’t do much after hours driving, and in truth I didn’t anticipate doing it in France either, but the lack of SatNav meant we were on the road until midnight. Being on a high speed road in France with zero streetlights and your own lights facing the wrong way is pretty darn terrifying!
5. Things will go wrong and you might need to sleep in your car.