26 days, 4,050 miles and 8 countries. All with our toddler in the back seats.
It’s not something we ever really thought about before, travelling in our own car I mean. But I must say it definitely was a cheaper way of seeing so many incredible places – all at once!
It took a lot less planning than we initially thought. We knew the places we wanted to go and the order that we wanted to visit them in but, apart from that we were real travellers just booking our next stay the night before. Risky but so much fun!
We started our family road trip from our home town Stockton-on-Tees and drove straight down to Folkstone where we were catching the Euro Tunnel to Calais, France the next day. We knew we would need a break after the 6 hour drive as we could not possibly handle another 12 and a half hours on top of that without any sleep. The Euro tunnel takes 1 hour and then it takes 11 hours 30 from Calais to Geneva, Switzerland. So we did, we stopped in Folkstone for the night in a standard Premier Inn. Decent price, clean and friendly! Just what we needed at the beginning of our road trip.
We had some lovely grub at the beefeater not far from the hotel but apart from that we had an early night because we knew we had a long journey ahead of us the next day. Arriving at the Euro tunnel nice and early the next day was a good idea, it meant that we could grab a nice hot drink which by the way is a needs must before getting on that Euro tunnel. We were slightly delayed so we were sat in our cars a little longer than we should have been.
The Euro tunnel in total roughly took about 1 and a half hours but I was so thankful to finally get of the bloody thing, not good for any one that feels claustrophobic by the way! But we arrived safely in Calais ready for our spontaneous family adventure although not looking forward to 11 and a half hours worth of driving ahead.
We drove through the South of France which had so many beautiful villages and towns that I would love to go back to and visit properly someday! We stayed in Saint-Genis-Pouilly which was a nice enough place to stay. Not somewhere I would particularly recommend if you were staying for a few days as there is very little to do there. But luckily we were only there for the one night using it as a bit of a pit stop really. However, it meant that we got to drive through The Jura Mountains before heading onto Florence, Italy the following day. We even got the see the Mont Blanc- the highest mountain in the Alps.
I can’t go on without mentioning how insanely beautiful it all was. I couldn’t stop taking photographs. Every corner we drove round and every hill we went up, there was me snapping away.
Remembering that we did of course have a toddler with us, we did have to make what felt like 153,049 nappy changes a long the way. I cant remember exactly what we ate during this 12 hours but it was probably every mcdonalds and pizza shop we came across. Our son was very suprisingly well behaved for most of the journey considering it was for what felt like a never ending journey.
But then again, what children don’t love endless amounts of paw patrol and peppa pig. And lets be honest, my son is a mummy’s boy. And that can only mean one thing. He loves sleep. Like really really loves sleep. I didn’t think it was possible for someone to love sleep more than me. So lets be honest and not go on about how easy it was to distract him for 12 hours because luckily for us he found the best distractor of all… sleep.
Back to beautiful Switzerland, I could go on forever about how incredible it was. But, i’ll let you make your own judgements through the photographs we captured along the way.