Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

Top Tips and Hacks for Road Tripping in Europe

Updated: December 31, 2021
Author: TripsGuard

Road tripping through Europe can be incredibly fun, but it can also be very stressful and challenging if you’re unprepared.

If you’re planning your first European road trip, here are some top tips and hacks to help you make the most of your journey and enjoy every minute of it!

Especially in challenging times, when COVID-19 is around.

Create a plan

Before you head off on your adventure, it’s a good idea to create a detailed plan of all your stops.

Otherwise, you might end up spending more time driving than exploring, which isn’t what road trips are supposed to be about.

Find a travel website or a FB group that puts together an excellent detailed itinerary based on how long you have available.

Make sure you check out their cool list of destinations throughout Europe! It may be helpful if you’re planning your trip.

Have realistic expectations

A road trip through Europe can be a long journey, especially if you’re only renting a car for three weeks.

But one of the most common reasons why people don’t reach their destination is that they don't have realistic expectations about what it takes to get from point A to point B.

Understand how much time you have

The amount of time you have to explore Europe will affect how many destinations you’ll be able to see. With that said, make sure you plan carefully.

Map out a route on a map (or at least be familiar with your destination cities) so that you can cover as much ground as possible without wasting precious hours on transportation or by visiting places that don’t suit your needs or interests.

Decide what to drive

A road trip is a special occasion, so choose your vehicle wisely.

Bigger is not always better: If you’re going to be crammed into a car or van with five or six people, you might want to consider something smaller than an RV. If you’re by yourself, it can be nice to have your own space on a long journey.

Get an itinerary ready

The first thing you’ll want to do is get an itinerary ready. You don’t need to plan every step along your way (in fact, we recommend against it), but at least create a rough draft so you know where you’re going before you leave.

Even more importantly, if something comes up along your trip that would throw a wrench into your plans (your flight gets canceled), then you can at least have an alternative route that can help save some time.

Learn about the different countries you are visiting

It’s easy to fall into tourist traps, especially when you only have a week or two to visit multiple countries. As you begin your research, focus on one country at a time; as you begin planning your itinerary, take cues from your research.

If French is an important language to learn on your trip, figure out which country (France? Belgium?) will allow you to practice it most effectively.

Make sure you take breaks on long drives

To keep your energy levels up on a long drive, try taking some short breaks to stretch or walk around. The longer you stay in one place, like sitting in a car, couch, or office chair, the more tired you’ll get!

So when it comes to making sure you don’t have car fatigue while road tripping through Europe, break up your drive with small stops every couple of hours.

Carry extra cash for toll roads and parking fees

Toll roads are common throughout Europe, but some of them can cost a pretty penny.

Before you hit any toll roads, make sure you’ve brought along enough cash to cover these expenses—and maybe even a little extra for parking fees.

You don’t want to be stuck with an empty tank or wallet when you finally reach your destination!

Find places to park your car overnight

Camping overnight is a great way to save money on hotels. There are plenty of sites along highways where you can park your car off-road, away from traffic.

And if you’re an American citizen, then you have zero fear of prosecution: Police in most European countries don’t care about whether or not your car is parked overnight; as long as it’s not causing an obstruction, they probably won’t bother you.

Use the technology on your phone for navigation, music, etc.

One of our top tips for road tripping is to use technology on your phone. With GPS navigation, a map app like Google Maps, and music loaded onto your phone (or plugged into a car stereo), you’ll have no problems keeping up with life’s everyday tasks while away from home.

This will not only reduce your chances of getting lost but also makes driving more enjoyable by listening to favorite songs or catching up on podcasts.

Don’t forget travel insurance and check for COVID19 restrictions on each country

Make sure you have travel insurance. It might be included in your travel package, but often it isn’t—in which case it’s important to check what kind of cover you have.

For example, some policies don’t cover some countries, which can leave your trip under-insured.

In addition, stay up to date with everything related to travel restrictions, true it is easier because you traveling by car and not flying but still each country has its Covid19 restrictions and updates from the World Health Organization regarding Europe, maybe a certain country currently has a quarantine so it might be better to change your route, or maybe you need to present a negative COVID19 test or Vaccine Proof - simply check.

Stay tuned - we will post on the blog Car Travel Routes in Popular European Countries!

Drive safely!