Design a Tour For a Newbie

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Jim, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Speaking to people at Motorhome shows on the Fun stand I am amazed at how many motorhome owners have never travelled to the continent, I know that there is a lifetime of exploring to be had in the UK but a trip to France or beyond really is a must, for me at least.

    The main reason that many do not cross the water is that they are afraid, when pressed, its nothing in particular that scares them its just the thought of travelling in a foreign country scares them a bit, not speaking the lingo, driving on the wrong side etc.

    So I have been thinking, maybe we could do a bit of hand holding and list some of the tours we have made on the continent, or maybe we could design a couple of simple tours just for newbies, starting them at marine parade Dover and giving them a weeks tour in France or similar, where to go, what to see where to camp and park etc.

    I know that many like me just turn right out of Calais, but I am sure that a written itinerary might encourage a newbie to give it a go.

    If anyone wants to list a tour they have done or design one, list it here and I will get it put up where newbies can see it.

    Thanks in anticipation
    :thumb:
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Rediculous, we must put a stop to this.

    When we bought our first MH 18 months ago, first we did a 1000 mile loop of Scotland. Then I thought "so what ferry problems could we have".

    So, cheap return Dover/Calais, a few nights in the Bois de Boulogne.

    Camp site is fine, decent food, bus to nearest Metro.

    Easy. Almost traffic free from Calais to Paris. Paris a bit difficult due to one way system near the campsite.

    Easy, except for the Metro, probably the only EU train system with no aids for visitors.

    We must do it again, once we get 2 euros to the pound.
     
  3. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    For some of us, the reason we have not toured the continent is cost, including the cost of taking or leaving pets behind, passports are now a hell of a price and fuel cost has risen, exchange rate fallen, nowt to do with being scared, we wild camp everywhere in the UK and would do the same in France if we went, but as we tend to keep away from other people when travelling how is it different to a thousand places in the UK.
    Cost is the limiting factor, not fear.
     
  4. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hi Roger, your not scared then?:BigGrin:

    I know there are lots of reasons why people do not want to venture over the water. I just have a hunch that some would love to go if a few of the uncertainties were ironed out for them.

    Roger Maybe you could design a wild-camping tour of the west country for those that have never tried it:Smile:
     
  5. Tandy

    Tandy Funster

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    Great idea Jim :Wink:
    We are hoping to take our first trip over to france this summer and it is funny the things you think about.

    Is it best to stay the night in england and get up nice and early for the crossing that way you have plenty of time to get to you campsite?
    OR cross in the evening and drive through the night?

    Where's the best place to stay for the first night? I like to make my arrangements on the fly when I travel, but it's always nice to have that first night sorted.

    Is it better for us to catch a ferry from a port near to home, so saving on petrol, but costing more to cross (we live in Cardiff)? or use our tesco vouchers and get the eurotunnel?

    I'd love to get peoples tips for a first euro trip, so THANK YOU JIM :thumb: for a great idea :BigGrin:

    In the end it's all one great adventure and I'm sure we will make some mistakes which will turn into great adventurers :Wink:

    Andy
     
  6. dusty239

    dusty239 Deleted User

    dusty239

    i think it would be good if we could get more info for first timers , as for myself eny info would be a great help:thumb:
     
  7. peter H

    peter H Funster Life Member

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    If we're starting a convoy count me in

    Peter
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    apologies for highjacking the thread,

    if we get the Northsea ferries from hull to zeebrugee (we're in scarborough) its the around £500 return and a 100mile round trip + £20 fuel to hull.
    if we drive to dover its a 600 miles round trip and about £120 in fuel +£120 ferry return.

    no points for quessing which port we use.:thumb:
     
  9. highwayman

    highwayman Funster Life Member

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    [QUOTE=peter H If we're starting a convoy count me in

    Peter

    Mercy, Sakes alive looks like we got-us a !!!!! :Rofl1: :Rofl1:
    NOW look what you've started :Rofl1:


    Regards....nige
     
  10. robrobc

    robrobc Read Only Funster

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    Quote

    Is it better for us to catch a ferry from a port near to home, so saving on petrol, but costing more to cross (we live in Cardiff)? or use our tesco vouchers and get the eurotunnel?

    I'd love to get peoples tips for a first euro trip, so THANK YOU JIM :thumb: for a great idea :BigGrin:

    In the end it's all one great adventure and I'm sure we will make some mistakes which will turn into great adventurers :Wink:

    Andy



    Having done both Ferries and the Tunnel I would take the tunnel in preference as I can stay in the vehicle with our dogs.

    We plan our trips round the continent with the following

    1. Alan Rodgers Site Guides
    2. A large scale Country map for plotting distances between sites
    3. Google earth so you can have a look at the sites and surrounding areas.

    I do not think that there is a hard and fast guide as to where you should go but it is possible to plan out some great trips perhaps with an emphasis on a favourite pastime or activity. (my faves are Golf and Wine)

    I hope that helps

    Rob
     
  11. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    Some people are frightened of the unknown, others regard it as a challenge, it would be nice if those with no experience of driving abroard could have their hands held until they felt confident enough to go it alone.
    I think that it must be harder now than it was when I first drove abroard, (I was only 18 so I think that would have made it easier)
    Nigel
     
  12. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Brilliant idea,, I think a few seasoned continental tourers/travellers could pick up a few tips. :thumb:

    I for one. Done a lot of continental travelling, but could still learn more. :Smile:
     
  13. Frankia

    Frankia Read Only Funster

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    We do most of our motorhoming abroad and rarely travel in the UK. Why? - because we are more accepted over there than at home. From Caravan clubs who think that a motorhome, over the size of mini, is a converted bus inhabited by gypsies to the abscence of good and welcoming free camping spots.

    The problem with designing an itinerary for a newbie is that you don't know what their interests may be. We have escorted many others to various countries in Europe and basically you can not please all of the people all of the time. For us we enjoy visiting Germany and seeing all of the folk festivals (wine fests) and seeing all of the scenery (mainly rural but we do like cities like Berlin and Dresden). Being German speakers we also like to meet as many German people as possible. What we don't do is visit all of the 2nd world war sites which seems to be a must for some others.

    We meet many Germans who say to us that they would love to visit the Uk but they are frightened to drive on the "wrong" side of the road or the UK is too expensive. (with the state of the £1 now they wont have that excuse).

    One tip I would give to anyone who is concerned about driving on the "wrong" side is don't worry about it but for the 1st few miles have your near side mirror (continental near side) angled slightly downwards so that you can keep an eye on just how far you are away from the kerb. It is natural to be near the middle of the road for the driver and you would be surprised just how far away from the kerb some newbies get before they realise how scared their passenger has become.:Eeek:
     
  14. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    Cool!:Cool:

    This could be the road song (you know what's coming, don't you :Rofl1:
    [ame=http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=N-FZZ7ye7h8]YouTube - Convoy ( GB )[/ame]


    John:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  15. dewaltman

    dewaltman

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    this is an excellent idea if anyone would be prepared to post the itinery of trips they have done previously with the names of campsites aires etc where they have stopped and if possible the reasons why they stopped where they did and for how long and approx mileage between sites I am sure that a lot of us foreign touring novices would appreciatte this and would then help us plan journeys maybe using part of their itineries or all , or maybe some of the campsites or aires that they used.
     
  16. carpyone

    carpyone Read Only Funster

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    I'm going on my first continental MH trip in June/July this year and yes we are going in convoy. So far 7 of us are booked on the same shuttle and another eight are traveling by various ferry routes because of location in UK. I've never met any of the group but the leader is experienced. The convoy will consist of caravans as well as motor homes. The journey in France is about 300 miles and then a fixed location for 2 weeks, with trips arranged ad hoc as the group wants. All participants are members of another forum.

    I'm not 'afraid' of continental driving as I have in my younger days towed a caravan every summer for our annual holidays with the wife and children aboard. However as I now have to travel alone i will be missing my navigator and my linguist as my wife was fluent in French.So I would say I was apprehensive rather than frightened.

    I would certainly be interested if any member of this forum suggested a similar trip.
     
  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I think it's an excellent idea, but it would be easier to tailor a trip if we knew some specifics..
    if any 'newbie' who is interested could first post some details.. ?

    Something along these lines would be very helpful...

    1. How long a trip. 7, 14, 21 days etc

    2. What kind of trip..

    a) Touring with several two or three day stop overs
    b) Most of the time spent in one location with only a few stops en route

    3. Interested in

    For example
    a) Beach
    b) Mountains
    c) Cities
    d) War graves.. etc etc

    4) How far .. trip mileage

    a) Less than 500ml
    b) Less than 1,000ml
    c) don't matter


    5) Preferred Channel Crossing.


    Armed with this info someone on the forum will have the ideal trip... :Smile:
     
  18. tyrangie1

    tyrangie1 Read Only Funster

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    Great Idea

    Great Idea Jim
    We are planning our first trip abroad in Sept (ish):Eeek:, going from Portsmouth and spending around six months in a warmer climate:BigGrin:. Although being really excited I must admit we are also very apprehensive and can probably say that I am even a bit scared :Eek!:even though my other half (Ty) assures me everything will be fine:thumb:. For our first trip we thought we would go to Bilbao and from there we have made no decisions although it will be in Spain, time is not a problem and we will decide nearer the time exactly where we are going to stay:Smile:. We check here everyday and through the forums and new posts we have learned a lot from all the members, which i would like to thank them all and yourself for all the valuable information. :thanks: Keep up the good work:thumb: :beer:
     
  19. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    The continent???? :Eek!::Eek!: Forget the continent.......how many are actually used?

    I know of many which venture out of the driveway no more than a couple of times a year!
     
  20. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    True.

    I've driven in europe many times, and often used to drive from UK to Switzerland, a journey of 850 miles which i once drove in one day, though i wouldn't do it now. Language can sometimes prove a problem in certain countries (not Switzerland), but driving solo is a bigger challenge in that you are totally on your own and have sole responsibility if anything goes wrong. Pre-Satnav, finding yourself hopelessly lost with just a map and sense of direction to go on isn't much fun.

    Last year i toured an extensive route through eastern Germany, Czech and Poland to look at 2nd world war sites which interest me.

    This year i'm hoping to see more and go further along the Baltic coast, through Poland and on up to Latvia and Lithuania, then back via Berlin where i visited last year but there are still areas there i need to see.....plus Berlin is a brilliant city to walk around.

    My proposed route for 2009 is still in the planning stage and all i do is list the places i want to go to, write them down, then stick each one into Autoroute and see where they are on the map. After doing that i just 'fine tune' it by moving each place into an order at the same time as taking note of the approx mileages.

    Finally i then do a print out of place names only of the complete route.
     
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