When your route becomes your destination
Most British people seem to travel abroad by plane and we all know the advantages of jumping on a plane. When I talk to people about travelling to Germany by car, they are often surprised at just how straight forward it is – although it does depend on where in the UK you are travelling from and where in Germany you are travelling to. If you don’t live near a port, it’s a good idea to break your journey and stay somewhere overnight – which of course can be part of the adventure. We are certainly huge fans of breaking our journey whenever it entails driving for more than 7 hours as I personally think it’s hard to concentrate beyond this time. I always enjoy travelling by car and to include a few stops along the way. This way I get to discover something new and for me, it makes the holiday feel that little bit longer.
Lots of pluses when taking the train or ferry
Living fairly close to Folkestone means that I can take advantage of the Eurotunnel and be in Calais in around 35 minutes. Once you drive onto the train, you can take a short break in your car until you arrive in France. My onward journey from Calais to North Rhine-Westphalia is only around 3 and a half hours, traffic permitting. It’s also relatively inexpensive if you are travelling with others, you can take as much luggage as your car will allow as well as your family pet if you so wish and maybe your caravan! I usually pay around £130 – £160 for a return ticket plus £19 each way for a pet. Top tip: Big well in advance as particularly during the school holidays it’s busy and prices go up!
The process is very straight forward. You book your ticket online and once you reach the Eurotunnel terminal; your number plate is recognised and you’ll be able to proceed to the self-check in screens. Once you’ve confirmed your slot, you can then make your way to passport control. If there’s time to kill before your departure, you’ll be directed to the terminal building where you’ll find shops, cafés, restaurants and toilets. During the school holidays, there’s even an entertainment area for children.
On your return journey, you’ll need to go to the pet centre first (before you check in) where they will check your pet’s microchip and passport. Just make sure that your pet’s passport is up-to-date along with all the necessary vaccinations. Having your car with you also makes it easier to explore Germany’s stunning landscape and fascinating cities. My advice is to plan your journey in advance and include some of the scenic routes like the Black Forest High Road (Schwarzwaldhochstraße) or some of the charming routes in Bavaria, which pass through the medieval towns, villages and monasteries hidden in the foothills of the German Alps. If your final destination is in the south of Germany e.g. Bavaria, you could go via France and Switzerland and explore these beautiful countries before crossing the border into Germany there.
Enjoy your journey!
In my video below you can see the journey from the UK (Folkestone) to Germany and I’m showing you where else you can follow me if you are interested in Germany as a holiday destination.
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