Several years ago I started taking trips abroad. Planning the first few trips was pretty stressful, I really had no idea what I was doing. As with most things in life, it's a learning curve.
In these travel articles I write about some of the things I've learned about planning and executing trips. In particular a road trip I recently took across Europe. Now I don't claim to be a travel expert, just someone that's gone through the whole holiday newbie thing.
I’m from the UK and I’m a software developer. If you don't know what that is, lets just say I do complicated things with computers.
I'd never really been a holiday type of person. I was happy to stay at home doing geeky tech things.
And then a couple of years ago I decided to take a trip to Germany. I was contemplating changing jobs. I'd always wondered what it would be like to live and work in Europe, especially somewhere like Germany. A couple of family members were up for a trip so we flew out for a couple of days.
Planning the trip and the journey itself had been really stressful. There were so many unknowns. But Germany was awesome. We had a great time doing all the tourist stuff. And to my surprise, I really enjoyed the whole travelling experience, despite the stress. It was a big eye opener and motivation for me to start taking regular trips abroad.
On one of those trips I was sat on a high speed train, watching picturesque towns and villages fly past, wishing there was an easy way to get to them. I could drive but hadn't owned a car for a long time so I wasn't keen on getting a hire car. But still, I wanted to have the freedom to go wherever I wanted and not be constrained by trains and air-planes. It made me think of a friends stories about the time he took a road trip across Europe.
Some time later I’d decided I was going to change jobs. My friends road trip had been kind of lingering in the back of my mind. It hadn't been practical to do anything like that while working. But if I was going to change jobs then why not take a break from work and go do a road trip?
And that's exactly what I did. Bought a car, got back in to driving, spent a load of time researching and planning and went off on a three week road trip across Europe.
While on the road trip, my brain was kind of buzzing with all the information I'd accumulated during the research and planning. It just seemed like something that needed to be written down before it was forgotten. Perhaps some of it might be useful to others. And that's how I came to write these articles.
My road trip
Most people write about their exciting adventures, the fantastic places they’ve been to, the amazing people they met. I'm not going to write about those things. To be honest, compared to most people's holidays you’d probably find mine pretty boring.
However, just to give you a flavour, I ended up driving 3,000 miles across Europe. The trip started out with a drive down to Dover and a car ferry trip across to Dunkirk in France. Through Belgium to Luxembourg, then south through Eastern France and Switzerland until I got to the Italian coast. Around and back up through Italy, Austria and into Germany. Around Germany and up to Holland, ending up back at Calais for the ferry home.
The travel articles
The articles are aimed at holiday newbies travelling on a limited budget. People who aim to stay in relatively cheap B&Bs and Hotels. There are also some bits on camping and driving. I write from a UK perspective, travelling to Western European destinations.
There was way too much information to fit in to a single article so I've tried to break it down in to different themes across several articles. So far, I've written about how I organised and researched my road trip, some of the decisions I had to make about where to go and accommodation and I've described the journey across on the car ferry. And there are more articles to come!
Find links to the articles at the top of this page.