Guys & Girls - wanted some help from anyone who has done driving on the continent please.
Myself and the missus are planning our summer hols and after looking at the cost of flights to USA (and remembering the gruelling customs/security on the last trip) we have decided to do Europe this year.
She wants to go to Italy, we're both petrol heads, so more than happy to do an automotive tour of Italy and anything else we find along the way.
I took delivery of a company car last October, so I hit on the idea of driving to the continent - something I've never done before, but I'm more than happy to do, with the added benefit, that I don't need to pay anything extra for insurance/breakdown cover, worry about servicing or tyres etc - just put petrol in the vectra. Also, the more miles I do, the quicker I get another Vectra!
I've been saving up Tesco's clubcard points and have a handy number of Deals vouchers. Looking at these, I can exchange £50 of tesco vouchers for a £199 Eurotunnel flexipass, which seems like a cracking deal. Having never used the Eurotunnel (or ferries) before, does anyone have any advice, or tips on booking etc to offer??
I also stay in hotels a lot with work paying, so have been collecting Holiday Inn Priority club points, so can use these for free nights on the trip where there is a suitable hotel near where we want to be.
Itinerary, we are playing with at the moment is:
Leicester to Saxony (East Germany) for MotoGP at Sachsenring. Looking at tickets online - start/finish grandstand weekend ticket for 106euros. (F1 at Hockheim was an option but still ridiculously expensive).
Then Saxony to Bologna Italy, via Stelvio Pass in Switzerland, and possibly Porsche museum in Stuttgart. Anybody been to any of the German motor attractions?? tips??
Whilst in Bologna - visits to Galleria Ferrari in Maranello, Lamborghini Museum in Sant Agata and factory tour and Ducati factory tour (which is free according to their website!!) Anyone been to these - tips/advice??
Er'in doors also wants to go to Florence for some culture.
Then back via Lake Como, Mont Blanc tunnel to Geneva, because we would both like to go to the CERN visitor centre and see what all this fuss is about the LHC.
That makes about 3000km spread over 2wks or so. It seems alot, but manageable. Any thoughts/advice here??
We have previous for trips like this, as we spent our honeymoon on a roadtrip from San Francisco to Las Vegas, taking in MotoGP at Laguna Seca and touring via Death Valley (55deg C ****** hot!!), Monument valley and Grand Canyon in a Pontiac GrandAm (what a car!!)
Concerns I have are:
1. RHD Vectra on LHD roads.
2. Getting lost - road signs/language etc.
3. Costs of Toll Roads.
4. Any special passes, taxes, customs etc. I need to know? I believe I need a special pass for driving in Switzerland. With the advent of the EU is it open borders, or do you have to flash passport at each crossing France/Germany, Germany/Italy etc. I also believe I need things like warning triangles and hiViz jackets??
Any hints/tips or advice anyone can offer is much appreciated, along with recommendations on places to stay or visit.
Thanks in advance