The 8 Week Road Trip in Spain & France Has Started!

Yep as of last Saturday, we hit the road and started our 8 week Road Trip through Spain and Southern France!  If you follow us on social media you can see what we are up to each and every day.  If you don’t then you just need to wait a little for us to have time to write about our experiences.  Keep on reading if you want to have an idea of what we have been doing thus far.
 8 week road trip Spain and France

Planning for our 8 week road trip

Accommodation

Believe it or not, we were so calm with planning this trip that it didn’t even feel like it was an effort.  We plan to stay in apartments along the way, to ensure we have enough space and breathing room.  When we travel for too long and share a quad hotel room, we all just get extra cranky.  Of course we all like a little privacy too.

For the first time ever, I decided to prebook all of our accommodation.  Usually we fly by the seat of our pants and see where the wind would blow us.  This go round, I thought a little structure would help on several levels.

First of all, I won’t spend moments seeking accommodation the night before we need it. Secondly, we all know the plan and there isn’t much argument about where to go or what to do next.  We also have some of our accommodation either sponsored or will be a housesit and those needed to be reserved in advance.  Lastly, we can all just enjoy what we are doing and look forward to the next known location.

On the down side, we don’t have too much flexibility for changing our course.  If the family didn’t do a good job of telling me what they wanted to do or see, in advance, then it won’t likely be happening.

We took a vote on our Wagoners Abroad Facebook page and people want to see where we are staying!  So we will be making a brief video of each place we are staying around Spain and France.  These will be posted to Facebook within a day or two of our arrival.  They will also eventually make it to YouTube and into a post on the blog.

We will be alternating, week-long stays with shorter stays during the 8 week road trip.  Our first week is a full week in one location on Mallorca, the second week is broken up into 3 locations, the third week is all at one place in Galicia and so on.

Activities

I even went the extra mile and preplanned or booked our activities along the way as well.  I want this trip to be easy, for me!  Just so you know, some of our activities will be sponsored by some awesome companies, so we will let you know when we write about them.  We are partnering with CityDiscovery, Trip4Real, Alcudia Sea Trips, Valencia Tourism, EDMKPollensa Kitesurfing School, Water Sports Mallorca, Devour Madrid and more!  We will be kayaking, surfing, food tasting, kitesurfing, windsurfing, SUP (stand up paddle board), shellfishing, double-decker buses and more!

Expenses

Well if you have learned anything about reading Wagoners Abroad, you know that I am a budget kind of girl.  I like to keep track of our expenses and share them with you.  This of course is only for the purposes of helping you plan your own adventure.  When it comes to our sponsored activities and or accommodation, I will make note of that so you can see.

Regions of Spain - Epic Summer Road Trip in Europe

Our little birdie is going to spread his wings a bit

The last week of July, Lars will venture off on his own for a bit.  He will be volunteering with an organization called Diverbo.  It is an English immersion language school, with locations around Spain.  They have programs throughout the year for adults, and in the summer they have a special program just for teens.

They seek native English speakers to volunteer to be at the camp for 1-2 weeks.  They need to enjoy the resort, eat loads of food, do loads of activities and most of all, speak English at all times!  This is so the Spanish people attending can be fully immersed in English.

Lars will be located in the La Rioja region and of course the rest of us won’t be too far away.  It will be strange to be without Lars for the week, but I imagine he will be in his seventh heaven.  I envision him fitting right in, just as if he were back at the YMCA Camp in North Carolina.  From the looks of the events it will be very similar, but with all teens.  Not to worry, Lars does plan to write about his volunteer experience and share it with you.

Lars at Porto de Pollensa, Mallorca

The beginning of our 8 week adventure

Our adventure started on the island of Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands east of Valencia and Barcelona.  Of course this is an island, so driving there can be a bit tricky.  The bulk of our planned road trip is intended to cover Northern Spain.  We have been in Spain for 4 years now and have yet to dip into those regions.  We also wanted to take advantage of a sponsored accommodation opportunity we had in Mallorca, so it was quickly added to our itinerary.

We had 2 options to reach Mallorca, to fly (45 min flight) or to drive to Valencia and take the car ferry over (10 hours).  We decided to fly, but instead of departing from Malaga, we opted to drive to Valencia and just park our car at that airport.  The flights were super cheap, about 65€ each round trip and parking was about 42€ for the week.

So the price was the same for Malaga, but once we are finished with Mallorca, we will be closer to our next destinations.  I also have to admit that we really wanted to spend a few days in Valencia, so we could hook up with our good friends from An Epic Education.  We just adore them all and have met in Malaysia, USA and Spain!

Our drive to Valencia was smooth sailing and we packed carry on for our flight and just left everything else in the car.  Oh yes, packing, let’s talk packing!

Packing for our 8 week tour in Europe

I kid you not, we packed the day before we departed!  How is that for experienced travelers?  We did gather a few toiletry items 2 days in advance, just to see what was missing and what we needed to buy.  Yes, we were packed for our 8 week tour of Europe in about 3 hours total.  You figure, we each packed about 5 pair of shorts, 7 shirts, under garments, toiletries, sandals and sneakers and we were off.

Another first for me, I didn’t help anyone pack.  Everyone was responsible for themselves.  If anything was missing or forgotten, then that is just how it was going to be.  I love this no-stress style of travel, I may need to make this a new trend.  Except while we were in the car, I just couldn’t resist and ran through a verbal checklist with the kids.

What did the kids pack?

Apparently they both felt a need to bring loads of shoes!  Yes shoes!  I think Anya said she has 2 flip-flops, watershoes, sneakers and 2 slip on shoes.  Lars has sneakers, flip-flops, watershoes, and slip on sneakers.  I just think that is so odd and funny.  Oh well, they need to lug them all around and apparently they had room in their carry on luggage, so go for it.

I did pack kitchen type items and non-perishable food for the entire family.  Of course, all of that is sitting in the car at the Valencia airport.  I am not worried about it, as the car is indoors and secure.  It should be interesting as we progress with our 8 week adventure to see what other surprises are in store for us.  I already know that Lars didn’t pack any shampoo, as he asked to borrow mine.  No biggie, as I only brought 1 small travel shampoo for our week in Mallorca.  After that I plan to buy a normal bottle for the family and lug it around.

What are we going to share on our 8 week road trip in Europe?

We plan to post several times a week to the blog and daily on social media, so keep coming back for the latest details!

Okay that is the scoop, so be on the look out for loads of adventures during our 8 week road trip.  Not to worry we will share the good, the bad and the weird with you.  I can’t wait to see some of the places we have scheduled!   Remember to follow us on social media with #waRoadTrip.  You can find daily updates on Wagoners Abroad Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

6 thoughts on “The 8 Week Road Trip in Spain & France Has Started!

  1. My family did a 5 week trip to Europe 5 years ago. It is one of the highlights of our boys’ lives (and ours). We also planned most of it in advance. It took some time but was well worth it later. Enjoy your time and I look forward to following your journey! Happy Blogging~~

  2. Hi Heidi,
    With a road trip, your car gets you back and forth between lodgings and fun locations to visit. On Mallorca, you did not have a car, so I imagine the location of the house you had was important to being able to get to fun locations easily. Do you have any thoughts/tricks/ideas on the trade off between staying at private residence-kind of lodging vs. more centrally located hotels and perhaps more easily obtained day-to-day transportation? Dianne B 😉

    • Yes I do think you need to stay in more central locations if you don’t have transportation. If there is good public transportation that is a bonus. We actually rented a car for the week we were in Mallorca, as we knew our location would be a bit on the remote side. We are certainly car people and love to go off the beaten path. I don’t think we would have been able to cover as much as we did without a car rental. Then we would be limited to organized tours, which are often more costly. That said, there is a bit of freedom by not having to worry about driving in a foreign place and of course getting lost.

      We really love staying in apartments, as it gives us all more space and usually a little more freedom. Often they are less expensive for our family of 4 as well. Oh and of course the topic of food! We love to have a kitchen, so we save money by eating in.

      I always spend way too much time checking all options and see what is the best value for money and what suits our needs. If we are going to be in a locaiton for just 2 days or so, I don’t mind where we stay. If it is more than 3 days, we like to have a kitchen and space.

  3. Just a quick comment on how much I enjoy your blog. It first caught my eye because I also have a daughter named Anya, who is 11. We spent a month in Thailand this summer and enjoyed reading about your time there – especially Chiang Mai. Next summer, we will spend 6 weeks in Germany, France, Spain & Portugal. I’m still building the itinerary and your current road trip blog is really helpful. I also keep a blog but it’s not as detailed and helpful. http://familyineurope.travellerspoint.com/ I’m an elementary music teacher in Eugene, Oregon and we love to use our summers for travel. Thanks again for the inspiration.

    • Oh that is so awesome Andria. What a small world. Well hello to your Anya too! We are thrilled you have found the blog to be of help and there is more coming on our road trip! We are actually on the last 3 days of our 59 days, but the blog is a few weeks behind. It does take loads of time to edit photos, create videos and of course write. So keep a look out as we continue with the stories. We will also be sharing a grand summary post with all of our accommodation, costs and more. Thanks for the comment.

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