It’s that time of year again, summer road trip time! This year our epic summer road trip in Europe will be for about 8 weeks and cover 5000 km (3000 miles). Remember our 6 week summer road trip in Europe, back in 2013? We covered Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Andorra and a bit of Spain. We had a blast and shared it all with you every step of the way. We are going to be pushing the family harmony boundaries with this one and see if we can do 8 weeks.
I know to some of you that think it should be no sweat, as we just finished a full year traveling in Southeast Asia. The difference is we plan to be moving just about every week on this trip. In Southeast Asia, it was slower travel with bursts of rapid movement. Normally our peace and harmony is maintained for about 5-6 weeks of rapid travel, so this should get interesting. That said, we are keeping our apartment in Spain the entire summer, just in case we want to sprint back to “home” and end the trip early.
Where are we going for this Epic Summer Road Trip in Europe?
Well Spain of course! We plan to spend most of that time covering parts of Spain we haven’t yet explored and a couple of weeks in France too. Actually, we are mainly targeting the northern Spain and the southern France. How fun is that? This will be our 3rd summer where France has been involved in our European road trip. We were in the Alps, Lyon and Toulouse in 2013 and then in Champagne France in 2014.
Our current partially baked plan
If you know anything about us at all, it is that I like to make rough plans and then wing it as we go. This particular road trip should last about 8 weeks and it will kick off with some work for our blog in Mallorca Spain! Yes have been invited to review a rental property in Mallorca, an island due east of Valencia.
Of course we didn’t want to make things to easy on ourselves, so rather than flying to the island from Málaga, we will be driving 5 hours to Valencia and then hopping on a plane from there. I know you are probably wondering, “What the heck are they thinking?!” Well, there is a little bit of logic behind the madness.
We know our car needs to be parked at an airport, so why does it matter which one? Our good friends and a fellow traveling family, An Epic Education, are living in Valencia, so we would love to visit them. Once our week in Mallorca is up, we will hop back to Valencia and spend some time with them. Because this road trip has us heading up north, we already have part of the drive done by “starting” from Valencia! It’s magic I tell you, pure magic.
Why did we decide on a road trip in northern Spain and southern France?
Spain was easy, as of this August it will have been 4 years since we left the USA. We have explored so much of Spain, but mainly from Madrid south, with the addition of Barcelona and Valencia. We’ve been wanting to do the trip up north for a couple of years, but the timing hasn’t worked out in the past. This year we want to explore more of Spain and really get a feel for the full country.
In our secondary school, the kids are required to take French as a foreign language. Since Lars missed his first year of secondary school in Spain, when we returned from southeast Asia, he opted to take a second Spanish language class rather than French. He wasn’t sure if he lost some of his Spanish-speaking skills and just wanted to be sure Spanish was solid. Well as it turned out, his Spanish was just as good as it was when we left the year prior. Needless to say, he will be taking French next school year.
The only problem with that is they will have him right along with the rest of the class. He will jump into the 3rd year of French. Anya will be starting secondary school next fall and she will also begin French, so we wanted to give them a couple of weeks exposure in France. I am not sure if it will help them much, but as parents we can only do our best to provide them with the opportunities.
Because this was our goal, I have been scouring the housesit website waiting for the perfect sit to pounce on. I was being very selective, as I wanted to be sure it was going to be in a relaxing area with not too much sight seeing to be done. I really wanted a more rural setting over a city and well, we wanted a Labrador dog (just a bonus wish list item). Oh and of course it needed to be family friendly.
So one day, poof in comes an email with the latest listing. A house sit in the French Alps, for 8 days (perfect dates), big clean home with loads of outdoor activities, family friendly and a 9 month old chocolate lab! I don’t think we could have written a better sit ourselves. It was like our wish list just produced itself.
It took the family about 2 seconds to decide this was the one we wanted to apply for. I sent an email and within 5 minutes we had a response and within 20 minutes in total we were booked for this perfect housesit! It is just amazing.
** If you are interested in learning more about housesitting, we’ve written all about it. We also have a special code for you to use to get a discount. Click here to read more about housesitting.
Let’s get down to the Summer Road Trip details now.
We will share with you are plan and then we will see what the reality is as we go. We want you to be with us every step of the way, so we plan to share as we go. Of course we will likely have daily posts on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Twitter. We think we may do a little bit of video as we go too, so you better keep an eye on the Wagoners Abroad YouTube as well.
If you aren’t already following us on those channels, hop on it man! Like us, follow us, subscribe, do what you’ve got to do in order to keep up with Wagoners Abroad.
It is tough to “work”, play and share real-time, but we will do our very best. We will also use a special hashtag for you to follow us on social media.
Starting June 25th look for #WARoadTrip.
Our current Summer European Road Trip Itinerary
We will make updates to this map as we go along, so this is a live feed from our maps page. Feel free to book mark this and see what changes.
The purple dot is home and the purple line is our flight to Mallorca.
The green dots on the map are confirmed and we will be in those locations for specific dates. Mallorca and Valencia will be work and sponsored reviews of properties. Rioja will be where Lars is going to Volunteer for Diverbo – Pueblo Ingles (summer camp for teens to learn English). We will share more about that later. Of course we will have the housesit in the French Alps.
The yellow dots are the “somewhere around here” locations. We don’t have accommodation booked, but we know we want to be around there somewhere.
The red dots are “if we feel like it” locations. It could be that after the housesit, we will want to make our way back home. If we have a little extra charge in our batteries and family harmony, then we will continue down to the coast and take a couple of weeks to return to Costa Tropical.
Road Trip in Europe: As of June 25, Wagoners Abroad will tour 2 countries and more than 10 cities in about 8 weeks. We should cover about 5000 kilometers (3000 miles) plus a flight to the Balearic Islands.
The goal: to have an epic road trip in Europe and share amazing moments with all of you along the way. Wagoners Abroad will be passing through much of Spain and parts of France.
Check out our plans!
This is where we plan to be for our road trip in Europe. It will be fun to see what reality will be.
- June in Spain: Mallorca (Balearic Islands)
- July in Spain: Valencia > Madrid/Castile Leon > Galicia > Asturias/Cantabria > Rioja /Basque/Navarre
- August in France: Bordeaux, Alps (housesit), Montpellier
- August in Spain: Girona (Catalonia), then probably a bee line and long drive home to Almuñécar.
This is what we plan to share during and following our summer road trip in Europe:
- The good, the bad, the ugly!
- Scenery, nature, the real deal.
- Activities, Adventures, Anything.
- Accommodation, Costs, Routes
- You name it, you will likely get it.
We originally planned to kick off the entire summer trip with an overnight in Las Alpujarras for the Lanjarón water fight! (Fiesta del Agua y del Jamón). This occurs every year on the night of June 23/24 at midnight. We have gone 2 times and loved it and celebrated another time on the beach with bonfires. This year we have big plans on our plate and we need to be in Mallorca on the 25th, so it is probably too much to add a midnight to 5am party on our agenda the night before we drive to Valencia.
The cool thing is we can just go with the flow and do what feels right. School is out on June 22 and doesn’t start back up until September 12th or so. The summer is all ours to do as we please and we are going to take full advantage of that. We created this life of ours, so we could have the freedom to do this very thing and create a well-rounded foundation and magical memories with our kids.
Are you planning a road trip in Europe? If so, these resources may help you!
Road Trip Planning Tools & Games
- 11 Tips and Tools For The Road Trip Planner
- Are we there yet? 5 No-Prep Travel Games for your Family Road Trip!
Wagoners Abroad Road Trip Itineraries
- 1 Week Road Trip in Morocco – Marrakech and Essaouira
- 6 Week European Trip Plan – 2013 Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain
- 6 Week Summer Trip Europe – 2013 “The Reality” Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain
- 1 week in Thailand – Chiang Mai to Myanmar Border
- Plans for 10 Months in Southeast Asia – Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore
We share our Road Trip Costs
- 6 week European Road Trip Costs
- Costs for our 3 1/2 week Road Trip through Europe – France, Belgium and Netherlands
- Southeast Asia Nomadic Trip Costs
There are also many organized tours for you to enjoy from being active on walking or biking tour, to enjoying a food or wine tour. There is so much to do and so many great offers for you.
If we are passing through your area, let us know!
We have helped 100’s of families and people move to Spain, so I am sure you are out there. We will do our best to stop for a coffee or even a quick hello and a photo. Heck maybe you need us to housesit for you, while you are away.
Do you have any recommendations for places we should visit or not miss along the way? Go ahead and leave your thoughts in the comments. If we make it to a place you suggested, we will gladly take a photo and let you know!