6 Week European Road Trip – 2013 “The Reality”

We did it!  We took a 6 Week European Road Trip and had a blast. We are now home in Almuñécar, Spain and catching up on laundry and some much-needed rest.  Now we will have time to actually write about all the cool things we did.  I will provide you with a quick summary here and then over the coming weeks we will share some of the highlights of our Summer Road Trip.Summer 2013 Road Trip - Europe

Just a little reminder of what we set out to accomplish:

Wagoners Abroad  Summer Road Trip Europe – 2013 “The Plan”.
We had an open-ended plan and were open to returning home after 2 weeks or extending and just going with the flow.  We mapped out a path and almost stuck to it.  Below you will see what we actually covered.

Road Trip Europe - The Reality With Kids. Read more on WagonersAbroad.com

Wagoners Abroad  Summer Road Trip Europe – 2013 “The Reality”

View Summer 2013 Europe Road Trip in a larger map

Summer Road Trip Europe Summary and Stats

  • Length
    • 43 days exploring Europe
    • For those of you scrambling to do the math, that is 6 weeks and 1 day!
  • Driving
    • We drove  7658 km or 4758 miles
    • (That is almost from NC to Los Angeles and back!).  I have to applaud Alan as he drove 98% of the time!
  • Countries visited
    • Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France and Andorra
      Waterfall in Switzerland
  • Modes of transportation:
    • Our car (Citroen Berlingo – All over the map)
    • Ferry (Barcelona to Rome)
    • City Bus (Venice)
    • Gondola (Austria)
    • Funicular, Gondola and Cog Wheel Train (Switzerland)
    • Train/Metro/Subway (Rome, Toulouse and many of the bigger cities)
    • Feet –  Our tootie footies got a work out!  We walked, hiked, ran and swam.
    • Boat (Lake Garda, Italy)
      Lake Garda Italy - Boat
  • Accommodation
    6 week European Road Trip Accommodation. We share all of the places we stayed during our European Summer road trip and the costs too. Read more on WagonersAbroad.com

    • We stayed in 16 different accommodations around Europe
      • Apartments in 5 different locations
      • Hotels in 4 cities for a total of 6 nights
      • 1 Ferry
      • Mobile Homes at 5 campgrounds
        Camping in Interlaken Switzerland
    • We packed and unpacked a grand total of 32 times! (including our initial pack and final unpack at home).
      Packing and unpacking the car
  • Sickness
    • Zilch, Nada, Nothing.  No one got sick!  Can you believe it?  After all of the millions of people we were exposed to and public places and we all came out with a clean bill of health.  🙂
  • Injuries
    • I was hiking in my sandals and a stick decided it wanted to pierce my skin just at the cuticle of my big toe.  One band-aid and some TLC from Alan and I was right as rain.
  • Odd smells
    • Too many to count while driving along the road.  We attribute most of it to farm animals.  (I am sure some of them came from within the car too, but no one knows why.)
    • Cheese factory (We all had different reactions to this)
    • Crossing the bridge, on the bus, to Venice (Ooooh that was a doozy!)
  • Views while driving
    • Endless rolling hills with sunflowers (Northern Italy, Southern France and Northern Spain).
      Sunflowers Italy
    • The Alps –  (Italian, Austrian, Swiss and French)
      • All of them were “Ooooh…Ahhh” moments
      • Eiger and Mont Blanc were pretty exciting.
      • Glaciers and snow-capped mountains – (Switzerland and France)
    • Quintessential villages and big cities.
  • Arguments – Just a few sibling spats
  • Movies
    • Every Harry Potter movie was watched too many times to count.  The kids would hide under their blankets in the car so there wouldn’t be a glare on their screen.
      Harry Potter in the car
  • Gelato and Ice Cream – too many to count, but if you look at our pictures in Italy, gelato was almost a daily routine.
  • Water time – Lakes, Rivers, Waterfalls and the Sea
  • Laughs – Countless
  • Games 
    • Loads of Solitaire
    • Hundreds of games of Speed
    • Endless rounds of Black Jack
      Camping Lake Garda, Italy
  • Memories – Enough to last our lifetime
  • Experiences
  • Cost of the trip – Priceless!  Actually we share all of our costs with you.  just click on the image below.
    Summer European Road Trip Costs. Read more on WagonersAbroad.com

So you see, in a nutshell we had a blast!  More on our adventures coming soon.

By the way, we love being home too!  We live in such a fantastic town in Spain.  A popular holiday destination and meeting people from all of Europe here as well.  It is like we are on vacation at home!
Our View!


Other Road Trip Info:

39 thoughts on “6 Week European Road Trip – 2013 “The Reality”

  1. Just found your site and so grateful for your hard work! We are just prepping for a our expat adventure in June and Spain is on the shortlist for places to settle and get the kids in school (11-16 when we arrive). I’m sure we’ll be buying some ebooks from you and taking advantage of your going before us. (PS, you may know this but Google is starting penalties for interstital ads, just an FYI from a marketer at large that you may need to switch to sidebar to keep your sweet organic rankings–which is how I found you!)

    • Hi Valerie,

      That is wonderful. Sounds like you have a great plan. What part of Spain are you thinking of?

      Thanks for the google tip. I didn’t even know we had interstital ads! Just google ads, I thought. Now I guess I need to go see what that is.

  2. Six weeks is a lot of time to be on a road! I am impressed. We did a similar road trip a year back covering mostly Italy, Austria and Czech R., but it already was too much for 2 weeks that we had. What area did you find the most impressive?

    • Hi Lena, yes it was quite a trip. We of course fell in love with Italy, but the big ah ha was a little town in Austria, named See. It was wonderful. That 6 weeks was just a road test for our bigger adventure, which we just completed. It was 11 months of nomadic travel. We spend a few weeks in Europe, 10 months in Southeast Asia and a few weeks road trip in the USA. We still need to write about so much. It is difficult to fit much into just 2 weeks, as you need a few days either end to just adjust. What did you like the most? Would you plan another?

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  4. So excited for you guys! What an amazing trip. Yes, cheese is stinky. I call Pienza, Italy the Stinky Cheese Town 😛

    • Too funny! When we were in Switzerland I was thinking of another cheese tour, but then decided against it. I figured the rest of the family wouldn’t want to endure more cheese aroma on our road trip.

  5. How incredibly marvelous. From the sunflower fields to the opera in Verona–to so many more things- what an adventure!

  6. Now you’ve got my attention! I need to know how much this cost. We’ll be in Europe from Christmas, maybe we’ll do something similar ( or maybe we’ll head straight back to Asia clutching our wallets). Looks like a great trip, I’m so glad you went to Andorra, I’ve been skiing there a few times, a great little place.

    • It is going to take me a bit to write up the cost part. I do have the exact cost of the entire trip, but just organizing it all into digestible chunks. Also making sure everything is accounted for, that is the tough part. I don’t want one little thing left out. Luckily I kept track along the way, but there are some road tolls that are just processing on the visa that I am double checking.

  7. Wow, I am so jealous as we had just 10 days for our road trip. But I’m also inspired! And I’m happy that none of you got sick, I’m always so worried about that. Actually, I’m more worried the days leading up to the trip. I tried to quarantine my toddler the last few days before we left, LOL.

    • Hey I don’t blame you about the quarantine. When our kids were little I would do the same. We just kept on top of washing our hands and keep wipes in the car too. I would just cringe when someone would cough or sneeze near/on us in the subway or bus. UG! I would think, please don’t let this be the germ that zaps our trip. We made it!

  8. What a fun trip! I love the planning of it, doing it and soo much fun writing all about it. It keeps the trip alive forever.

    • You are so right Marina, it does make it last forever. We have been reliving the experience as we wade through all of the photos and write about all of it.

  9. What a road trip! You guys did amazing and I love this summary post, it is awesome. We start ours 15th September and you have given me some great ideas. Cheers!

    • Thanks Erin! It was great and it is just as great to be home in Spain to enjoy this beautiful place as well. Can’t wait to hear about your trip.

  10. Boy road trips certainly have changed since I was a kid! I sure coulda used some movies back then. In “my time” (sound like an old lady there) I had to make do with books on the road – which ended up making me dizzy.

    But on the other hand I’m also glad you’re back, if we get the chance to snook on down to Almuñécar I’ll finally get to meet you!

    • Oh we would love to meet you!

      Yes, times have changed Serena. The kids had digital books, games and printed worksheets too. Movies won out on the trips over 3 hours.

  11. What an amazing, fabulous road trip! Your family is definitely an inspiration. Glad you had such a great time – and shared your map! 😉

    • Hi Adelina, It was epic for sure. That also happens to the a favorite word for Lars to use this Summer “Epic!”. It takes some planning and loads of free spirit, but it was great.

  12. Wow, that sounds like a road trip. We have fond memories of the Italian, and indeed German, Lakes. Lovely hoilday snaps.

  13. That looks like a fantastic trip and great experience for the kids! Can’t wait to see more detailed posts, especially about Italy!

  14. Wow, you are my hero!! I can only imagine how much planning you did for this trip. I can’t wait to read about all the adventures along the way. Amazing!!

    • Ha! Thanks Crystal. There were countless hours of research and planning, yet not a lot of planning too. We planned the general route and the approximate cost, but “winged it” as we went. We only had the first 9 nights booked for accommodation and the remainder was on the fly. We researched what there was to do in every area planned and alternative routes too. I would say more research goes into these open travel trips than a planned trip, but the experience of doing what we feel at the time was the best. Thanks for reading and commenting and we look forward to hearing more from you. Stay tuned for the upcoming posts.

  15. Looks like quite a trip! I am so jealous of your kids – what an experience. Can’t wait to hear more about the breakdown.

  16. Glad you had a great time. I would love to do a road trip around Europe, I just don’t think I’d be able to stop! There’s so much to see and do. We’re planning on heading that way in the spring and will keep up to date with your costs when you let us know!

    • You bet Andrew. I should have it all together and ready to post in a week or two. We wanted to see it all and will just have to go back, as seeing it all is crazy impossible.

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