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would you drive to italy

(17 Posts)
fedupofpoo Wed 16-Oct-13 10:23:51

in winter?with small children?if yes any tips?

YDdraigGoch Wed 16-Oct-13 10:29:44

Yes, we have driven to Italy and S of France many times with small kids, and more recently with teenagers.

How small are the children, what time of year are you going, and have you decided which route you'll take?

My tip would be to do as much of it as you can overnight, or late night and early morning, and share the driving. In car DVDs are a godsend too. We don't normally allow them, but it keeps the kids quiet for ages on European motorways, as do audio tapes.

Frequent stops for running around and toilet, and take lots of food and sweets, partly to alleviate the boredom, and partly because motorway food is just as expensive there as it is here.

Also, if you plan to drive through Switzerland you'll need to pay road tax. Don't wait until you get to the border on the motorway, realise that Switzerland don't use the Euro, and have to pay a fortune in committion to buy some Swiss francs!

If you plan to do an overnight stop Formule 1 hotels are great. Very cheap, and clean, and always situated near a motorway junction.

willyoulistentome Wed 16-Oct-13 10:31:31

Whereabouts in Italy. It's a long old country. We used to drive there in the summer - over the Alps. My parents and three kids under 4. But we were going to the GPs in the Lakes, so North-ish. I still remember the awe we all felt at the views and the scary hairpins bends.

Driving over The Alps might be a bit hairy in the winter... or is there a tunnel nowadays? Not sure.

fedupofpoo Wed 16-Oct-13 10:33:20

the shortest route possible!kids go from 8 months to 6 years old.where do i buy the road tax in advance for switzerland?yes,dvd player is defenetly coming!is driving overnight safe in winter tho?thinking of going around christmas time

YDdraigGoch Wed 16-Oct-13 10:34:12

There are tunnels these days! 20+ mile long tunnels, so I hate them. and they are obvs not spectacular like the Alpine passes, but they do get you there quicker.

If I had time I'd go over the top. If I wanted to get somewhere as quickly as possible, then we'd use the tunnel.

YDdraigGoch Wed 16-Oct-13 10:35:35

The motorways are well used by lorries and cars 24 hours a day so driving overnight should be fine. They are quieter at night though. No idea where to buy the road tax - like I said, we were caught short at the border.

fedupofpoo Wed 16-Oct-13 10:35:37

mmm,i might actually decide to give it a go.aaarghhh!!i must be mad!

Madamecastafiore Wed 16-Oct-13 10:36:16


I'd fly. Drove once and thought it a waste of my life when a plane could get there so much easier.

You may have to invest in snow tyres too or at least chains as is law that they are used in some areas.

fedupofpoo Wed 16-Oct-13 10:37:07

ok will look into the road tax .thanks for your help :-) oh,do we need to carry wheels chains(what you call them) ?where do i find out about eventual laws etc?

fedupofpoo Wed 16-Oct-13 10:38:27

we usually fly.this time prices are high,rules keep getting sillyer(ryanair i'm looking at you)and with check in etc its not that quick.

LIZS Wed 16-Oct-13 10:38:34

The mountain passes would be closed - often between November and May depending on conditions - but I think you could go via Chamonix/Mont Blanc tunnel possibly without passing through CH. You only need the vignette for their motorway system and can buy at the border if you need one. You may need winter tyres and chains depending on where about you go and what it is mandatory to carry. Unless you have a particular reason to go all that way though there are plenty of closer alternatives for skiing etc

fedupofpoo Wed 16-Oct-13 10:41:35

going in north italy,so once we passed switzerland we are basically there

YDdraigGoch Wed 16-Oct-13 10:45:16

Taking your own car means you can take so much more stuff with you, and we always found it much easier with small kids - they need so much "stuff".

Good point about the passes being closed in winter - hadn't thought of that.

Have you investigated putting the car on the train? That's fun. You can travel overnight and have a little bunkbed each.

fedupofpoo Wed 16-Oct-13 10:46:13

no i didnt think about the train!isnt it very expensive tho?

fedupofpoo Wed 16-Oct-13 10:48:02

plus trains always get delayed in winter(as do planes...)

hawths4 Sun 27-Oct-13 12:52:24

the car trains are expensive but save a lot of mileage. If you aren't used to driving long distances at night on unlit motorways the train is a good option. If you look at and some other sites it will calculate the peage costs for the journey so then you can accurately cost the journey and compare with the train. Fuel prices on the French motorways are higher than our fuel prices given the poor exchange rates currently!

Blossomflowers Mon 28-Oct-13 10:09:02

We drove to Italy in 2011 but summer time. We did 2 over night stops( Stayed in Tuscany) but my kids are a lot older. We did enjoy it it but tbh I ma not sure I would do it with a such small kids. Also the wait to get through the tunnel was horrendous. Cost wise when you add up hotels, food petrol and tolls not sure it would be a cheaper option.

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