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3 week European road trip - Family of 6 - any ideas to help me get organised?(12 Posts)
Travelling from Calais down to Southern Europe. 3 centre holiday. First leg to Slovenia where we will stop for the night. We have allowed 24 hours for this leg - leave mid PM, arrive Slovenia mid PM following day. This will include regular stops and few car naps. Don't really want to buy food when travelling through France/Germany/Austria as it's overpriced, DCs don't like it, I'm a vegetarian, but I so want to have enough food in car. Any ideas for non refrigerated, non cooked food that's filling and isn't peanut butter and banana sandwiches?
It will be DH and I plus DCs aged 20, 15, 15 and 7. Car is a 7 seater but compact so am hoping to get all clothing/shoes in roof box so don't want to use suitcases as they take up too much space. Have used vacuum bags on previous trips but things get messy when we get to destination! Any ideas on packing?
We have done this trip a few times before but it always gets stress with the car being full of crap so want to be military style organised this time.
I honestly would stop and get a hot meal somewhere. But otherwise, I don't know. It might have to be sandwiches.
packing cubes? or there's those roll up vacuum backs, I used these on my year out! can you pre cook pasta to eat cold and add ingredients as you go? I'm sure that'll keep for 24 hours? cooler bag its bottles of frozen water to keep things cool and then drink water? less to bring home and cool bag can be used for beach days? or flasks of hot water and pot noodles? or just a small camping stove and tins to heat up?
Food that will travel:
Hard boiled eggs
Baby belle cheese
Roasted vegetables/vegetables in oil packed in jars or tubs
Aubergine & tomato pate
Pate in tins or jars
Gosh eating sleeping and travelling with 6 of you in a 7 seater (I'd hire a 9 seater) for 24 hours. Sounds awful! Do you have to do it like that?
For food, get a coolbox that you can plug into the car.
We did a shorter trip than you, with 2 adults and 2 children driving from Amsterdam to Basel one day, then Basel to Lake Garda. The first leg was very boring, so accept your DCs will be having a gadget-fest - they won't min, I'm sure. On the second leg, which was more scenic, our two, who were 16 and 14, had a camera each and enjoyed taking photos (through the car windows).
Re the crap in the car (I'm groaning at the memories!): at the age your DCs are, the 3 older ones should be able to manage with minimal crap, and you need to enforce a tidy-up at every toilet or picnic stop.
On other European trips we sometimes went off route into a city and ate at a hypermarket for a reasonably quick, reasonably quick meal, or found chain restaurants on business parks which are often on the edge of cities near motorway junctions.
It may sound hellish and awful but honestly we love it
apart from the year of the vomiting bug , all being in the car together, talking, listening to music, singing terribly, playing i-spy. It's an adventure! This year will be a walk in the park compared with when DS3 was aged 2 - 4!
We try not to stop too much in Germany which is the longest country to get through, find that part really long and boring. So when we stop prefer only for quick picnic, leg stretch. Route is much more scenic after that especially through Croatia/Montenegro.
Can't hire a bigger car for that distance and as will be leaving the EU. Car is reasonably spacious inside. Littlest DC has seat in back (other one taken out) and the rest are full size, separate seats. It's just all the crap we take with us as I am a nightmare with taking too many clothes and getting into a mess with them while we travel.
Food ideas are great thank you. Never thought of freezing water bottles as ice blocks for cooler. Will do that definitely.
Forgot to say we will be having a big, cooked dinner before we leave at 2pm, and will stop for a cooked lunch the next day so it'll only be a dinner, eve snacks and breakfast that we eat in the car/at a rest stop. Luckily there are very cheap, efficient car valets at our destination .
Have you booked somewhere to stay on the first night or are you sleeping in the car?
I love a road trip. Before setting off after stopping for the night we visit the hypermarche and buy lots of baguettes cheese ham crisps drinks etc. We stop for a picnic and a kick about. Breaks up the journey nicely
No Laquila. Eurotunnel is 4pm so we won't have got very far! We will all be spending most of the day before, and until lunchtime (probably not me) the day we leave, in bed with a nap at midnight and another in early hours of morning. DC will sleep in car with blankets. All been done many times before and only for 1 night. Return journey much easier. Makes us appreciate a bed so much more .
We have done it before through the US/Canada too with the older 3 DC when they were much younger. No problem with finding food they would eat there!
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