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You can expect to see scenery like this if you follow Auto Europe's new Road Trips in Norway itinerary planner. Photo from Visit Norway.

You can expect to see scenery like this if you follow Auto Europe’s new Road Trips in Norway itinerary planner. Photo from Visit Norway.

Several years ago, my son, Grael, and I set out on a driving expedition from Paris to Spain. We had no planned itinerary — just followed our whims for a week — in our Auto Europe rental car, which I had reserved online here in the U.S..

We spent an enjoyable overnight in Toulouse, France, motored through the ravishing Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, continued through the small mountainous nation of Andorra into northern Spain, drove south to Barcelona for a few days, then west to Basque country, and, when it started to rain there, headed north and ended up in Brittany in northwest France, where we ate crepes and walked by the seaside before returning to Paris via Mont St. Michel.

Whew.

While it all worked out, I have to acknowledge that it was more like a Jack Kerouac On the Road production than a vacation (both Grael and I were fans of the book). And I suspect most baby boomer travelers to Europe would probably prefer a bit more structure to their road trips.

So I was glad to hear that Auto Europe, which is the rental car company I always use in Europe, has put out a series of Europe Road Trip Planners for some of the most popular European countries. They include suggestions for the best scenic drives and attractions —  including romantic roads, itineraries that appeal to families, and routes that will take you to both iconic destinations such as the French wine country or lesser-known gems such as northern Italy’s Stelvio Pass.

The flag of Andorra, one of the stops on our road odyssey through France, Spain, and the Pyrenees, best accessed by car.

The flag of Andorra, one of the stops on our road odyssey through France, Spain, and the Pyrenees, best accessed by car.

Countries covered are France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, the United  Kingdom, Germany, and the latest addition, Norway, including classic routes from Oslo to Bergen, the fjords, and an epic Northern Lights Tour. Auto Europe will be producing more Road Trip Planners in the future, so check back often or whenever you get a hankering to explore the Continent by car.

And Auto Europe plans to increase its inventory in key countries to meet the expected high demand this summer, so you can expect to find the type of vehicle you’re looking for at very good rates.

You can access the Europe Road Trip Planners by clicking through to the Auto Europe website here. (Full disclosure: by clicking through from this site and renting a car, clarknorton.com will benefit from a small percentage of the proceeds, helping us to continue producing this blog.Thanks!)

Travel Tip of the Day: Many major highways in Europe are toll roads, so to save money and savor the scenery, look to the back roads and allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy the drive.

 

2 Responses to Ready for a European Road Trip? Try These Planners

  • I remember it well — sometimes that best plan is none at all!

  • It truly depends on you and your traveling companion(s) — but we did have fun driving the length of France in one day in search of sunshine, until we reached the English Channel and could drive no more. And we found ourselves in a beautiful village on the Brittany coast. Great crepes, too. Serendipity.

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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