Hello all, this is a long post but please read all the way until the end. It was necessary to include a lot of details.
**I am looking at planning for an extensive but epic Europe road trip some-when later this year. I have yet to finalise plans and details but was wondering if anyone would want to tour with me in my Focus ST and/or join the trip with their own cars in convoy. Details so far as I have planned are to give an idea:
Trip will start in London or surrounding pre-agreed central location in the UK. We will drive through North Europe, stopping off at these locations in order (subject to change):
Brussels -> Amsterdam-> Hamburg -> Copenhagen -> Gothenburg -> Oslo ->Trollstigen -> Kakslauttanen Arctic resort -> Mikkeli -> Helsinki -> Jumbo stay hotel in Stockholm -> Denmark -> Frankfurt -> Nurburg -> return to UK.
The trip shall include all sorts such as visits to the historic Volvo museum in Gothenburg, to waterparks in Brussels, to beautiful mountain drives in Trollstigen. A chance to stay in the Jumbo hotel - a 747 converted into an awesome hostel, to see the northern lights in Finland and will plan a day on the Nurburgring when going through Nurburg. Of course, speeding etc will be at your own risk of a ticket back home or police intervention depending where you are, but parts of the autobahn will let you fully unleash your cars to try out its max speed potential.
The trip will be approx 5,500 miles depending on how much you lap the ring, how long we drive round mountainous roads etc. I have calculated this as closer to a maximum, as a few hundreds of these will be on ferries etc, but it's best to be conservative.
Average fuel costs are estimated based on 30mpg (for cars like my ST), with a conservative high fuel price estimate of £1.26/L (or equivalent) for premium fuel at just under £1050 per car. Of course, depending on your mpg and your number of passengers, that cost is a maximum and will slash dramatically with certain factors. an ST with driver & just 2 passengers based on this cost would be about £333pp. Average flight costs for each trip sector range from £50-350+pp, so this is far more economical in that sense and is for the entire trip. The price I include will also mostly cover the tolls at least somewhat, as your vehicles are likely to cost less than this.
The total trip time will be around 13 - 14 days, it is your responsibility to plan this time around your work etc when the dates are finalised.
Each person pays for their own accommodation and I will find out about dates, times, availability and costs etc. The accommodation will not be off-the-charts. It will be well reviewed, clean, safe and reputable places, but predominantly low cost hostels and hotels. With the exception of one or two nicer resorts.
A few 'rules', as such:
- Must own a Ford vehicle. Yes! Doesn't have to be your ST, you can bring your S-max or 1.6 Mondeo estate or your Fiesta for all we care, modified to the 9s or completely stock. As long as it has enough of poke you can bring whatever you like (a 52ps Fiesta 1.25 Style will be holding us up!).
It just has to be in mechanically sound condition that you believe will make the trip, and no, don't let having a 1.0 Ecoboost or so put you off. I mean if it's poorly maintained or failing. don't want to have to stop the convoy all the time for the same car. The odd issue here or there may develop and being charitable, we'll deal with it no issues.
- I will make a 'to bring' checklist, but ensure you have the capability to carry at least 1 space saver wheel per car. Do not assume you won't get a puncture. Ford has a vast dealer network throughout Europe and you will all be covered for breakdown within Europe if you have your vehicle serviced at a main dealer and if still in warranty, the your vehicle and costs are covered if you experience failure.
- Food and anything else are to be purchased by each individual.
-The convoy is strictly limited to 5 cars, as there will be difficulty containing a large group of cars together on the same ferries, trains etc at crossings and through smaller villages we don't want it to get excessive. The number of passengers is limited to the number of seats per car, but I would advise that at least one of these is left free for comfort reasons and for extra luggage space, depending on the car. **First come, first serve basis**.
Like I said, this is just scratching the surface on the plans. My ST arrives in April and I will have to start putting more plans together to see what's feasible. If enough are interested, I will create a proper event page for questions etc and updates to go up.
One remark is that I ask only for genuinely interested people to respond. Please, though you are all a lovely bunch on this page, no futile responses like 'urgh, would love to go but don't have the money' or 'I get car sick easily and 13 days is too long to be doing a road trip', or 'I wish I could but I'm at my Sister's, step cousin's Goldfish's 2nd birthday' or other useless comments.
Responses please only from people who are used to driving long mileage and will be happy to complete the trip, feel free to car share with others that can share the driving with you or whatever. 5,500 miles is relatively achievable and we will have minimum rest breaks every 2.5-3 hours of driving, with plenty of opportunity to rest, relax and sleep at resorts and hotels/accommodations. Plenty enough walking about and fresh air also from the activities and attractions, too. You are not forced to complete the entire trip. Though preferable, if at any point in a more desperate situation you decide you have had enough then then group will help plan for that person to return home. Though, we would hope to avoid that through committed interest.
One or two certain activities can be missed or sat out on, such as if you don't fancy taking your Galaxy round the Nurburgring (feel free if you want to though!). however, if you plan to miss most of the activities mentioned, please don't commit to going.
You will be traveling with open minded, easy going people and anyone regardless of size, disability, shape, age, race, religion or sexual orientation etc are welcome. It is advised to avoid the trip if you are in ill health, just had a major operation or are unable to walk moderate distances/have basic level of fitness. Those that may be disabled can have previsions made no issues, as long as you will be capable and in-health to enjoy the trip. No abuse, violence or anti-social behavior will be tolerated on the convoy and we plan to be law abiding but to have fun. Anyone who flouts these last rules will be given stern warning and/or ejected from the convoy - not to sound patronising and I trust it won't come to that. Just needed to lay some expectations and boundaries.
Ask away and comment away on thoughts and ideas, from those that are interested! Pictures for attention (and yes these are some of the places in the plan).