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Any thoughts on driving holidays?

(106 Posts)
Polarbear2 Thu 18-Mar-21 16:10:21

Planning ahead. OH treated himself to a convertible sporty car on his retirement. I envisaged nice runs out round the Yorkshire dales etc. He’s announced he wants to drive to the south of France, tour round, then drive back. Stopping off at places for a night or two en route. He’s 68. I’m 63. I’m not sure I’m keen on this plan. I think I’d be bored to death staring out the window for hours on end. I also think we’d find it quite tiring. He has this fantasy of rocking up to lush hotels in his nice car and feeling ... I dunno... 🤷‍♀️ But - I appreciate I could be wrong and it might be nice. He’s said today he might has well not have bought the car which was unfair and I told him so. It wasn’t my choice. I think it’d be lovely to tour around - just not for many hundreds of miles. So, does anyone have experience of touring like this? Am I being pessimistic? I’ve said I’ll go and I’ll make the best of it but I just wondered if you had any advice/experience to share. Thanks.

Polarbear2 Thu 18-Mar-21 16:11:21

Ps we live in Yorkshire so a good 5 hours before we hit the south coast in the UK.

Jaxjacky Thu 18-Mar-21 16:15:12

Will you drive it as well and how much luggage space does it have? Apart from the fact it may be much later this year you are allowed to go, so the weather for a convertible may be less clement.

Polarbear2 Thu 18-Mar-21 16:18:46

No I won’t be allowed to drive, and the luggage space is fairly small. To be fair the weather doesn’t bother me as I’m very fair so driving with the top down in hot sunshine won’t be super comfortable. I’m thinking I’d need a big hat tied on!! 😂. And a white cover for my poor knees. Ohhh I’m a pain I know. He’s a tan merchant unfortunately.

Emily49 Thu 18-Mar-21 16:20:31

Perhaps, once you are able to travel around, you should suggest some shorter journeys in the UK first, to see how that goes. From Yorkshire you could tour around Scotland, or down to the South coast for a week at a time.

We have done this journey (to France) many times with the family over the years, and latterly as a couple - but in campervans or car / tent. Not as glamorous, but great fun!

Hithere Thu 18-Mar-21 16:21:56

"He’s said today he might has well not have bought the car which was unfair and I told him so."

Do you mean he wouldnt have bought the car if this trip was not to happen?

Did you have an input in this car purchase?

I think you need to compromise- make this trip happen making sure you can also enjoy it

Let's not forget covid either, is this trip also possible given the pandemic?

Urmstongran Thu 18-Mar-21 16:30:08

One year, pre-retirement we went to Florida with another couple. We had the most amazing 17 days. We picked up a wonderfully big hire care at Sanford Airport, we had our first night in an hotel pre-booked as we knew we’d be tired!

After that we just set off and followed our noses. Fort Lauderdale I recall was our fist pit stop. Then Miami. On to the Florida Keys which was so gorgeous we stayed 3 nights. Then back up, through the Everglades, on to Naples (so manicured and expensive!), Clearwater Beach and over to the charming cobblestone streets of St. Augustine on the N.E. coast.

We still all reminisce about that road trip now! It was wonderful. There was a lot of driving invoked but that just added to the whole experience and, to be honest gave the holiday a sense of time, distance and perspective.

A photo of Sonbrero beach (my favourite) on the Keys.

I’d say go for it OP. That little posh car deserves a French road trip!

Urmstongran Thu 18-Mar-21 16:33:24

Duh. So excited I forgot to proof read, sorry!
* involved
* Sombrero beach

aggie Thu 18-Mar-21 16:34:50

South of England has gorgeous scenery and posh hotels , and maybe less virus than vaccine phobic France

Polarbear2 Thu 18-Mar-21 16:35:10

hithere. No I didn’t get a say in the car. It’s his money. We’re not married. He never mentioned travelling round France when he bought it. But, that’s ok. I’m cool with that. Re Covid of course we’re not planning for this year. We’re thinking ahead.
emily49 I think that’s a great idea. I’m keen on travelling up over the NYorks moors and going down south too is a great idea. Get us used to doing it and iron out any problems. I’d suggested a camper van as I think that’d be more fun but he wants to drive his car. Am sure it’ll be ok.

Polarbear2 Thu 18-Mar-21 16:37:27

Thanks Urms. That sounds wonderful. I’m suddenly feeling more positive. 👍. I think my hesitation comes from french road trips with kids back in the day. We always arrived frazzled and tired. Maybe it was the kids 🤔😂

Polarbear2 Thu 18-Mar-21 16:39:28

Ps I’m ignoring any Covid comments. It’s not relevant to my question.

GrannySomerset Thu 18-Mar-21 16:39:56

DH bought me a sports car for my 55th birthday, something I thought I had always wanted. But in fact driving with the top down wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as I expected - wind, dust, sunburn - and I was secretly glad when the birth of GD1 provided the excuse to trade it in for something more sensible as you couldn’t fit a baby car seat in a two-seater. So I sympathise, Polarbear, though the climate in the south of France is probably more suited to it than Yorkshire!

Whitewavemark2 Thu 18-Mar-21 16:45:08

Actually if you look at cars in the Mediterranean area in the summer, they drive with windows up and A/C on, unless you are one of those very glamorous jobbies who likes to be seen😃

EllanVannin Thu 18-Mar-21 16:46:17

The travelling and getting there is all part of the holiday----it always was to me anyway.

MissChateline Thu 18-Mar-21 16:47:55

My mid life crisis car was a powerful sporty thing with a roof that came down. It was great to drive but I was terrified of the roof mechanism and very rarely had the confidence to put it down. I soon realised that it was a huge mistake as the boot was so full of the roof when it was down that there was no room for my camping gear. I soon sold the car and bought a Campervan instead. So much more fun.

Grandmafrench Thu 18-Mar-21 16:53:50

Any advice, you say? Mine would be definitely not to do it. From what you say, I can't see that such a trip would suit you in any way and, you say it's not something that you discussed (very much?) before he bought the car.

I feel it actually might do your relationship quite a lot of harm since you seem to be treading on a dream he has. You've said that you don't do well in the sun (so a soft top would be a nightmare), you'd be bored staring out of a window for hours on end, (so not a lot of interest in travelling any distance or touring), and you'd find it tiring and you'd prefer to go for trips in the UK and in Yorkshire. Nothing wrong in that, except it's at cross purposes with what he plans and he sees himself somewhere else in his new toy - he's said already that he may as well have not bought it! Already some disappointment and cross words about the car then? I think you've been very honest in how you feel and speaking about what you clearly don't want. But please think about the advisability of trying to 'make the best' of something that you're really not keen to do - that usually ends with no one having any fun. I'd encourage him to do the trip without you - but with your blessing - and in the meantime go out and about together in your lovely County and enjoy such trips when you're able.

J52 Thu 18-Mar-21 16:54:46

In the past we did a similar trip in DHs sport’s coupe. DH collects old Michelin guides, so armed with a couple of the newer ones we set off. We booked our first night in Reims and then hopped through France using the Michelin guides and just turning up in places to find the hotel for the night. It was far from boring, we kept to the country roads and found many interesting places. Our final destination was across the border to Switzerland. On the return journey we cut across Germany.
We have also driven to the Med, but took a more direct route.
I’d go for it. Currently we have a postponed hotel booking in Arles, but of course can’t get there yet!

MrsJamJam Thu 18-Mar-21 16:59:36

DH and I drove from home here in Devon to Southern Greece to visit a friend who lives there. Admittedly not in a sports car but we had a wonderful time and would happily do it again. It involved more forward planning than you would need just doing France because of prebooking ferries, but whenever we could between those fixed points we just followed our noses. It was 12 years ago, so both in our 60s then and age certainly no barrier. It was the first time we had owned a laptop computer and we managed to cope with looking up hotels for the place we fancied visiting and then booking online or by phone. I could write a book about all our adventures! There is a book called The European Job by Jonathan Booth, a young Australian who did a driving tour with his then girlfriend. Quite a good read to whet your appetite although probably a bit dated now. If your OH wants the roof down, make sure you have a good hat and long sleeved tops to protect you from sunburn. Also make sure you do frequent stops to explore, no point in just rushing from place to place! PM me if you want more information.

suziewoozie Thu 18-Mar-21 17:04:14

Oh yes go for it - I’ve had holidays like this. My preference though is not to do one nighters but have a couple of days per hotel. I’ve done this in France, Spain, New Zealand, Baltic States, Nordic Countries. Excellent restaurants and a swimming pool pretty essential

vampirequeen Thu 18-Mar-21 17:18:45

Suggest that you do a trial run around the UK before you try the South of France. He may find he hates it. You may find you love it.

Polarbear2 Thu 18-Mar-21 17:31:26

Thanks all. Much appreciated 👍

B9exchange Thu 18-Mar-21 17:37:16

I think it sounds a wonderful trip if you plan it well. Decide how long you can bear driving without a stop, and take it from there. Plan lovely lunches and hotels on the way down England and then down through France. Build in site seeing events, local fetes, wine tastings (in the evenings!) and get to know the French countryside. Then repeat at different stops on the way home!

SueDonim Thu 18-Mar-21 17:37:44

My Dh has a sports car. When he got it we made a plan to travel round the coast of the UK, in stages, over time. Various events have prevented us from finishing the trip but so far we’ve done around the top of Scotland, north from Aberdeen (our base) to Ullapool, then Aberdeen, down the east coast, continuing into England, as far as London. We already know the SE of England so we then carried on from Brighton, along the south coast, round the West Country and ending up in Bristol. When were allowed to travel again, that’s where we’ll pick up our trip.

It’s been really enjoyable. We avoided motorways, except for an essential bit here and there, and have loved beetling along quiet roads, stopping in small towns and villages, taking unexpected ferries, visiting old haunts.

I didn’t find it boring at all, there was so much to see. We’ve generally gone in Spring, so not full tourist season, and stayed in whatever place took our fancy. Oh to be able to go out and explore again!

Witzend Thu 18-Mar-21 17:45:50

Hmm, as long as driving isn’t the main part of the holiday....

When I was about 13, my folks thought driving around Scotland would be a nice idea. So I was always sitting in the back with Jackie, or whatever it was, with one or other parent crossly saying, ‘Put that away and look at the beautiful scenery!’
Stuff the beautiful scenery! - I’d have loved to reply, to me it was mindlessly boring.
We’ve driven the garden route in S Africa, finding places to stay as we went, but driving was just the getting from A to B -

I dare say I can blame that Scottish saga, but I have to say that sitting in a car isn’t my idea of a holiday.
Each to their own, though.