Take the High Road During Travels
It’s always easy to take a road trip or book a flight to a destination - but maybe consider now mixing and matching your travels. I’ve done this many times, and it’s brilliant.
Sitting on a plane or in a car can be really boring sometimes. If I got $1 for every time I’ve perched myself on a seat for 12 hours on a long haul flight or flattened my rear cemented into a car seat, I’d be able to buy a lifetime’s supply of chocolate with the proceeds. I kid you not.
The idea seems great about taking that amazing cross country or state road trip, plotting attractions to see along the way (largest rubber band always comes to mind, along with biggest thermometer). I prefer to always fly direct to the country when I’m planning a long haul, instead of US layovers, just in case flights are delayed or I’ve realized I’ve got on the wrong flight (I’ve had 5 near misses, sad yet true, including lining up to the bathroom instead of the check in counter).
So a few years ago when I was invited to a friend’s wedding anniversary in Ibiza, to stay at a fantastic top tier villa, I jumped at the chance. I was working in London at the time so the flight was no big deal. When another friend suggested we drive back from Ibiza at the end of the trip, I nearly did a cartwheel. YES!
The vacation in Ibiza was incredible, we hopped from cool bar to cool restaurant to hip club with hipper people but instead of the journey ending at the airport, my pal and I got into his car and headed for the ferry. We arrived in Barcelona the next morning, had a quick disco morning nap and then set up driving north to England.
This made the trip even more fun as the final phase of the vacation was now just starting. We zipped through Barcelona, drove through Sabadell (Spain) and over the border to Perpignan (France). The next stops through France were Toulouse, Limoges, Orleans and going against the tourist grain, we bypassed Paris and headed to Champagne for…champagne (see image below, of Old Square). It’s an incredibly small yet pretty city and it feels as exciting as having a manhattan cocktail in Manhattan, yet in France, surrounded by…the French. The main square in Champagne has a bundle of cute bistros and we bumped into new friends we’d met in Ibiza, which added to the bizarre spontaneity of the trip.
The final au revoir was driving onto the Eurotunnel at Calais. For some reason, I wound up my window in our car cabin. My friend reminded me that nope, water won’t get in our car and again nope, we won’t see Nemo swimming around us on the Eurotunnel. He also assured me that the car doesn’t float on the English Channel and swim north to Folkestone, hoping the wind is blowing in the right direction. I knew that! I was just testing him to make sure he was aware.
The Eurotunnel trip felt really quick and before we knew it, we were back in England to the drizzle, rain, and waiting for cows and sheep to cross the road. Our final major stop off was in Maidstone before we reached manic London.
Within the next 3 weeks, I flew to Chicago and back to London, San Francisco, and again back to London, and two more flights to Spain on business. But that drive from Ibiza, well, that was a trip in itself. I highly recommend you conquer and divide your travels to both flight and car, so you can break up the momentum and really enjoy your trip. And hey, maybe you’ll get to see a Nemo. One day…
Heddi Cundle is the Social Butterfly Travel Editor for Wandering Educators, and runs myTab.co,
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