Freedom to explore
If you value freedom, privacy, spontaneity and a chance to immerse yourself in the culture and ambience of your holiday destination, a self-drive holiday could be for you. Go where you want, when you want and how you want in a vehicle of your choice. Whether you tackle the iconic Route 66 on a hired Harley, cruise the pan-American highway in a souped-up Chevy or decide to take your holiday off-road with a 4×4 adventure, when it comes to self-drive, the possibilities are literally endless. Suitable for individuals, couples, groups of friends, families or even wedding parties (yes, really) a self-drive holiday is the ultimate customised break experience.
Self-drive exploring – fantastic for couples, groups and children
As well as being a great choice for everyone, if you’ve got little children, a self-drive holiday can be a fantastic option. Because you can create your own tailor-made holiday, with a bespoke schedule, you can go at your own pace, working around younger family members. In addition, vehicles are large enough to easily take everything you need for infant care wherever you go. Self-drive also works well for older children, allowing you to plan an itinerary that’s geared to their particular tastes.
Fly-drive or local hire – the US is made for motoring!
Possibly the best way to see a destination, flexibility is absolutely the name of the game when it comes to self-drive. Although fly-drive is a tried and tested combination, particularly for trips across the US or Canada, it’s perfectly possible to fly over then arrange local hire for part or all of your visit when you get there. Some people prefer to use public transport whilst they’re in the big cities (such as San Fran, LA or New York), then take the scenic route by car to their next destination. American roads are generally kept in good condition and the driving culture (America is a big country and taking long trips by road is common) means that there are usually reasonably priced motels and service stations at regular intervals along the main routes. Whether you want to drive through miles of stunning desert to see the Grand Canyon in Arizona, take a gentler journey through the spectacular forests and lakes of the Berkshires in Massachusetts or the Great Smoky Mountains, or have fallen in love with the idea of the Pacific Coast Highway, self-drive is the way to go.
Take your own car for European trips
If you prefer the familiarity of your own car when travelling abroad, Europe is only a short ferry ride away. Offering gorgeous scenery, good roads and an enormous variety of experiences, mainland Europe’s proximity to the UK makes it an ideal self-drive holiday.
Many people simply pick a country and make up their own itinerary as they go along. If you fancy a holiday which has everything, Italy is the place to go. Steeped in history and arguably the cradle of western civilisation, Italy’s Mediterranean climate, superb dining and amazing selection of festivals, fetes and other celebrations make it a wonderful location for a self-drive holiday. Why not start in the north, at Verona or Milan, before heading south to Bologna, on to Rome and then a scenic journey down the stunning western coastline to take in Naples, Pompeii and Catanzaro?
Another country that’s growing in popularity as a self-drive destination is Croatia. With some of the most striking scenery you’ll find anywhere in Europe, Croatia is an intriguing mix of iconic historical buildings and remains, beautiful mountains and lakes (drive through the Paklenica National Park to experience some of the country’s best landscapes) and vibrant, cosmopolitan cities which have a wealth of activities on offer. If you want to explore villages which are off the tourist beat, perhaps staying the night at one of the timeless rustic villas available for rent, self-drive gives you the option to do so. The spontaneity afforded by having your own vehicle means you can fashion your Croatian itinerary exactly as you wish.
Antipodean delights with a self-drive package
If you fancy doing a tour of New Zealand or Australia, there’s no need to stick with a conventional saloon car. A campervan, motorhome or even a sturdy jeep along with some camping equipment could be the perfect way to enjoy some privacy as you immerse yourself in the beauty of these countries. In Australia, the stunning Pacific Highway (Route 1) runs right the way along the south and east coast.
Start or stop where you like, a motorhome gives you the freedom to overnight at beautiful, quiet locations. From the Great Barrier Reef up in the north, down to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in the south, a camper van lets you explore the bush, the rain forest and the coastal plains of this fascinating country.
New Zealand’s south island is absolutely made for self-drive holidays. Widely considered to be the most beautiful of the two islands, the mountains and fjords which typify the area result in stunning scenery that’s a joy to drive through. A fantastic location for wild camping in a camper van, the Lindis Pass, Crown Range Road, Arthur’s Pass and the amazing drive between Blenheim and Kaikoura are some of the driving highlights self-drivers can enjoy.
On the north island, driving enables visitors to swap between the highlights of the island’s cities and the spectacular countryside. Why not fly to Auckland, then pick up your pre-hired vehicle for a journey which takes in sights such as the awe-inspiring Glowworm caves in Waitomo, the Tongariro National Park, Lake Taupo or Hot Water Beach? With a self-drive holiday, you can plot your route to take in your specific interests: whether you’re eager to see more of the geothermal springs and volcanic activity which characterises the island, or want a water sports holiday with plenty of opportunities for scuba diving, surfing or kayaking, when you have a self-drive vehicle you can create your own timetable.
South Africa – a self-drive holiday that’s perfect for the family
If you love wildlife, a self-drive holiday in a 4×4 to South Africa is an unforgettable experience. From the elephants enjoying life in the Addo Elephant National Park through to the cheetahs, gazelles and rhinos you’ll find in the Chobe and Etosha National Parks, driving gives you amazing opportunities to get up close to the unique animals that live on the African continent.
With so many advantages, it’s little wonder that a self-drive holiday is one of the most popular options when it comes to enjoying a truly immersive holiday in the country of your choice. Get in touch to discover more about the self-drive choices we have on offer, as well as take a look at some destinations which are ideal for exploring by car, jeep or motorhome.