Many motorhome enthusiasts would not think of travelling any other way than in their home from home, but a recent article exploring the advantages of flying when going to Europe or driving over via the multitude of ferries to choose from, gave plenty of food for thought.
Of course for many travellers the first priority is expense so it is a simple case of mathematics… but is the maths that simple? Well the flying bit of the equation should not be too difficult. A taxi to the airport, the price of two tickets, plus fuel tax, plus booking a seat, and a meal, oh and of course the credit card booking fee. It certainly all adds up and there is no doubt that flying is becoming an expensive hobby once more.
So how does the cost of driving over to mainland Europe compare? The first consideration for most motorhome enthusiasts will be the fuel. In the last few years France has tended to be slightly cheaper than the UK for fuel, so calculations should be based on something around 10% cheaper than the average price at your local garage. However, what you save on fuel will be taken away from you in road tolls. The article suggested that travelling the network of tolls on French motorways between Calais and Nice would set you back £185 and that may be more for a giant motorhome. Then insurance comes into the frame. Most motorhome insurance providers will charge a little extra for travelling overseas and the same applies to breakdown insurance. However, if the motorhome owner is the sort of person who makes several overseas trips each year then the cost must be divided between each journey.
And what about the little extras? All motorists travelling in France are now required to have two breathalyser kits in their car, which will have to be bought before leaving the ferry port, and of course spare headlight bulbs, warning triangles, fluorescent jackets and other paraphernalia will have to be included for a fair comparison.
So now we have confused the economics of the equation what about time? Surely this must be a big consideration. There is little doubt that a plane’s speed and directness cannot be challenged by a motorhome. That is of course unless you take into account volcanic dust, fog, floods, strikes and lost luggage. At the end of the day I think it comes down to the person you are. If you are in a hurry and not too concerned about economics then in most cases take the plane. If you have time to smell the roses, then buy a motorhome.