We were as apprehensive about travelling after lockdown as I’m sure many of you were/are… but with no sign of school or childcare on the horizon back home in England, we knew, that as 2 business-owning, working parents, we couldn’t continue for another 2+ months in the same way that the previous 15 weeks had been. So we decided that we’d relocate for the summer, by driving from the UK to Italy. I vlogged the entire journey for you all to see what travelling to Italy after lockdown is really like…
Travelling to Italy after Lockdown
Before you watch the UK to Italy vlog, I want to set the post-lockdown scene for you all. We have been abiding by the rules of lockdown, both working from home and socially distancing, only popping to the local shop when absolutely necessary. Neither of us were exposed to any additional bubbles, we’re not key-workers, so both children have been at home for the duration of lockdown and we hadn’t even stepped foot in a proper supermarket. Like many others, as the restrictions eased, we’d had family/friends into the garden once or twice, at a distance and had walked with friends out in the parks. So when considering travelling to Italy after lockdown, (a country that’s about a month ahead of the UK in coming out of lockdown), we considered carefully the best and safest way for us to travel and to limit the impacts on anyone else when we return. We decided that driving would be the safest and most isolated way to get to Italy.
We’ve driven from Manchester to Tuscany before, so it wasn’t a new concept, but with 2 kids (one nearly 5 and one just turned 2), we knew that 2 days in the car could be a struggle. So we planned a mid-way overnight stop, in a family apartment in France (up a mountain and again, empty, so maintaining out little travel bubble).
Driving from the UK to Italy vlog…
Here’s my driving to Italy vlog – 2 days – how we did it. I also answer questions at the end and round-off the travel experience…
A few things you need to know:
- Travelling to Italy after lockdown isn’t nearly as scary as you might think. Eurotunnel manage the contactless process very well and the only time you really come into contact with someone is at passport control, where they are wearing gloves! We kept a hand sanitiser handy for before and after.
- It’s not the quickest option, but it is the most isolated way of travelling and remaining in your own bubble.
- The drive from West London to the terminal at Folkestone is just under 2 hours on a good day.
- Once you’re in Calais, the drive to Tuscany is about 13 hours, so with children, you will almost certainly need to stop overnight somewhere on the way. We shared the driving and stopped in Flaine (French Alps). It was approximately 8 hours from Calais to Flaine and then about 5.5hrs the next day to Tuscany.
- Service stations are open, with full social-distancing restrictions in place (arrows on the ground, hand sanitisers, masked staff etc.). All had at least a kiosk open for drinks/snacks and then the restaurants/buffet style places were closed.
- Toilets were very clean and one even had special sanitiser for the toilet seats.
- The toll roads in France and Italy are very direct and easy to navigate. The speed limit is usually 80mph (130kph), so well worth the cost.
- The tolls in France and Italy cost us just under 170 euros (£150 ish) in total (with the most expensive being the Mont Blanc tunnel that takes you from France into Italy, which was just under 48 euros).
- Our diesel cost us approx. £210 to get down here.
- We booked flexiplus tickets on the Eurotunnel, which were more expensive than the regular fixed-time crossing. It’s just over double the price BUT we thought it was worth every penny a) because we didn’t know what travel would be like after lockdown, b) we didn’t want to worry about not being able to stop with the kids if we needed and therefore missing our crossing, c) equally, if we had a good run and arrived early, we didn’t want to be sitting around in the car unnecessarily. The cost was £250 each way for the 4 of us (you just pay for the vehicle!).
TOTAL APPROX. COST OF DRIVING FROM THE UK TO ITALY WAS: £610 for the 4 of us. So approx. £152pp (this will be the same going back home, so approx £1220 return for 4 people, for 6 weeks). Not bad!
I hope you enjoyed my driving to Italy vlog – you can also catch up on my instagram highlights. I’ll also be documenting the entire 6 weeks over there, so come along.
Like this? You might like some of my other travel posts Why you should be thinking about your next holiday now and Flying with a 3 year old and a baby!