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Family Touring Holiday Guide


About Touring Holidays - Holiday Companies
Family Touring Holidays

A touring holiday is where you move on from place to place during your holiday, moving every night or every few nights. Your mode of transport could be by car, motorhome, bike or foot. You may take your accommodation with you in the form of a tent, caravan or motorhome or you may pre-book accommodation along the route. Either way, a touring holiday is a great adventure with children – moving on most days to a new location with exciting places to visit on the way and once you get there.

Types of Touring Holiday

These are the main modes of transport that you could use for a family touring holiday:

> Car Touring – Car touring is very easy with a family and extremely economical if you take your own tent, trailer tent or caravan.
> Motorhome Touring – Motorhomes or Recreational Vehicles allow you to move from campsite to campsite without having to pitch your tent at every location.
> Cycle Touring - where you ride from place to place every day or every other day. Cycle touring is covered in the About Cycling Holidays section.
> Touring by Foot - where you walk from place to place every day or every other day. Walking tours and treks are covered on the About Walking Holidays section.

This Touring Holiday Guide concentrates on touring by car and motorhome.

Accommodation Options

You can plan a touring holiday around virtually any type of accommodation that you like.


The most flexible and also most economical option is to take your accommodation with you in the form of a tent, trailer tent, caravan or motorhome. You can then pre-book campsites along your chosen route. See our Touring Holiday Companies section for details of pitch reservation services for independent campers.


If you prefer not to take your own accommodation with you but would still like to stay at campsites, then another option is ready-erected tents or mobile homes. These can be pre-booked for the number of nights required at each location along your chosen route. There are a number of holiday companies providing this sort of self-drive holiday at sites across Europe - see our Holiday Park Companies pages.


A further option is to stay at Youth Hostels. The YHA has family rooms available at many hostels and the same is true of hostels across the world. Visit the website to make online reservations at hostels worldwide.

Age Ranges

A touring holiday by car or motorhome is suitable for children of any age. With babies, you will need to avoid the camping in cold weather so stick to the main summer months. Walking and cycling touring holidays are best for children over 8 years of age as younger children may struggle to cover the distances required.

Planning Your Route

Firstly, make sure that you have planned where you are going, work out the distances and how long you expect it to take. If you have booked your touring accommodation through a holiday company then they will usually provide you with relevant road maps and a suggested route. Otherwise make sure that you buy a detailed road map covering your intended route.


There are some excellent websites available to help you plan your journey. Have a look at mappy and viamichelin. Both of these websites provide you with a detailed itinerary of your journey from A to B with distances, driving times and toll costs. They can even help you to plan a route avoiding motorway tolls.


Plan your route to avoid travelling near to large towns and cities at rush hour. Also, identify places of interest along the route for sightseeing stops.

Touring Equipment
> Camping Gear - Make sure that you take camping stoves, pots and pans, water carriers and something to sit on.
> Family Tents - For car camping, you will need a large family tent. These usually have a living area and separate sleeping areas.
> Sleeping Bags - 3-season sleeping bags are fine if you are not planning to camp during colder weather.
Touring Tips
For those car touring in Europe, ensure that you have insured your car to drive in Europe and that you have European Breakdown cover. You may also need an International Driving Permit to drive in certain countries. Pack a European Motoring Kit with warning triangles, spare bulbs, fire extinguishers and headbeam reflectors in your car. These are a legal requirement in many countries.
Eurotunnel is a quick and easy way to cross the channel with your car. Alternatively, cross-channel ferries usually have a soft play area for younger children and games rooms to keep older children amused.
Make sure that you have plenty of stuff for the kids to do in the car to keep them amused on longer stretches of the journey. A good idea for younger children is to pack a travel bag full of surprises for the journey. Fill it with colouring books, pencils, favourite toys and mini scribblers. For older children and teenagers, a portable DVD player is a good way to keep them entertained.
Organise your car. Special seat back holders allow you to stash away all the essentials for the journey. Have plenty of snacks and drinks available too – there is nothing worse than being stuck in a traffic jam at lunchtime.
Most of all enjoy the journey. Look at the scenery as you drive and make regular stops to sightsee, paddle in the river or have lunch.
More Sections in this Guide
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