Holidaying in cars – will this resurgence continue?

Torbay Weekly

Before mass air travel made it affordable to fly to your holiday destination, the only way to take a holiday was to drive.

For those in the South East, travel to France was easy and there was a choice of ports to minimise the length of your journey and allow you to find new places of interest for you and the family.

Distance for some was no problem and many UK families travelled to Spain and Portugal and experienced new and different cultures, especially eating local dishes which have now become available at home.

The concern for most was driving 'on the wrong side of the road' particularly in remote spots with no dual carriageways or motorways, but there were many reminders and it was usually mum who made sure dad set out and then directed him with the aid of a map to the destination.

No sat-nav or sophisticated gadgets in those days!

This was also a cheaper way to travel as the whole family would be crammed into the car and every space utilised to the full to last the complete trip.

For some, camper vans allowed even more choice and space and Europe was way ahead in terms of campsites with brilliant facilities.

A lot of great fun and education was enjoyed by all even if on occasions dreaming up new games to keep the children happy became a real challenge.

My wife and I, along with most of the country, had not ventured very far during the pandemic and as it was our wedding anniversary I decided to try and find a short break with the least amount of hassle and feeling of safety in the current situation.

My first choice was Cornwall but everything was fully booked and I remembered visiting Jersey in my younger days so arranged a car ferry from Poole as well as a pleasant hotel.

Our new Mustang Mach E would give me the opportunity to find out not only what range was available but how easy it would be to recharge with minimal inconvenience.

I was very pleased to discover there are many charging points and as it is a small island, there was never a concern we would run out.

Jersey also has a speed limit of 40mph and there are very few dual carriageways so there is more tolerance for pedestrians and cyclists.

Residents and visitors seemed to mix very well and the hospitality and friendliness was much like holidaying in Devon and Cornwall.

There was much interest in our car and this trip has certainly given me the confidence to attempt more driving holidays in an electric car in the future.

With Brittany Ferries going to France and Spain from Plymouth, it is easy and of course, in return, there are many Europeans arriving for holidays in our area.

Technology ensures we know where the nearest charging stations are and, with new greater range batteries, it is easier and cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel as well as improving the planet’s quality of air.

Although I am sure there will be alternatives to the combustion engine the advance of battery driven cars is on its way.

Look out for more choices and maybe you can enjoy your own break on the open road and indulge in new adventures with your loved one or the whole family.

Stay safe and keep smiling. I look forward to next week.