Born Again Boarder
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Spicewood, Texas (in the boonies)
Great advice Fred. The disadvantage of short hops (day-to-day) is the constant moving in and out to new accommodations and usual necessity to stay in pricier hotels as AirBNB and VRBO usually prefer longer stays. We did mostly the day-to-day slog down the French and Italian riviera in 2017 and beat ourselves up moving in and out and getting settled and hassling city/village traffic and slower drives, etc. but scenic yes. Plus as you've pointed out you cannot become a "local" and know the place with day stays. OTOH, we did almost all weeklong stays in 2010 with many scenic day trips (most by car, some train) and special long visits to places like the Alhambra or Cordoba, etc. from that base.
We've used various travel models on each of the 4 Euro trips as follows; and knowing your objectives and which mode works for that leg is best: (L-Local, D-Departmental, N-National, A-Autoroute/freeway)
1. Short day-to-day 250km+/- day legs on small scenic roads (L, D and some N) with lots of POI and photo op stops, lots of moving in and out, and mostly hotels.
2. Slightly longer legs, say 350km+ on a mix of roads (D and N) but mostly smaller, stay in a place several days (3-4), do day trips to POI's and scenic drives from that base. This was like much of the 2011 trip and some of the 2017 trip.
3. Longer legs yet - say 500km+ on a mix or roads (N and some A's), stay a week+/- especially in more interesting places (larger interesting cities or lots of local POI's), or for a mid-trip break, do scenic day-trips from that base; the disadvantage in a bigger city is getting out and in for day trips and parking. This was the 2010 trip model almost exclusively.
4. Hump legs, 500km++ to 1000km legs just to get someplace quickly if you have limited time, using mostly boring and expensive "peage" Autoroute freways depending on the country, these will beat you up in an old car. I knew up front that the 3 hump days to get to southern Portugal would thrash us and they did, but we did not have 2-3x the time to get there and back and we had already seen a lot along those routes (after 30+ Euro trips). So perhaps flying to and just renting in Portugal (and forgoing some friend/family visits) might have been better for THIS trip.
Guys that are not retired like me or semiretired like you just don't have enough time for long leisurely trips. Plus the cost/week continues to go (the meter is runing).
In fact, each of these modes will beat you up in an old car for various reasons: heat, inclement weather (wind/rain), city/village traffic, accidents/construction/diversions, holiday traffic (watch this!), tourist traffic, tractors, scooters, bikes and pedestrians, buses, trucks, and vibration and road noise.
One thing I failed to list in the "navigation" planning formula up above (to be added) was all the pre-research you do up front in books (I like the DK series) and on-line to figure out what you want to see and do, and that dictates the route and "scenic" day trips and ultmately trip and stay duration.
PS: we had a small two-tray icemaker in the last stop in Porto and made ice like crazy people and left a large bowl in the freezer. I hope the next tenant appreciates it. And I hope they fixed the WiFi.
Last edited by Anfanuts; 05-20-2019 at 02:58 PM.