The world’s best driving holidays

Cross continent trains, open top tour buses, jeep safaris, river cruises… there are some great ways of seeing the world on the move, but for a real sense of freedom and adventure nothing beats driving yourself. Caxton FX looks at some of the best holiday driving experiences out there. The Pacific Coast Highway in the USA encompasses all that is wonderful about California – it’s like 270 miles of Beach Boys songs and television shows featuring beautiful people (although you will be far more preoccupied with the beautiful scenery). The route links two of the western world’s most famous cities – San Francisco and Los Angeles – and en route you can stop at other well known names such as Malibu, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, San Simeon and Carmel. Walk on golden sands, dine on freshly caught seafood and marvel at the mountains, cliffs and of course the glittering expanse of water that is the Pacific Ocean as you go.

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If you want a foreign driving trip that offers the most practical experience, then look no further than Ireland. Everything is in your favour – it’s a compact country so you can cover much of it during your break; they drive on the left; and you can hop over on a ferry and enjoy the comfort of driving your own car around the Emerald Isle.

To talk purely about practicalities is grossly underselling Ireland however. The main draw is the beautiful island itself. Navigate around the narrow winding roads of the countryside, enjoy charming hospitality in colourful villages and towns and have an exciting city break experience in the capital Dublin.

Our drive-on-the-left Irish neighbour isn’t the only land that can be reached by ferry of course. Ever considered Spain? A ferry links Plymouth with the northern city of Santander. From here you can set out to destinations including the hill town of Panes, the ancient village of Santillana del Mar and the port town of Ribadesella.

Make sure you spend time in Santander itself though – El Sardinero beach and the medieval cathedral are among the highlights of this gem.

To ensure that your driving holiday goes seamlessly, make sure your wallet has all the essentials – driving licence… and prepaid currency card. Using a card loaded with your host country’s currency – instead of carrying too many foreign notes – is both safe and convenient. Ideal for handling all those little expenses at roadside diners and service stations as you enjoy your four wheeled adventure.

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