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Old 30th June 2012, 21:35   #211
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Longest drive non-stop, only gas, 1000 miles Denver-Chicago. 15 hours.(as you move eastwards, the speed limits decrease :( ) Have done this 3 times. Denver to Las Vegas, 800 miles, have done 4 times again without stop. Chicago to New York couple of times. Lots of 600 miles ones too.
Other wise done San Fransciso to New York, but with break in Denver and Indianapolis.

In India, the longest is from Bengaluru to Chennai (feel so bad :()
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Old 30th June 2012, 21:37   #212
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Longest Drives for me are in 2 categories:

a. Non-stop
b. With Night Halt

a. Non-Stop

1. Mumbai - Rajkot : 790 kms. Left Mumbai at 6 am and reached Rajkot at 6 pm ( in my U-VA)

2. Raipur - Jalgaon : 720 kms. Left Raipur at 7 am and reached Jalgaon at 7:30 am. This was 4 years back when there was no 4-laning.( in my U-VA)

3. Raipur - Hyderabad : 780 kms. Left Raipur at 5 am and reached Hyderabad at 5 pm. (Vista Refresh)

b. With Night Halt

1. Raipur - Mumbai : 1145 kms ( in my U-VA)

2. Mumbai - Somnath: 1000 kms ( in my U-VA)

3. Hyderabad - Chennai: 800 kms (Vista Refresh)
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Old 30th June 2012, 22:02   #213
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Default Re: Longest Drives!

Longest drive in USA (Non stop) - Portland, ME to Chicago - 1800 Km. Non stop in 14 hours.
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Old 1st July 2012, 21:23   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_M View Post
@ Sugam, nice to know you are interested in a roading experience at the Eurozone. Yes, all countries that you have listed belong to the Schengen Area.

As far as I know, you will be on Tolled route in Swiss (Bern, Geneva and Zurich) which is 40 CHF flat valid for upto 1 year and Austria (Vienna) which is 8 Euros for 10 days (you might not need the yearly toll sticker here).

No Tolls at Germay (Munich, Hamburg, Paris, Parague and Berlin). Paris and Copenhagen, I am not sure as I havent tried by car.

Since you are planning Austria too, I strongly recommend you to the Grossglockner Alpine Highway, ityou will have quite an experience driving here!

Good Luck, happy revving at the Schengen Area!
Thanks a ton for your input and suggestion Mister M!
I tried getting directions and calculating distance using google maps. Turns out, this trip would be about 5800 Kms in all.
Google maps recommends 58 hours of driving time in all. So I suppose 3 weeks in all should suffice for the entire trip, including stoppages and sight seeing?

Also, can you please guide me about the tolls on the Euro highways?
Are they collected the way they are done in India, using toll booths or do we need to prepay it somewhere else and get permits?

Would an Indian International drivers licence suffice?

Do rental services like Avis and Europcar normally allow us to hire and drive across Europe?

Thanks!
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Old 1st July 2012, 22:04   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugam

Hey Pranav, I too was thinking of doing a cross Europe road trip.
Starting at Stockholm (Coz I have relatives there) > Copenhagen > Munich > Hamburg > Amsterdam > Brussels > Paris > Bern > Geneva > Zurich > Vienna > Prague > Berlin > Copenhagen > Stockholm.

All of these are covered under the Schenegen visa.

Could you please throw some light on how much time should I take at hand for this trip? And stuff about tolls, other expenses, etc.?
Would be thankful for any kind of input.

Thanks!
One of the main things you will need to contend with is the pickup and drop scenario of the rental car. There will be an out of home location surcharge and that is likely to be quite big. Also, do bear in mind that while most rental companies are easy within the eurozone per se, there will be a lot of fine print so please read it carefully. You will typically find that there are likely to be surcharges for Southern European countries, if the car is rented in Northern Europe and things like that. Worth reading through before committing.

There are also a number of regulations as to where the car can be taken, whether or not it can be taken onto a ferry service, what sort of roads and terrain it can be driven on and so on. As a member of their loyalty program, I find Europcar to be good but I am sure there are many people who will have different recommendations for you. You can even consider thrifty, budget and argus all of whom are great. Thing with Europcar is peace of mind and the fact that they are tied up with Audi so you get some great cars.

Whatever you do, please take out the complete package of Collision Damage, Tyre damage, Peace of Mind, Total damage and all possible waivers. The per day cost may seem quite a lot but it is nothing to what you can become liable for in the event of a problem. Also, would be good to rent a local tomtom while there or use your nokia free map service. That works perfectly well indeed and is fully updated as per my experience. The turn by turn navigation is very good. Be sure, when you are renting, to get a car which has iPod and USB connectivity so you can blast some good music on your road trip! Many car rental vehicles seem to not have this solved for!

Have a wonderful driving holiday! I always enjoy driving holidays abroad and in India and am really happy to see that many more guys like us are doing the same when abroad!
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Old 1st July 2012, 22:56   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugam View Post
Hey Pranav, I too was thinking of doing a cross Europe road trip.
Starting at Stockholm (Coz I have relatives there) > Copenhagen > Munich > Hamburg > Amsterdam > Brussels > Paris > Bern > Geneva > Zurich > Vienna > Prague > Berlin > Copenhagen > Stockholm.

All of these are covered under the Schenegen visa.

Could you please throw some light on how much time should I take at hand for this trip? And stuff about tolls, other expenses, etc.?
Would be thankful for any kind of input.

Thanks!
You're doing well to start it from where you have relatives - they can issue an invitation making the Visa process easier.

About your route - Munich struck me as odd - the rest are a nice loop - but Munich can be fitted easily between Suisse and Austria. Also Paris - Geneva - Bern - Zurich might make more sense but need to check.

I had 8 days for 6 countries (rest of the time was in Germany itself at friend's place) - and it became one big rush instead of a relaxed meandering road trip... but that was what my budget permitted. If you want a road trip experience, it is better to give at least 36-48 hours at each place you land, to ask the locals and explore. That would make yours a 3-4 week trip.

Tolls was already answered above... on pricing, I was on a budget family trip - I managed to do 2 rooms at all the places in <EUR 90 but I was looking for bed and breakfasts in rural areas, to interact with traditional cultures. If you're single you could try HI Hostels at most places to drive the cost down to EUR 20 or so.
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Old 2nd July 2012, 11:35   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugam View Post
Thanks a ton for your input and suggestion Mister M!
I tried getting directions and calculating distance using google maps. Turns out, this trip would be about 5800 Kms in all.
Google maps recommends 58 hours of driving time in all. So I suppose 3 weeks in all should suffice for the entire trip, including stoppages and sight seeing?

Also, can you please guide me about the tolls on the Euro highways?
Are they collected the way they are done in India, using toll booths or do we need to prepay it somewhere else and get permits?

Would an Indian International drivers licence suffice?

Do rental services like Avis and Europcar normally allow us to hire and drive across Europe?

Thanks!
For Europe in my experience, unless you are hitting the speed-limit-free sections of the Autobahn, you need to add a ~15% buffer on top of Google estimated time, to account for slow traffic, etc.

For Switzerland and Austria, tolls are collected at the entrance to the country - make sure you actually go and pay there - get the sticker and put it on your windshield - they don't necessarily mention this pro-actively. In Germany, there are no tolls as far as I know.

Indian International Driver's license is required and sufficient.

I had checked Avis and Sixt - both allow cross-country, intra-Europe drives, with fineprint putting some restrictions on eastern/southern Europe. Make sure you read the entire fine-print. There are heavy charges for one-way and drop off in diff country, but none for round-trip which yours seems to be. I had checked the fine print for these two, but finally went with a local rental agency a friend booked for me. Also, diesel is cheaper in some countries, and same price in some. So overall you can save a bit specifically asking for a diesel car.
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Old 2nd July 2012, 12:15   #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranav4x4 View Post
You're doing well to start it from where you have relatives - they can issue an invitation making the Visa process easier.

About your route - Munich struck me as odd - the rest are a nice loop - but Munich can be fitted easily between Suisse and Austria. Also Paris - Geneva - Bern - Zurich might make more sense but need to check.

I had 8 days for 6 countries (rest of the time was in Germany itself at friend's place) - and it became one big rush instead of a relaxed meandering road trip... but that was what my budget permitted. If you want a road trip experience, it is better to give at least 36-48 hours at each place you land, to ask the locals and explore. That would make yours a 3-4 week trip.

Tolls was already answered above... on pricing, I was on a budget family trip - I managed to do 2 rooms at all the places in <EUR 90 but I was looking for bed and breakfasts in rural areas, to interact with traditional cultures. If you're single you could try HI Hostels at most places to drive the cost down to EUR 20 or so.
Yes Munich indeed is odd. It should be Hamburg instead when I'm on my way from Copenhagen to Amsterdam.
Munich as you correctly pointed out, would be good to go later while travelling from Zurich to Vienna.
And you are correct about the Geneva > Bern > Zurich route. Checked it on google maps again.

I feel it's the journey that is more of a holiday rather than staying put at one place. Still, 48 hours would be really worth it at more 'desirable' destinations.
So I guess I can plan on spending something like 3 weeks on this trip.

Well, I'm single for now so I don't plan to undertake this for a couple of years
till I tie the knot.. By the way, this could qualify as a great surprise honeymoon trip, isn't it?
I mean, what's better to bring two people closer than an adventure of this sorts..
Of course provided both are equally interested in travelling!

Keeping this in mind, I don't think I can cut short on the budget, so I'm presuming that about Rs 250000 should suffice per person.
Hotel bookings are easily available on sites like makemytrip, so that can be taken care of according to plan.

I'm really passionate about such trips and moreover, trying to plan a perfect trip, that's why I'm starting to plan it out right now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
One of the main things you will need to contend with is the pickup and drop scenario of the rental car. There will be an out of home location surcharge and that is likely to be quite big. Also, do bear in mind that while most rental companies are easy within the eurozone per se, there will be a lot of fine print so please read it carefully. You will typically find that there are likely to be surcharges for Southern European countries, if the car is rented in Northern Europe and things like that. Worth reading through before committing.

There are also a number of regulations as to where the car can be taken, whether or not it can be taken onto a ferry service, what sort of roads and terrain it can be driven on and so on. As a member of their loyalty program, I find Europcar to be good but I am sure there are many people who will have different recommendations for you. You can even consider thrifty, budget and argus all of whom are great. Thing with Europcar is peace of mind and the fact that they are tied up with Audi so you get some great cars.

Whatever you do, please take out the complete package of Collision Damage, Tyre damage, Peace of Mind, Total damage and all possible waivers. The per day cost may seem quite a lot but it is nothing to what you can become liable for in the event of a problem. Also, would be good to rent a local tomtom while there or use your nokia free map service. That works perfectly well indeed and is fully updated as per my experience. The turn by turn navigation is very good. Be sure, when you are renting, to get a car which has iPod and USB connectivity so you can blast some good music on your road trip! Many car rental vehicles seem to not have this solved for!

Have a wonderful driving holiday! I always enjoy driving holidays abroad and in India and am really happy to see that many more guys like us are doing the same when abroad!
Thanks for your very valuable insight Shankar. I plan to return the rental car to the same city as I pick it from, i.e. Stockholm.
I will indeed make it a point to opt for complete coverage and clarify my intentions to the rental service about my route and if they have any objections to it.
I checked on the rental sites, tomtoms are available for a decent amount. Nokia Maps work perfectly well here in Chandigarh, so I suppose they would be even better and reliable in Europe.
Just wonder how am I going to get an GPRS/3G while roaming across all of these countries..

Looking forward to more valuable inputs and advice.

Thanks for your encouragement!
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Old 2nd July 2012, 13:55   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranav4x4 View Post
.....
For Switzerland and Austria, tolls are collected at the entrance to the country - make sure you actually go and pay there - get the sticker and put it on your windshield - they don't necessarily mention this pro-actively. In Germany, there are no tolls as far as I know.

Indian International Driver's license is required and sufficient.

I had checked Avis and Sixt - both allow cross-country, intra-Europe drives, with fineprint putting some restrictions on eastern/southern Europe.
.....
Also, diesel is cheaper in some countries, and same price in some. So overall you can save a bit specifically asking for a diesel car.
Good points Pranav. I totally agree with these.
Just to confirm again:
1. No Tolls in Germany - 100% sure, no need for doubt here.
2. Sixt allows intra-Europe. If you plan to drive in snowy stretches, "Snow-Chains" are mandatory at some places. Better to get this confirmed with Sixt / Avis (It would completely depend on the season / months when you choose for the trip)
3. And yes, it is always wise to "prefer" Diesels (better mileage too) while booking. Nevertheless, it depends on the rental company's availability on Diesels. I got it on all ocassions where I preferred Diesels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugam View Post
.......
Hotel bookings are easily available on sites like makemytrip, so that can be taken care of according to plan.
......
I checked on the rental sites, tomtoms are available for a decent amount. Nokia Maps work perfectly well here in Chandigarh, so I suppose they would be even better and reliable in Europe.

Just wonder how am I going to get an GPRS/3G while roaming across all of these countries..
@ Sugam,
I have used makemytrip.com only for bookings at India. For Hotel Bookings at Europe, you may try hotel.de | Hotels günstig buchen | Hotelsuche, Hotelbewertungen. Worked good for us many times (no need to pay advance & mopst of the times, you have a flexibility to cancel until last day. If you plan to travel single, B&B (Bed and Breakfast) type dormatories would be best. I have tried this option at times, worked fine. They normally maintain public facilities clean.

Most mid-segment cars here have in-built Navis. Nevertheless, Nokia Maps work perfectly well here, we have had a few trips depending only on NOKIA and it did connect us well

Instead of roaming, you may choose to take a new Lycamobile / Lebara Mobile at Europe. Works cheap for many travelling folks in Europe (I personally don't use one though, mine is always Vodafone). Since you have relatives in Stockholm, you must get guidance from them on this.
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Old 2nd July 2012, 18:49   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugam View Post
Well, I'm single for now so I don't plan to undertake this for a couple of years
till I tie the knot.. By the way, this could qualify as a great surprise honeymoon trip, isn't it?
I mean, what's better to bring two people closer than an adventure of this sorts..
Of course provided both are equally interested in travelling!

Keeping this in mind, I don't think I can cut short on the budget, so I'm presuming that about Rs 250000 should suffice per person.
Hotel bookings are easily available on sites like makemytrip, so that can be taken care of according to plan.

I'm really passionate about such trips and moreover, trying to plan a perfect trip, that's why I'm starting to plan it out right now!

Thanks for your very valuable insight Shankar. I plan to return the rental car to the same city as I pick it from, i.e. Stockholm.
I will indeed make it a point to opt for complete coverage and clarify my intentions to the rental service about my route and if they have any objections to it.
I checked on the rental sites, tomtoms are available for a decent amount. Nokia Maps work perfectly well here in Chandigarh, so I suppose they would be even better and reliable in Europe.
Just wonder how am I going to get an GPRS/3G while roaming across all of these countries..

Looking forward to more valuable inputs and advice.

Thanks for your encouragement!
Hey Buddy!
Great to see this level of meticulous attention to detail and advance planning. My wife and I too love travelling and we do pretty much the same thing as you are planning.
I will make another couple of small suggestions. For booking hotels anywhere in the world pretty much, I find a site called Booking.com: 228,932 hotels worldwide. Book your hotel now! to be amongst the best. Main thing is you can choose all sorts of permutations and combinations and simply guarantee your booking by your credit card. They will not charge you till you actually go and stay there. Of course if you are a no show you get charged and in ref cancellations they are very flexible. The rules are very clearly specified for each type of room in each type of hotel when you book through these chaps. I have been using them consistently these last 9 years or so and have never had a problem. Incidentally they list all sorts of off beat accommodation like inns and stuff apart from the big name brands. Since this is a honeymoon plan, it is nice to go and stay in private little off beat places.
Yes it is certainly worth that little extra in planning so that you can focus on the real trip once there instead of worrying about places to eat and stay!
TomTom is pretty good indeed. But Nokia maps are really excellent as I found recently on a holiday in Oz. I have loaded a number of countries maps onto my Nokia phone and all of them keep getting updated via that symbian belle to the latest versions now and then. All you need to do is to buy one of those pre paid top up cards. Most of Western Europe is on 3G or even 4G now so the speed of the system is really at a different level. Recently in Australia I was experiencing speeds of 3 to 3.5G consistently even while on the road and on the move. In any case, don't forget that Nokia maps are resident on the telephone and don't really need data services to work. However, it is nice to have data services while travelling about, just like it is at home. For this kind of travel, especially Euro Zone, don't bother with Matrix cards etc - they are way expensive. Better to go with a company such as T Mobile or Vodafone etc locally and you can simply show your passport and buy a local SIM there when you land. You can keep topping it up as you go.
Ref the trip budget of course, it will depend on the currency at the time, but the 2.5l per head as of just this moment, seems quite reasonable if you are just a little careful.
Cheerio!

Last edited by shankar.balan : 2nd July 2012 at 18:57.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 09:45   #221
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Default Re: Longest Drives!

Mumbai - Delhi - Mumbai few times.
Mumbai - Chandigarh / Panchkula - Mumbai.
KL - Singapore - KL.
Lots of Mumbai - Baroda / Silvassa / Pune / Goa and back etc.
Delhi - Agra - Gwalior - Jhansi - Khaujuraho - Jhansi - Guna - Indore - Mumbai.

Longest Non-stop (i.e. without halt for sleeping) was Mumbai-Jaipur - Mumbai sometime in March end. Me and brother switched every 3-4 hrs. If I remember right, about 17-18 hrs including stops for coffee, food, loo etc. We left Mumbai late night.

Will be doing a Mumbai - Indore - Mumbai sometime next week.

I love my Indica TCIC

Plus lots of long drives in Ladakh driving trip

Last edited by hell_rider : 3rd July 2012 at 09:52.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 10:13   #222
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Did Pune - Nagpur,700 kmsApril this year in '11 Honda City

Did Upstate NY to Birmingham, Alabama, 1000 miles in 2000 Honda Accrod in 2002
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Old 3rd July 2012, 10:18   #223
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My longest was Kargil to Gurgaon non stop, around 1100 Km
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Old 7th October 2012, 20:59   #224
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Last week did a 2000kms 4-day trip Pune-Hampi-JogFalls-Murudeshwar-Pune in my 2009 Getz GLX. It was an amazing trip!!

In a single day, covered maximum of 650kms Murudeshwar-Pune with 2 pit stops.
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Old 13th October 2012, 17:45   #225
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My Longest drive in India was Chennai -Bhadravathi- Jog Falls- Kollur (KA) and back to chennai. The total distance covered was 1700 KMs. Chennai to Bhadravathi (600 KMs) was non stop which was covered in 11 hours with two 10 mins break for Tea and nature's call.

Other drive was from Chennai - Trichy - Pollachi- Thrissur - Guruvayur- Kochin - Chottanikara and back to chennai. The entire trip was almost non-stop except stops for food and temple darshan. The trip started by Friday night and concluded on Sunday mid night. Total distance was 1600 KMs.

Other drives: Chennai- Munnar-Chennai = 1200 KMs, Chennai - Ooty- Chennai = 1300 KMs, Chennai - Madurai- Rameshwaram -Chennai = 1300 KMs

Car used in all these drives was Swift Dzire, VDi.

Last edited by ForeRunner : 13th October 2012 at 17:51. Reason: Spelling
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