Ideas for first timers

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle or Flights to Europe

Looking to travel to Europe, but want an alternative to flying? Flying isn’t the only option. Let us show you how driving compares.

One of the perks of travelling to Europe is there’s so much to see and do right on your doorstep and however you get there, your trip is bound to be exciting. If you don’t fancy flying, don’t worry. Our guide can help you plan your next journey.

Eurotunnel le Shuttle is a safe way to travel to Europe. You remain in your vehicle throughout the crossing, with no busy waiting areas or need to be around crowds. We have extra measures in place to keep everyone safe. You can check all our COVID-19 travel updates here.

Driving to Europe vs Flying to Europe

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle gives you the chance to see and explore Europe from the comfort and safety of your own car. As a train service, we carry freight and all other forms of vehicle, including cars, motorbikes, campervans, caravans, coaches, and lorries. Our services from Folkestone take just 35 minutes to arrive in Calais and travelling in your vehicle means that you can start your holiday from the moment you arrive without having to worry about any transfers.

Transport driving on the highway of Europe

There are multiple UK and European airlines which offer direct flights to different locations. Most of the major European cities have airports which are easily accessible, and depending on the type of trip, flying can be a good option.

What to expect when flying

Depending on your destination, and the length of your trip, flying can often seem like a good option when travelling directly to a destination in Europe. However, there can often be additional costs and complications, like renting a car, which might mean flying is less cost effective for your break. You are also unable to set the pace of your journey as you can with driving your own car to your destination.

While social distancing and hand sanitising measures are in place in airports, social distancing is not applied on flights and instead passengers are asked to wear a mask throughout the flight. Therefore, you may feel safer travelling in the comfort of your own car on the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle during these times.


There are multiple budget airlines across Europe, and depending on the time of year, there are often good deals on flights. If you’re short on time, or have no need of a car while you’re away, flying can be a great option, however if you are looking at the cost of flights it’s important to remember the additional costs of airport transport, baggage, flight taxes and travel time.


Every airline has a different policy when it comes to baggage, but no matter which airline you choose you’ll encounter weight restrictions and the possibility of large fees for your luggage.


Most flights to Europe are relatively short, so if you’re pushed for time then flying can save you valuable holiday time. However, there’s always the possibility of encountering delays, queues and security checks which can leave you stuck in the airport longer than you would like.


If you’re planning on visiting one destination in Europe, flying gives you the chance to arrive and explore the local area to its fullest. However, unless you’re planning on renting a car, the activities you’ll have access to may be limited by public transport.

Pet Travel

Most airlines do allow passengers to travel with pets, provided they have a valid EU pet passport; however, this is often a very expensive means of transport. Animals of a certain size and weight are allowed in the cabin on some airlines, however larger animals will be confined to the cargo hold for the duration of the flight which can be stressful for both you and your pet.

Benefits of driving to the continent

Driving and using Eurotunnel Le Shuttle gives you the chance to explore more of Europe and arrive at your own pace, making it easy to get the most out of your trip. Unlike flying, you won’t have the hassle of trying to navigate multiple airports and having the freedom of a car means you can turn your visit into a European road trip.

black car inside Eurotunnel Le Shuttle train


Tickets for travelling with Eurotunnel start from £31 per vehicle, each way and include your vehicle and up to nine passengers (or the legal limit your vehicle can carry). If you’re planning a road trip, stag or hen party, or want to make your family holiday all the more memorable, then driving through Europe is a great option. Also, for added peace of mind we have a fully refundable Standard ticket option, should you need to change your plans.


For anyone who is a self-confessed over packer, driving to Europe may be the best option for you. We have no baggage restrictions on our services, meaning that your packing won’t be dictated by weight restrictions and you're allowed to pack as much as your car can hold.


Being behind the wheel of your own car means you’re totally free to travel at your own pace and make stops as and when you need to. The convenience of driving means you can make the most of your trip and create an itinerary to visit a few places, on the way to your destination, to explore more of Europe. When flying, you may have to consider transfers and connecting flights, which if delayed can add considerable time to your journey.

Family activities in Holland’s Countryside


No matter your final destination, driving through Europe gives you the chance to maximise your trip, visit different places, and explore on your journey. If you’re travelling through France, why not spend the night in a treehouse in the Champagne region of France?

If you’ve set your sights further afield, once you disembark at Calais, countries like Holland, Belgium, and Germany are only a few hours drive away and many of the routes take you across some of Europe’s most stunning countryside.

Pet Travel

Travelling with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle means you can bring pets on your next trip for an additional cost of £22 each way (applicable for dogs, cats & ferrets and not charged to assistance dogs).

For more information on pet travel with Eurotunnel click here.

Dog sitting in car boot with luggage

Environmental Impact

While no carbon-based transport is completely environmentally friendly, most carbon calculations show that the impact of four people flying is two and a half times great than travelling by car.


No matter how you get there, travelling to Europe is exciting.

However, if you want to create a trip which is unique and offers you the chance to explore more of Europe in one go and at your own pace, driving is an option you should consider.

Book your trip to Europe with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

Europe has so much to offer visitors, and so much of it easily accessible by car. Why not start planning your next adventure with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle now?

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More information on road trips in Europe