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Old 09.07.2016, 23:21
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Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

Hello all!
My first post on here as we are moving to Zurich on Aug 3rd. We will be driving from the ferry port in Rotterdam with 2 small children, and would like to stop overnight about half way - ideally somewhere with a pool. Does anyone have any recommendations?

many thanks in advance

Kirsten
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Old 19.09.2016, 22:35
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

Hi there

Just searched the forum and found your post. We're thinking of taking a trip back to northern England this Autumn via the Rotterdam ferry, also with kids. Did you find somewhere to stop on the way? Any tips greatly appreciated!

Thanks
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Old 20.09.2016, 00:32
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

Luxembourg has a good standard in hotels, and the following 2 hotels are next to another & good for a one night stop,
I have stayed in both hotels, but I know of no pools.

Fuel is cheap in Luxembourg, about halfway from Rotterdam to Zurich,

https://www.google.ch/maps/place/Eta....1094458?hl=en

https://www.google.ch/maps/place/hot...6.111746?hl=en

There is a modest Italian restaurant in one of the hotels there too.
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Last edited by Sbrinz; 20.09.2016 at 11:53. Reason: moved text for clarity
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Old 22.09.2016, 23:29
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

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Luxembourg has a good standard in hotels...
.
Thanks very much for the info Sbrinz!
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Old 23.09.2016, 08:09
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

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Hi there

Just searched the forum and found your post. We're thinking of taking a trip back to northern England this Autumn via the Rotterdam ferry, also with kids. Did you find somewhere to stop on the way? Any tips greatly appreciated!

Thanks
We've done the Hook-Zurich trip many times with small children and despite not being off the ferry until around 08.0, we're back home late afternoon.
It's quite an easy day drive.

But, if you want to stop, Luxembourg is pleasant.
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Old 23.09.2016, 08:22
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

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We've done the Hook-Zurich trip many times with small children and despite not being off the ferry until around 08.0, we're back home late afternoon.
It's quite an easy day drive.

But, if you want to stop, Luxembourg is pleasant.
That's good to know, thanks!

We've never driven longer than 3-4hrs with the kids before (they're not really little anymore, but they're nevertheless not used to long trips in the car!). We've allowed plenty of time, so we can take it easy and treat the drive to and from the ferry as part of the holiday, maybe see some new places (albeit briefly!) on the way too, if we feel we need to break it up.
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Old 23.09.2016, 09:02
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

Minor tip for the journey , make sure you have some small euro coins as in some of the rest stops you may need to pay for use of the toilets..

I remember travelling with small children and toilet stops can be frequent!

Our frequent stops these days are for the dog.

We use the Hook -Harwich ferry often and it is great!

If you do want to stop overnight somewhere ,maybe look for a camp site as lots of those have chalets to rent and have indoor facilities like pools-a bit like center parcs on a smaller scale.

Enjoy the trip!
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Old 23.09.2016, 09:27
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

I'm also make this trip soon. Google Map shows 3 different routes with only a few minutes difference between them. Is there a route that is better than others? Also, any traffic considerations to keep in mind?
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Old 23.09.2016, 09:33
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

Another tip, as you have children, is to avoid driving through France. The rest places and car parks are absolutely filthy. At night, it seems many people use them as open air toilets, my friend refuses to take her dog there!
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Old 23.09.2016, 09:33
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

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Minor tip for the journey , make sure you have some small euro coins as in some of the rest stops you may need to pay for use of the toilets..

I remember travelling with small children and toilet stops can be frequent!

Our frequent stops these days are for the dog.

We use the Hook -Harwich ferry often and it is great!

If you do want to stop overnight somewhere ,maybe look for a camp site as lots of those have chalets to rent and have indoor facilities like pools-a bit like center parcs on a smaller scale.

Enjoy the trip!
You have to pay to use the toilets at rest stops in Belgium and Luxemburg but at least you know they'll be clean unlike a lot of them in France.

Zeebrugge is slightly nearer than Rotterdam if you are travelling from Hull and want a shorter drive at this end but the boats are a bit nicer ( because they're newer) on the Rotterdam crossing.
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Old 23.09.2016, 09:52
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

Thanks for the toilet tips - very important to know in advance, especially with kids who are quite fussy about where they put their bottoms!!!

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Zeebrugge is slightly nearer than Rotterdam if you are travelling from Hull and want a shorter drive at this end but the boats are a bit nicer ( because they're newer) on the Rotterdam crossing.
We've actually booked to go out from Rotterdam and back to Zeebrugge to check out both routes for future reference. Based on your comment though, maybe we should've done it in the other order!
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Old 23.09.2016, 10:10
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

I agree about the French rest stops-they can be gross!tissues and hand sanitizer required and don't forget if you don't want to use the standing toilets there are normally disabled ones which have a normal toilet.

For the 3 routes , I would avoid the one that goes through Germany as despite having unrestricted sections, there are many many areas with roadworks which slow you down and are very frustrating.

The route that goes into Luxembourg/Belgium is good .The service station just over the border into Luxembourg gets very busy as the fuel is very well priced.There is another a few kms down the route,Both have good facilities to stop for food etc.Heading through Belgium,both the Brussels and Antwerp ring roads are the busiest, so could hold you up in rush hour times.

I have done the Hook of Holland /Harwich Route but will be trying the Zeebrugge/Hull crossing in December .I chose that one as it was a little closer than Rotterdam and also a little cheaper.I will be interested to compare Stena line to P&O for the experience.
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Old 23.09.2016, 10:17
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

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That's good to know, thanks!

We've never driven longer than 3-4hrs with the kids before (they're not really little anymore, but they're nevertheless not used to long trips in the car!). We've allowed plenty of time, so we can take it easy and treat the drive to and from the ferry as part of the holiday, maybe see some new places (albeit briefly!) on the way too, if we feel we need to break it up.
One thing with which we've had a lot of success is, where possible, to depart really, really early - at about 4.00 in the morning. By the time the children are ready for breakfast (hopefully they'll sleep in the car), you would have done half the journey.

Obviously this doesn't work if you're getting off a ferry in the morning.
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Old 23.09.2016, 10:20
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

You could do the early leave with the children and then go to the beach in Holland or Belgium,before you need to catch your ferry.

There are many and they are amazing,lots of space to run about and use up energy before resuming the journey .
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Old 23.09.2016, 10:21
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

Is that about a 7 or 8 hour drive? Or 9 to be more realistic?
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Old 23.09.2016, 11:38
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Re: Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

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You could do the early leave with the children and then go to the beach in Holland or Belgium,before you need to catch your ferry.

There are many and they are amazing,lots of space to run about and use up energy before resuming the journey .
Definitely agree with this.

Most of those beaches are amazing. Seemingly endless expanse of soft sand and not too many people. Especally on the Belgian side the resorts are very pretty and welcoming.
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Old 25.10.2016, 22:58
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Stop off driving Rotterdam-Zurich?

Hi

I just wanted to drop by again and thank you all for your input here. We survived our first big road trip and ferry (I say that as one of the kids was scared stiff and convinced we would all die at sea when we first mentioned it &#128563 and it was thankfully a great success.

Unfortunately the hotels in Luxembourg recommended above both had maximum room occupancy of 3, including kids. So we ended up staying at the Novotel Metz Hauconcourt on the journey north. Dated, basic, with a mediocre restaurant, but relatively cheap and functional, gated parking and important for us: family rooms to sleep 4 and very easy to get to just off the motorway. For anyone wanting a swimming pool, it also has one, but outdoors, so save that for summer.

The drive back from Zeebrugge to Zurich we did in one day and took us 10 hours on the nose, with a stop for lunch at the big services just before leaving Luxembourg and a couple short toilet stops after that.

I'm not sure I'd want to do that drive up to the ferry in one stretch, especially to Zeebrugge which leaves earlier than the Rotterdam ferry, but maybe we're just not seasoned road trippers yet 😉
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