Why travel via Belgium when Driving to Italy from Calais/
When driving to Italy, [Lake Maggiore area], from Calais, I almost always drive up towards Dunkirk and then head East towards Luxembourg. The reasons for doing so is simple:-
- I do not need to pay to travel on French motorways - its free in Belgium, Luxembourg and the bits of France I go through - a saving of about 35 Euros each way.
- It doesn't add more than about 20 minutes to the travel time - the distance is almost exactly the same as going on the auto-route direct towards Strasbourg, but traffic can be slow around Lille [but this can be offset by not having to stop to get and pay for tickets on the auto-route
- It allows you to fill up with petrol in Luxembourg [very very cheap]. - First Tip - fill up at the motorway Service Station close to the border with Belgium, as the queues are always at the filling station close to the French border.
- It avoids what is one of the most boring bits of motorway in France - why else would they erect 'interesting totems etc' beside the motorway to provide something to look at.
Second Tip [This is probably illegal, and should never be done] - I Dont know if this does work, but someone I know does it every time , and he swears its 'kosher'When driving on 'pay' autoroutes in France - they can automatically check how fast you have gone [average speed] from information on the ticket that you buy. [it holds the time you bought the ticket on the magnetic strip]. My 'friend' always blasts at full speed down the french auto-routes, well in excess of the speed limit. Before handing in his toll ticket at the pay booth, he wipes a magnet across the strip - destroying the time stamp. They can still work out the charge from the printed info on the ticket, but not the speed