Sunday, 21 December 2008

Road Trip Europe : Our Experience

The Reason

A Road Trip around Europe has been done through generations by Malaysian here in the UK. All the information i present here are mostly passed down generation by generations by malaysians. The big reason why i think most malaysians studying here would travel around europe is just the fact that we are already near. From Coventry, just a few hours drive plus a 30 minutes train ride and you'll arrive in France. That's how easy it is to get there. However, for a holiday driving throughout 7 countries in Europe would need a little more thought put into it. Ever since sattelite navigation became popular, it is much easier to travel around europe without getting lost. Here, i will share our family experience driving throughout Europe.

Some people mentioned to me that they are afraid to drive all the way to europe and back just within 2 weeks. Most of the fear comes from the left lane driving which is different from UK and Malaysia. And some are even afraid of the fact that we are going to spent 2 whole week in a totally different place with different languange, culture and laws. People always say that you are afraid of things that you don't know. For that reason, we , in this journey are trying to understand each and every inch of our journey so that we can handle any bump that comes our way. Well, we can only plan, Allah do the rest. It went smooth, but now as smooth as we hope so.


The Plan

Here is our plan spreadsheets. We plan our journey almost 4 month before we travel, mainly because we want to get cheap discounted hotel for booking way in advance. This is a one in a lifetime journey, so we want to make the most of it and get it right. I've mentioned that we plan our trip based on previous experiences. There are a few popular routes for malaysian when driving through europe, all with their own up and downs. We have chosen a slighly different route from everybody else since we have friends we need to visit while we are there. Our route is as below

Euro Trip.001.jpg

The plan is go to Italy after switzerland but the road through the Alps in close due to heavy snow, so we have to cancel and move straight to France and back home. I'm still listing Italy in here cause i can't remember which route we take after we are stranded on the top of the hill.

Journey Route

Coventry - Folkestone

Folkestone - Eurotunnel

Eurotunnel- Calais

Calais - Brugge

Brugge - Amsterdam

Amsterdam - Brussel

Brussel - Luxemburg

Luxemburg - Munich

Munich - Zurich

Zurich - Lucerne

Lucerne - Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen - Wengen(Train)
Lauterbrunen - Cremona

Lauterbrunen - Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano - Milan


Milan - Venice

Venice - Florence


Rome- Florence
Florence - Torino

Florence - Pisa

Pisa - Torino

Torino - Geneva

Geneva - Paris
Paris - Etretat

Paris - St Malo/Mt St Michel

Mt St Michel - Etretat
Paris - Coventry

Paris - Calais

Calais - Eurotunnel

Eurotunnel - Coventry

The Hotel

Here i'm listing all the hotels we plan to stay at. But some of them we had to cancel and change due to unforeseen circumstances. Note that i'm listing the parking for each hotel. This is so that i can take into account the cost of parking, if any for overnight parking.

Travelodge Folkestone
Parking - FREE
Ibis Leiderdorp
Parking - FREE Outdoor
Etap Hotel Luxembourg
Parking - Unknown

Etap Hotel Muenchen Nord Garching
Parking - Unknown
Rumah Zetty

Etap Hotel Zürich City West
Parking - Unknown    
No Parking

Staubbach Hotel
Parking Free
Ibis Cremona
Parking - FREE Outdoor

Novotel Venezia Mestre Castellana
Parking - Unsure Outdor - Maybe FREE
Hotel Ibis Firenze Nord Aeroporto
Parking - Unsure
Hotel Ibis Firenze Nord Aeroporto
Parking - Unsure
Novotel Torino Corso Giulio Cesare
Parking - Unsure Outdor - Maybe FREE
Etap Annemasse
Parking - Unsure
Ibis Paris Maine Montparnasse
Parking - Private Pay CarPark
Etap Hotel Fécamp
Parking - Unsure
Home Sweet Home

The hotel i chose is cheap but comfortable enough for an overnight stay. Some people do opt for cheaper hotel such as Formula One which has a shared toilet which is not the best for family. Most of the hotels are booked at and some of them from priceline europe. My advice is shop arround for hotel, you might get a discount deal if you book early. One reason that i chose mostly accorhotels is that the price is for one room, not per head which many hotels provide. Another advice is to book decent hotels once every three or four days, especially at places where you can get nice view from the hotels. We booked a mountain view room at Wengen for over £100 per night but it is well worth it for the service and room. We also booked a waterfall view room at Lauterbrunnen.

The Food

We bring most of the food for the journey and buy whenever we found a halal restaurant. We did looked up for the halal restaurant at and put the location in the Tomtom but we only manage to go to some of them due to shortage of time. Most of the halal restaurant and located on the same road so if you find a halal shop, look around and you'll be suprise by how many other halal restaurant you can find.

Here is our food list:

Food List
tuna spread
travel jug
Periuk Nasi
Roti Naan
Mash Potato
Baked bean
Water Container
Hot Chocolate/Nescafe
Gula Packet
sambal ikan bilis
sambal kering
haris stuff
haris toys
haris milk
We packed our food in a bag one pack for each day. We did the same for our clothes to make the journey smoother, Less hassle and trouble free.

The Cost

Total cost for the whole journey of 2 weeks is around £1800 including parking, road tax for Swiss, Food, Fuel, Hotel, Transportation, Tickets and everything. The total journey is around 5000 km which at £1.04 per litre costs us around £500. The hotel bring us back another £700. RAC costs us £75, EuroStar costs £116. For details you can see my whole plan here.

The Experience

It has been a once in a lifetime experience. The snow storm, the blocked road, being stranded, the misbehaved car, the towing, all unforgetable experience. Sorry i don't have time to detail them all. Need to get on with my thesis. If anybody is interested, you can always contact me. The only thing i forgot to bring is a shovel, will be very useful when you are stranded in snow.

After finishing the whole journey, i would advice anybody planning to spent more time or just go to Paris which has a worderful historical view and Swiss for it's astounding scenery. Once you see these two places, i have to say, 'you've seen the whole europe. I'm not commenting on Italy and Spain though, never been there.

The Final Words

This review of our journey is just giving a rough idea on planning a europe trip. I think you can get all the details from my speadsheets which is more than enough for you to get started. There are many more things i want to share such as converting poi to tomtom POI, Using GoogleEarth to help you plan, Finding places of interest with panoramio, Savings tips and many more but due to the need to finish my PhD in time, i have to save all that for next time. Meanwhile if anybody is interested in planning and need help, don't hesitate to email me and i'll see what i can do.

The End

Cointainer Fitting Software

Picture 3.png

For those who are going back home bringing their whole household with them in a container, you should consider using this software to calculate wether your item will fit in the container. It's call CargoWiz from It's not the only container fitting software around, there are others such as Cargo Optimizer, AutoLoad Pro and MaxLoad Pro. However, CargoWiz software has a 20 day fully functional trial which is more than enough for us. It's design specifically for cargo and freight company to calculate their pallet in the container. But for us, we can use it to estimate how big of a container we need to rent. I stumbled on these software while researching for a website i'm designing, ArcadiaFreight.

This software is by no means a perfect solutions, however , it does give a good estimate on wether our item will fit the container or not. It has details of many different container size, 20 footer, 40 footer and 40 footer high cube. We can input our own item size and the quantity, then the software will fit the box into the container using different algoritm and display to us the best solution. Good luck and Happy Shipping.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

She's getting better

Aisyah Update:

She's now breathing on her own. All the drugs has been taken off. Just waiting to come home...Thanks everybody for your support...



Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Latest About Aisyah


Day 3:

Alhamdullillah...Aisyah dah semakin baik...dia sudah tidak lagi memerlukan ventilator...Aisyah sudah semakin kuat dan ubat yg diperlukan telah di kurangkan...Syukur yg tak terhingga kepada Allah....perkembangan yg sangat kami nantikan...InsyaAllah...dia akan pulang tak lama lagi...Semoga Allah permudahkan segala urusan kami...Amin...

Aisyah latest pict:



Our New Born Baby Aisyah Sumayyah


Day one:

Maaf di atas kelambatan untuk update about siti and aisyah....terlalu sibuk....mental dan fizikal..terutama bagi siti yang telah bertarung 10 jam untuk melahirkan baby kami aisyah dgn berat lahir 3.760kg...secara normal...Alhmadullilah..berkat rahmat Allah yg tak terhingga pada hambanya...semua telah selamat...siti dan baby...

Setiap manusia...ada ujian tertentu oleh Allah...Aisyah..selepas dilahirkan...didapati sukar untuk bernafas...tidak ada sebab yg clear mengapa dia berkeadaan begitu...Dr menjangkakan yg Aisyah mungkin belum bersedia untuk lahir atau dia mengalami jangkitan pada paru2...kerana tekanan darah nya yg rendah dan jantungnya yg kurang kuat berdenyut....jadi..dia telah di masukkan ke dalam NICU dan di letakkan dalam incubator dengan bantuaan pernafasan ventilator....

Siti...dimasukkan kedalam ward kerana iron dalam badan yg rendah...jadi di berikan ubat untuk mengelakkan pendarahan selepas bersalin...

Day two:

Keaadan Aisyah semakain stabil...tekanan darah Aisyah semakin baik walaupun masih memerlukan bantuan ubatan....dan dia masih memerlukan vantilator untuk bernafas...

siti telah sehat sepenuhnya...dan dibenarkan berehat di hospital bagi memudahkan dia untuk melawat aisyah..Alhamdullillah...kami ditempatkan di bilik family hospital...jadi fauzan juga boleh bermalam bersama siti di hospital.

Gambar Aisyah sebelum masuk ke NICU...DSC04303.JPG

nanti akan di update kan keadaan aisyah di dalam blog kami...InsyaAllah..

terima kasih untuk doa dan ucapan selamat (email dan sms) untuk kami dan Aisyah...Semoga Allah mempermudahkan urusan kita semua di dunia dan di akhirah kelak..Amin


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

AirAsia X Deals

I received a few email today regarding AirAsia X launch. From what i gather, booking is now available until 30 November 2008 for flight from 11 March 2009. I'm not sure how true this date is but i guess you can check the website for further information. Now, the best part, price for a one way journey from Kuala Lumpur to London(STN) is £41 without tax and £99 with tax(according to an email i receive). I even did a simple check on the website as shown in image.

Picture 4.png

This is just a random check, which shows a total of £127 for a return ticket from London(STN) to Kuala Lumpur LCCT(KUL). Although this price is excluding tax, it is still very cheap comparing to currently available flight. I think the cheapest before is Qatar, Brunei or Emirates at around £400- £600 including tax.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Ebay Voucher Again

Picture 1.png

I got another ebay voucher of 5% with a max discount £100. This is my second voucher is three month. The reason i put this on this blog is as an encouragement for people to start using ebay. I think i got this voucher for all my selling transaction, not buying. So i would encourage people with a lot of junk in their house to start selling on ebay and get something for things they don't need. Good Luck.