Driving In Germany

I recently took a road trip with Sam. Here is my rough guide to Germany's rest stops on the roads and Autobahns.

Rest Stops

The most basic stopping area is designated with this blue P sign. The number on the bottom indicates how far away the stopping area is, in meters. You are most likely to find a single side road with trash cans, benches and or picnic tables.

On our navigation system these rest stops show up like the picture below. Each brand will vary.

The next type of stopping area is one with a restroom or a "WC" as they labeled it here in Germany. These restrooms generally do not have baby amenities. They are free and generally the bare minimum. Think, large metal room with no toilet seat. Perfect in a pinch for adults to use but I wouldn't take my Sippy Cup Sojourner within 10 meters of the place! :)

The most ideal resting stop for sippy cup sojourners is a fully stocked resting area. The signs vary based on what companies are at each stop but generally they look like this:

Most likely there will be a nice sit down food area, generally buffet style (my favorites have fresh squeezed orange juice), a gas station, and plenty of parking.

These stops have restroom facilities run by the company Sanifair. They can charge anywhere from .20 to .70 Euro cents to use the restroom but I have never been disappointed. They are cleaned regularly, have self cleaning toilets (no putting the little one of a soiled toilet seat) and my favorite, baby changing ROOMS! The most elaborate rooms I've come across have mini toilets for potty training toddlers and baby changing tables (equipped with disposable table covers, wipes, and an area to hold the baby while mommy goes to the bathroom!) The ticket you get when paying for entry can be redeemed at the restaurant if you buy food. Here is the one we stopped at coming home from our latest adventure.

The Sanifair website allows you to do a search for their locations based on the road you will be traveling. Preplanning, my favorite!