Anyone who has travelled Europe will no doubt have heard of the phrase eurostick, it refers to the 'stick' or abuse you receive whilst travelling through various countries such as france. France was of course once a heaven for those after cheap booze and cigs but now days it's not all that much cheaper and the restrictions imposed by the UK government are quite strict.
Shopping at Eurostick (ie any place in mainland Europe) can be awkward at the best of times so if possible you may want to travel with a friend from the country you're in although this doesn't by any means guarentee an easy ride!
Travelling with Eurostick
Getting over to mainland europe can be quite easy, you can of course fly through a cheap airliner like easy jet or take your car over by ferry or train. If you want a slightly cheaper ferry trip then you may find that you'll save money going to Dunkurque rather than the oh so popular Calais.