The days are drawing out and the nights are getting lighter, which can only mean one thing – spring is finally on its way! After a long chilly winter spell, we can start to look forward to the hazy summer days ahead, and for motorhome owners that means dusting down their vehicle and planning their next road trip.
The UK boasts some of the most beautiful natural countryside, and provides a stunning backdrop for motorhome owners wanting to take to the open road to enjoy the idyllic charming country villages and historic cities that our country is renowned for. However, why not consider a change of scenery and opt for a motorhome trip abroad to enjoy the sights and sounds of the continent this summer? There is so much to see across mainland Europe, with France, Germany, Spain and Italy being just a day’s drive a way, or slightly further afield there is the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Poland and Portugal to name but a few.
Passports and Insurance
A trip to Europe is incredibly simple, but will require some careful planning well ahead of time to ensure a smooth passage through borders. First and foremost you need to ensure that all parties travelling with you have an up to date passport before you travel. Insurance is also essential, and European travellers should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). These are free of charge and entitle the bearer to medical treatment at a reduced rate, if not free when visiting Europe.
Timing is everything, and if you want to make the most of your time abroad we recommend that you avoid the peak seasons when the world and his wife will be joining you along the way. If at all possible, aim to travel between April and June, the milder climes on the continent will make your trip a warm and pleasant one without having to negotiate crowds and the weather will also be more suitable for those who like to indulge in a spot of sightseeing or walking whilst away. If school holidays dictate your road trip then make sure that you book your campsites well in advance to save time and stress once you are in the country of your choice.
The most popular destination for first time campers on the continent is our closest neighbour, France. This uber chic country is brimming with exquisite architecture, traditional market towns, magnificent mountain ranges and century old vineyards. Many French people speak English very well as a second language, however if you venture in to the more remote regions of France you will need to brush up on your Français prior to visiting. A little effort goes a long way with the locals, so invest in a pocket phrase book to help you along the way.
You will need an up to date map of the country you are visiting, and it is wise to buy one that incorporates the regions down into greater detail so you can get familiar with the area and plan your route ahead of travelling. Contact the London based Tourist Information Centre (TIC) with details of the countries you plan to visit for the latest on campsites and maps or search the World Wide Web for a wealth of information including reviews, blogs and forums detailing fellow camper and motorhome owner’s experiences, so be sure to check these out in advance too.
Whilst on the road you will need to be aware of European signs and the fact that the speed limits and height/width restrictions are in kph not mph and metres not feet respectively. To save mental arithmetic, not to mention the risk of human error, it would be sensible to create a simple table showing speed and measurement conversions, including your own motorhome measurements.
Don’t forget that Europeans drive on the right so take your time when you cross the borders and last but not least make sure that you get your Euro currency in order prior to travelling, and if you plan to use credit cards notify your provider of the countries you will be visiting to avoid any issues.
For more information and advice on all things motorhome and other adventure holidays, visit www.worldadventuretravel.co.uk