, Posted on Monday April 3, 2023
Travelling Abroad: All You Need To Know
5 minutes well spent
When you’re travelling in a foreign country in a motorhome or campervan, it’s not quite as straightforward as it would be if you were travelling in the UK. When you’re touring abroad there are things you need to know – and things you can do – which will help you make the most of your trip. Some of them are obvious than others. In this edition of our blog we’ll run through most of them, so that you’re well prepared to make your trip.
You might be the sort of person who makes lists for just about every aspect of their life (not only for when you’re going shopping). A list acts as an aide memoire, the perfect tool for reminders and for keeping track of everything. Whether it’s for your prep or once you’re out and about, when you use the list method in relation to your road trips, it’s a great way to keep track of your progress.
You may be going away for two or three weeks at a time – and making a list in advance of loading up your vehicle and setting off will really help you with your efficiency. There’s no doubt you’ll be taking food with you on your trip, so working out how many meals you’ll be having in the motorhome or campervan rather than in cafes, pubs or restaurants will help you work out what food you need to take. In other words, a spot of meal planning will go a long way. Sticking to your list and only taking what you need will help you save on the storage space you’ll require, rather than packing loads of stuff you’ll never use.
It’s not just the amount and type of food you’ll be taking with you that you put down on a list. You’ll definitely want to make sure certain things are not forgotten. Puncture repair kit (if you’re also taking bikes on your trip), spare batteries for the TV remote control, toilet paper, toothpaste, etc etc…
Other ways that list-making will help you include route planning. Although these days most people have some sort of sat nav system either within the vehicle itself or on their phones, it’s actually very handy to know the overall route you are likely to take on the duration of you trip. So let’s look at that more closely…
Planning out the route you will take through the countries you will be visiting is a worthwhile part of your pre-trip prep (or your daily routine while you’re actually on the trip if you’re working through the whole holiday in stages). When you travel abroad there’s every possibility that you will encounter different road systems to the UK – toll roads, toll bridges and the like. It’s worth finding these on your planned route, so that you are not taken by surprise when you encounter them. If you don’t want to travel a route which uses these roads (etc) then you will be able to, but it may take you more time to get from A to B and you should try and account for this, or you may find yourself slipping behind schedule.
It’s also well worth being aware of the distances from point to point, and research the best places along the way that you can stop for a rest or to refuel your vehicle. This also raises the point of making sure you plan out sensible ‘legs’ of your trip to account for refuelling. You can also, by planning in advance, have a clear idea of where you will be parking up for your downtime. There are many legally appropriate places you can park a motorhome or campervan for an overnight stay, and it is a good idea to take account of these when you are doing your route planning. You will be able to find these on the internet, so spend a bit of time with your favourite search engine before you fire up your vehicle’s engine!
There are various bits of ‘admin’ to undertake in relation to any trip you make abroad (and for the purposes of this edition of our blog we mean Europe, as this is the area most accessible in a motorhome or campervan from the UK).
There must be three months or more ‘on’ your passport, and it must have been issued within the past ten years (at the date of return from Europe). From November 2023 onwards, all visa-free travellers going in to the EU will have had to register online with the European Travel Information and Authorisation System.
You will need a full UK driving licence as that is a requirement for touring in Europe in a motorhome or campervan. However, an International Driving Permit is an additional requirement if your driver’s licence was issued in Jersey, Gibraltar, Guernsey or the Isle of Man. A UK sticker is also a requirement unless you have a number plate which has the Union Jack flag as part of its design.
Although a GHIC or EHIC (Global or European Health Insurance Card) isn’t a legal requirement, it’s worth getting one as it’s free. The benefit of having one is that you will gain access to any medically necessary state-provided healthcare when you’re visiting an EU country. Medically necessary, in this case, means any medical treatment which cannot wait until you have returned home to the UK.
It’s also not a legal requirement for European travel to have travel insurance and motorhome / campervan breakdown cover but it is well worth investing in as, in the unfortunate instance of something going wrong with your motorhome or campervan it is best to be covered.
Your home from home will be… your home. You will be spending rather a lot of time in it while you are away, so pay it some TLC before you set off on any extended trips abroad. Make sure the tyres are at their correct pressures and ensure that the indicator lights and brake lights are in good working order. Check over the water and gas systems to make sure they are functioning correctly.
Travelling abroad in a motorhome or campervan is such a fantastic way to see ‘more’ of life away from your own country. It’s so beneficial to travel in a vehicle like this as you can do your whole holiday without being tied down in one place for too long – so you will see more things, more places, and your sense of not having ‘wasted’ any of your time will be greater.
Whether you’re looking to travel in one of our VW campervans or any other one of the amazing leisure vehicles we have here in stock at Don Amott, such as a Weinsberg motorhome, or even a Swift, then we can help you get sorted. Not only can we supply you with a top quality custom VW camper or another great vehicle, but we will also answer any queries you might have before you head off on your holiday abroad! Simply contact us today to get started!