Touring Europe in New Motorhomes
Although the UK’s formal political association with Europe came to an end with Brexit, the countries that make up that fine continent are still our closest neighbours and friends. Importantly for travellers, those countries making up Europe still offer plenty of fantastic places to visit in a new motorhomes and new campervans. In this edition of our blog we’ll suggest ways you can prepare for a trip to Europe and increase your enjoyment when you’re there.
1. Prepare a Schedule / Do Some Planning
Having no notion of what tomorrow might bring (or more accurately, exactly where tomorrow will bring) can be a truly freeing feeling. Running ‘wild’ in this way is all very well, and for some it’s actually the dream scenario when they’re living an on-the-road life. For others, it’s much more important to have a clear plan involving times and locations (it could be nailed on to the hour or slightly looser and only lists the places you want to visit, say). Knowing which approach you are taking is an important part of preparing for a trip – and coming up with a plan in advance can really help with making sure you’re not ‘going wrong’ and drifting off from your intentions.
We’d always advise that you work things out properly ahead of setting off. Once you’ve got a plan in hand and have committed to your ‘mission’ to visit A, B and C, then you can plot out your routes (preferred and alternative). Taking this step will also allow you to account for potential unusual aspects to your trip – toll bridges, toll roads, etc.
There is no one ‘right way’ to consider these features. There are routes which work out cheaper on the pocket but cost you more in terms of time as they are nothing like as direct as toll roads – and vice versa. It’s down to personal preference and, quite often, people don’t have a plan for the exact roads they’ll be taking – just a list of the places they want to visit at the end of each session on the road.
Planning ahead regarding the routes you might take on your trip will also mean you can calculate the distances you’re going to be travelling, and therefore work out when you’re likely to need to refuel. You can research convenient stops along the way which will allow you to do that (and to have a rest, yourself, of course). You can also check out the parking situation in the places you intend to visit. It would be quite a pain to turn up at a particular spot and find that you are not actually allowed to park there.
2. Places to Stay
Researching and then developing a plan also means you can work out the places you want to ‘pitch up’ in your vehicle. Perhaps you want to stay in a particular area for a few nights, and so booking in advance is essential to make sure you are not disappointed (encountering a ‘no room at the inn’ sort of scenario). By researching you can also establish favoured campsites, or approved overnight parking spots (these are referred to as Aires in France, Sosta in Italy and Stellplatz in Germany). These overnight parking spots cannot be pre-booked, and are available only on a first-come first-served basis.
3. Legal Requirements
There are certain unavoidable legal requirements for travel in Europe. It’s a legal requirement to have at least three months left on your UK passport (which must have been issued within the past decade) at the date of your departure back to the UK from Europe. You will also need a UK driving licence (if yours was issued in the Isle Of Man, Jersey, Guernsey or Gibraltar then an International Driving Permit is a requirement).
If you are planning on taking a pet with you (almost certainly a dog, rather than a cat, fish, snake or budgie) then you should make sure to organise the correct pet travel documents. A new rule also comes into force later this year (November 2023), when all visa-free travellers going to countries within the EU (European Union) have to register online with the European Travel Information and Authorisation System.
4. Not Required but Sensible
There are a couple more ‘paperwork’-type things which are worth sorting out. Although they are not legally required, they are very sensible. The GHIC or EHIC (Global or European Health Insurance Card allows you to access state-provided healthcare when you’re visiting an EU country (the healthcare must be ‘medically necessary’ – i.e. it cannot wait until you come home). This card is not a direct replacement for travel insurance, though, and will not be as far-reaching in terms of what is covered.
Similarly, travel insurance and Europe motorhome / campervan breakdown cover are not legally required but they are worth spending a little bit of money on so that you are covered if there are problems or mishaps with your vehicle while travelling.
New Motorhomes at Go European
Travelling around Europe is one of the very best things about living in our part of the world, and we are very lucky to be close to a continent which features so much of interest and enjoyment to see and do. One of the finest ways to experience it all is from the comfort of a motorhome or campervan – and, lucky you, here at Go European we offer new motorhomes and new campervans which will provide you with the perfect home from home. We offer great vehicles from top brands and excellent customer service – so if you have any queries, simply get in touch and a member of our friendly team will be more than happy to help. It won’t be long before you’re out on the road and enjoying all that Europe has to offer!