Camp in Europe and enjoy a holiday unlike any in the UK. Taking your van, tent, motorhome or caravan overseas on a holiday in Europe is a totally different experience. If, like us, you’ve taken advantage of some of the great offers on channel crossings in October, here are some top tips to help you have a great time travelling and camping abroad.
PLAN YOUR FULL ROUTE
If you’ve got a long drive ahead of you, make sure you plan your route in detail. You need to know where you’re going, of course, but also think about how long the drive will take, which roads you want to avoid and where you might make overnight stops. Check where any tolls are as well, so you don’t get any nasty surprises.
GET YOUR VEHICLE ROAD-READY
Once you’ve got your route sorted, you’re good to hit the road. Well, almost… because before setting off you need to make sure your vehicle is ready to drive abroad. Check your tyre pressure and oil, coolant and windscreen wash levels. Fit deflector stickers to your headlights so you don’t dazzle oncoming cars at night.
You’ll also need a UK sticker (not a GB one now).
Other important equipment needed includes high-viz vests, warning triangles and breathalysers, but check the local requirements in all the countries you’re passing through.
This is a useful link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/driving-in-the-eu
PACK A SEPARATE BAG FOR OVERNIGHT STOPS
Rather than drag your main bag out every time you make an overnight stop, it’s a good idea to pack a separate overnight bag with a change of clothes and toiletries. You should also take a large shoulder bag or daypack for essential documents, camera, money etc.
USE MOTORWAY REST AREAS
If you’re used to UK motorway services, this might not sound like great advice, but think again. Services in Europe are generally a joy to use – some are simply picnic areas, but others have petrol stations, shops and excellent food outlets. You might need some local currency to use the loos at some stops.
BRING STRONG PEGS
If you’re camping in a tent or using an awning on your van, you might need stronger pegs capable of being driven into the sun-baked, hard ground without bending. We suggest taking heavy duty steel pegs that you can hammer firmly into the ground. And a footprint to go under the groundsheet will help protect it from damage.
Make sure you’ve got plenty of shade for protection from the sun at the hottest time of the day. Consider investing in an extension or canopy for a tent, or an awning or sun canopy for your vehicle. The picture above is our pitch at a hu campsite on the outskirts of Rome for 3 days of sightseeing in the city.
BRING THE RIGHT GAS
Calor Gas is not available in mainland Europe, so if that’s what you use for your cooker or barbecue make sure you bring enough from home to last for the length of your trip. Alternatively, use Campingaz, which is readily available across Europe. Be aware of restrictions on taking gas onto ferries and Eurotunnel.
STOCK UP ON MOSQUITO REPELLENT/CREAM/CANDLES
Mosquito bites can ruin a foreign holiday, especially if they get infected, so you can never have too much spray and cream with you. Citronella candles can help keep the bugs at bay. If you do get bitten make sure you’ve got something to relieve the symptoms stashed in your first aid box.
The rechargeable Lumi Mosi Lantern is a collapsible 2 in 1 LED lantern light and pop-out ultra-violet insect zapper. It will swiftly dispatch any mosquitos, midges and other creepy crawlies attracted to the light, helping you to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.