Pack a bag and grab some willing friends before heading into the sunset on the road trip of a lifetime. Just be prepared and read our top tips first…
- Roughly plan your road trip but be flexible
Make sure you can alter it if an opportunity comes along that’s too good to resist. Knowing approximately where you’re going to sleep each night is a good thing. Just allow for the unexpected because it’s those precious moments that you’re most likely to treasure. Slip a credit card into your luggage for emergencies.
- Carry out a safety check on your car
Make sure your tyre pressure and tread depth are within the legal limits. Ensure your car has had a recent service and your lights have been adjusted if driving across Europe.
- Check out the legal stuff – it’s important
- Make sure your car insurance covers you for the whole trip & location.
- Pack a red warning triangle in case you breakdown.
- Familiarise yourself with the driving laws that can vary widely.
- Pack your driving licence, insurance documents and passports.
- Remember to display your GB sticker for mainland Europe if your vehicle’s licence plate doesn’t feature a GB euro-symbol (Europlates).
- Some countries outside the EU a GB ‘sticker’ is required even if you have euro-plates.
- Carry a European Health Card and keep your holiday insurance details close to hand. Apply for a European Health Insurance Card.
- 112 is the European emergency call number you can dial anywhere in the European Union in case of accident, assault or in any other distress situation.
- Take a spare set of keys
Cautious perhaps, but better being prepared than stuck in the middle of nowhere trying to hotwire your car!
- Pack a road map & pens
Google maps are all well and good, but without a proper road map, you’re leaving yourself open to getting lost if the signal fails or your battery dies. Frame it when you get home and keep it as a souvenir!
- Take an in-car + portable phone charger
Be sure to take an in-car charger as well as those handy portable phone chargers for emergencies (don’t forget to charge it before you set off!). It goes without saying that it’s illegal to use your mobile when driving in most countries across Europe so keep it in your pocket when driving.
- Take breakdown kit, a first aid pack and a reflective vest
It’s a legal requirement in many counties.
- Take plenty of rest stops
Driving in different countries can be exhausting so remember to take a break. Make it part of the adventure and choose somewhere interesting to unwind.
- Confirm your whereabouts
Stay safe. Let someone close to you know where you’re planning on going and when you’ve arrived safely.
- Do as the locals do
Don’t just rely on a guidebook. If you really want to find the best beach or the tastiest food, the busiest bar or the coolest nightclub, then ask a local. They’ll have all the gen on the cheapest and most popular places. Go on – don’t be shy. You’d be amazed what kind of hidden gems you’ll find.
- Remember your camera
Sounds mad, but it’s easy to forget to take pictures after the initial excitement has worn off. On a rainy day, when you get home and all you’ve got left is your scrapbook, you’ll be thankful you made the effort.
- Don’t be an easy target
Keep your valuables out of sight in your car and park in a well-lit place. Be aware of your surroundings when you’re driving and avoid areas that look far from inviting.
- Carry change for tolls
There are a number of toll roads across Europe. It will speed up your progress.
- Pack light
It’s easy to over pack when you’re heading off on holiday. Remember, you only have a limited amount of room. If you want to buy souvenirs along the way, then you need to keep your luggage to a minimum and don’t over load the car.
- Take a football or Frisbee
Enjoy a kick-about or Frisbee game and invite the locals to play. Locals will know the area best, and they’ll lead you to the best spots once you break the ice.
Remember, a road trip is all about the journey, not the destination. Don’t rush it; enjoy every moment and have an amazing time.
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