Camping offers a feeling unlike any other kind of holiday. You can go wherever you want, do whatever you want, on any schedule you choose. When travel around Europe, that opens up vast swathes of the continent. You can travel between countries with relative ease, and without having to spend a fortune to do it.
If the idea of an open continent, and time to explore it, appeals, you have to be prepared. With the obvious benefits, camping does have some downsides too. You’re not going to be able to rely on a hotel service for everything you need, and travelling between countries has its own issues.
The below list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a good preparation guide before you set off on the holiday of a lifetime.
- Check local needs.
If you’re driving a car in France, there are many different requirements for what you should carry with you. Make sure you’re up to speed on these before getting behind the wheel, and check the specifics for any country you pass through.
- Keep your documents close to you.
If you run in to trouble, you’re going to want easy access to all the essential paperwork. Keep your passport, EHIC cards, travel insurance and medical information in a specific place you can access quickly. Keep it with you at all times. It is advisable not to let your document wallet out of your sight- you never know when you might need it.
- Be prepared for tent problems.
While being able to sleep where you choose is one of the major upsides of camping, don’t forget that you might need to run repairs. Tent repair kits are easy to find and package with you. If you can, try running a repair as a test before you go – better to know you can do it before you’re stranded in Greece while rain lashes down!
- Don’t rely on phone translations.
With the advent of services like Google Translate, you might think you can skip between different languages easily. However, there is still a place for old-fashioned phrase books. For a start, they don’t require charging. If you’re going to be travelling between campsites, you might struggle for power from time-to-time. They make a good backup, so investing in one for any language you are likely to encounter is a good idea.
- Changes in weather.
This is particularly true if you’re planning a long trip through several countries. Even if you’re going in summer, don’t expect to find the same weather. Europe has a wildly different climate, from the cool wind and rain of Northern France for the scorched beaches of Italy’s boot. The key to packing for this is clothing that can be layered when it’s cold, and worn by itself when the sun shines. It might be worth looking into capsule wardrobes, to see if something suits.
With that starting guide, your European travel adventure should be off to a good start!