Road tripping is in-vogue again. In a climate with a newly recovered economy, a ‘make do and mend’ mentality and an eye always firmly fixed on our finances, many of us are choosing to adopt an economical approach to vacationing and road trips perfectly fit the bill.
European road trips have become particularly popular in recent years, and their appeal is very easy to understand. With everything from the piazzas and palaces of an Italy road trip to the medieval fortresses of Germany, ethereal reaches of the Swiss Alps, cosmopolitan vitality of France sited on our doorstep and no more than a car journey to separate us from their delights, travelling further afield is simply unnecessary.
If you’re planning to join the trend and go on a self-driving route planner around Europe, then here are 10 things that you ought to consider…
#1: Your Vehicle
Planning a Spain road trip is fantastic fun, but one thing that would be guaranteed to ruin your adventure would be an unscheduled stop along the way. It’s always a good idea to make sure that your vehicle has an up-to-date MOT before travelling overseas and that any niggling problems are given a quick once over at the garage.
#2: European Breakdown Cover
Of course, even if everything seems to be in good working order, you can never guarantee that disaster won’t strike, so you need a contingency plan in place. Do your research to help you plan your perfect France road trip, to avoid finding yourself stranded at the side of a foreign motorway, make sure that you take out comprehensive European breakdown cover before you travel.
#3: Your Itinerary
Before you hit the road, make sure that you know where you’re going. Europe offers a huge array of delights and you’ll never be able to see all of them in a single trip. Do your research to help you plan your perfect trip to Europe; the places that you’d most like to see along the way, your overnight stop-overs and a route that will be efficient and practical to travel.
You’ll usually find that the water overseas upsets your stomach, so always make sure that you have enough cash with you to stock up on bottled water along the way. One of the advantages of travelling in a car is that you can also stockpile some supplies in your boot, which will help you save money and time whilst you’re on the road.
Likewise, don’t forget to stock up on snacks. Eating on the go will prove much more expensive than buying food beforehand, so visit a budget supermarket and grab some bargains. A cooler box in the boot is a great idea for helping to extend the shelf life of your supplies, so be sure to invest in one of these as well.
You’ll need to know where you’re going, so a reliable map app on your phone is another necessity to add to your list. If you won’t have any internet connection overseas or you’re worried about losing your signal, it’s a good idea to take along an old-fashioned atlas too, so that you can get from A to B in no time.
Although you’ll have some wonderful adventures whilst you’re exploring the continent, you’ll also spend a lot of time in the car, so it’s important to make it interesting. A good playlist will go a long way towards keeping everyone happy whilst you drive, so download some holiday tunes to brighten your mood.
Music isn’t the only way to improve your time spent in the car. Portable DVD players are ideal for those travelling with children, as are cards and apps that you can play on your phones. Books are also great, although studies have shown that they’re not a good idea for those who suffer from travel sickness.
#9: Home Comforts
Lots of people like to spend some of their time in the car asleep and this means that it’s usually a good idea to take some travel pillows and blankets along. The more shut-eye that you can snatch on the go, the less monotonous it will be.
Finally, don’t forget to pack an emergency first aid kit. Bumps and scrapes are almost inevitable, so it’s a good idea to pack plasters and bandages, along with painkillers, a thermometer and a few other basic bits and pieces.
If you can tick each of these boxes, then you’re all set to have a fantastic Portugal road trip.
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