Travelling abroad with a car can seem daunting, but with a little planning and organisation, it can be a fantastic holiday. There’s the opportunity to visit places off the beaten track and enjoy a sense of freedom that doesn’t happen with other holidays.
To plan or not to plan?
A holiday abroad can be as planned or as carefree as desired. Now we have the internet, it is possible to book accommodation for every night, plan the route and even decide where to stop for breaks. Other holidaymakers may prefer to get off the ferry and hit the open road, stopping where the fancy takes them and not worrying about places being booked up. Most of us will go for something in between, knowing where we are headed, but allowing a little time for some extra exploration when something beckons.
What to take
The temptation may be to fill the car. There are clearly less restraints than packing a case to take on a plane but, just because there’s space, it doesn’t have to be filled. Leaving a little room means there’s space for the spoils of some serious shopping. Most important to remember to take are the things that will be difficult to get abroad such as medication and other medical needs.
What to take also depends on what kind of holiday it will be. Staying at smart hotels and enjoying fine dining obviously require different clothes and equipment from a camping holiday. Decide what equipment such as cameras, phones, ipads and similar equipment to take. It’s important to make sure they are covered on an insurance policy and to make certain that they will work abroad.
Have the Car Serviced
Before going abroad, it is wise to get any niggling knocks and rattles attended too. Having a mechanic check the car and get a service is also a good plan. There are items which it is required to carry when motoring in Europe and the AA lists details. These include fire extinguishers, first aid kits and head lamp adjustment. Taking spares and tools may save a lot of time, should they be needed.
It is necessary to have a Great Britain or Northern Ireland driving licence, issued by the DVLA to drive abroad. Drivers who still have paper licences may prefer to upgrade these to a photographic licence as it gives further evidence of identity. Ring DVLA customer enquiries to discuss any queries about the licence requirements. If there are any problems with a driving licence, such as a change of address or name, ring the DVLA contact number to discuss how long it will take to get the licence changed. In some countries, an International Driving Permit is required.
Time to go
The car is in tip top condition and all the necessary paperwork completed and filed, along with passports and money. A vehicle recovery service has been booked for the car and travel insurance and the European Health Insurance Card have been obtained. It’s time to buy a road map of Europe and some sun cream. Book the ferry and stick the GB sticker on the car. It’s time to go!
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