Europe is huge, diverse, colourful, and above all else, downright beautiful. Taking a road trip across huge landmass will take you through many different countries, all with their own special differences, and will no doubt give you a trip of a lifetime.
Whether you choose to head to different countries that interest you, creating your own road trip, or choose a pre-designed one, such as the Great Alpine Road through the French Alps, the Romantic Road through the medieval landscapes of Germany, or maybe even the Norweigian Fjords, you will need to give some pre-thought to a few different issues before you head off onto the open road.
Plan your route
You will need to give some thought to where you want to go before you begin. If you simply attempt to fly by the seat of your pants you will end up missing out on the major sights of interest, and probably end up driving along a dull motorway. Plan ahead and you will gain so much more.
Have camp sense
There are countless campsites around Europe, but it’s also worthwhile booking ahead if possible. If you’re thinking of rocking up but don’t have a definite time, research campsites where this is possible, as you can’t just park up anywhere for the night.
Check your licence
Do you need to make any adjustments to your driving licence, e.g. obtain an international licence? This all depends on your country of origin and where your licence was issued, so head to the embassy website for reliable information. Whatever the outcome, always keep your licence with you.
Make sure you have the correct car equipment
You need adequate car travel and touring equipment to take with you on your adventure, and the best quality will give you the best results. Make a list of things you need before you go, and head online for advice from those who regularly road trip, to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important.
In order to get the most out of your trip, look at combining nearby countries of interest to you, which obviously means you will cross borders. You’ll see how different countries can be even when they are in very close proximity.
Keep your passport/visa handy
If you need a visa, keep it with your passport, and keep them both handy and safe for when you do cross borders, as you will be required to show them to the authorities.
Remember your Euros
Most of Europe has the Euro as its currency, which makes it easier than swapping to various currencies as you go. Keep some change handy in your car for toll bridges and roads, as there are quite a few across the continent.
Book car hire well in advance
If you’re using a hire car it’s always a good idea to book this well in advance of your trip, as you will save more money this way.
Make sure you have adequate insurance for your trip. Shopping around will give you the best options here, as your car hire company may be more expensive, but explore this option. Not only will you need regular travel insurance, but you’ll also need insurance for your car, and you’ll need to check the various different types to find one to suit you.
Finally – explore!
Make sure you try something authentic in each country you visit, because despite all the red tape and things to remember, you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself and exploring Europe! Try a new cuisine in every country, buy a souvenir to remember each place by, but make sure you take it all in and don’t let it pass in a blur!