How to prepare for a DIY European road trip

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Fancy taking a European road trip this year? Here’s how to do it on a budget + some tips on the travel essentials you’ll need to prepare before you set off…

I bet you’ve been looking at holidays this month, haven’t you? In the darkest days of January there always seems to be a surge of trips being booked and days out being organised. My social media is full of updates about my pals’ holiday plans. So, even if you weren’t already thinking about holidays, you probably are after seeing all of that, right? So I thought I’d share some tips today on putting together that most DIY holiday of all – a road trip.
I love a good road trip and enjoy planning my route as much as actually taking the holiday itself. I did a west-to-east UK road trip a couple of years ago, starting in Blackpool and ending up in Scarborough. We stayed in pub accommodation and budget hotels across the country so we packed so much more into that week than we would’ve if we’d stayed in one location. So just imagine how much you could see if you went on a European road trip! I’ve been following the hashtag #RoadTripsOfEurope with Kwik Fit and am looking forward to being inspired by all the road trip photos.

  1. You can go away for as long as you like – even a couple of days feels like an adventure – but if you have a longer period of time available, you can fill it with more experiences.
  2. You’ll see more – when you’re on the road, you’re not stuck in one destination and can visit numerous places each day.
  3. No time limits – you’re not constrained by timetables and won’t spend hours waiting in airports or train stations. Once you’re in the car, you’re on holiday.
  4. You’ve got everything you need – you’re having to physically drag a suitcase around with you, so you can bring more essentials with you in the boot of the car.
  5. You can keep moving – if you don’t like a destination, just keep on driving and head to the next stop.

The main thing about making a road trip enjoyable, particularly one where you’re heading out of the country, is to be fully prepared. It’s about sensible packing and making sure you’ve checked all the travel info you need before you set off.

  1. All your vehicle documents: driving license, MOT, insurance, tax, registration etc. Oh, and your passport.
  2. European breakdown insurance. I know first-hand just how valuable this is, because we once broke down in Brussels after the alternator failed on our vehicle. Thankfully, the breakdown cover we’d chosen was extensive enough to bring us all the way home.
  3. There are low emission zones all around Europe, and some vehicles won’t comply with the Urban Access Regulations so be sure to check your route and vehicle emissions rating to make sure you’re allowed to travel through towns and cities.
  4. You might need to pay Urban Road Tolls (like the congestion charge in London) so check which cities have  road charging schemes before you set off and be ready to pay.
  5. Breakdown kit in the car. It’s compulsory to carry specific items in your car in case of a break down and that varies depending on the country you’re travelling through. It can be a triangle, reflective jacket, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and so on.
  6. Clothing and personal bits and pieces. If you’re travelling with any medication you regularly take, check the rules of the countries you’re travelling to.

Once you’ve gathered together all the essential equipment, permits, documents etc, all you need to do is plan your route and get some hotels booked. I love the idea of travelling through France to Spain this summer so might start planning that trip now! Let me know if you have any tips or suggestions for planning a road trip, and I’d love to hear stories of your adventures so please leave me a comment below 🙂

This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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