Me and my 2 children (13 and 11), are excitedly plannind a road trip thru France, maybe Switzerland and/or Spain. This is our first trip abroad and wondered if anyone had any must do's/ or don'ts while travelling abroad.
1st and most important must is go with an open mind and you will enjoy it.
2nd Do NOT argue with policemen - they are often not like their brit brothers / sisters - and they carry guns.
3rd make sure you have an up to date EHIC card for each member of the family - even the fittest can become ill at the wrong moment.
4th take a good up to date sat nav with you and spend a bit of time before hand loading it with POIs (points of interest) You can get loads of interesting ones from the POIhandler web site including free motorhome parking spots and even things you might not have previously considered like graveyards - why graveyards - 'cos they usually have water and if you are stuck without any it can be a godsend.
5th Make sure you have recovery for the size of vehicle for anywhere on the continent - even the best serviced 'vans can get sick too.
6th DO NOT FORGET FOR ONE SECOND THEY DRIVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!
Don't try to drive for too long each day, especially with the kids.
Have an idea of where you want to possibly end up and gently work you way there, stopping often and making the journey as much a part of the holiday as the destination.
Take a couple of hundred Euros in cash, well hidden either in your safe or around the van in various places, you can never be sure of finding an ATM when you need one, makes it easier when shopping in small shops and markets too.
Take photocopies of your V5, MOT, Driving License, Insurance docs, passports and credit cards in an envelope and put it somewhere safe in the van, and leave a full set of copies at home too, if you lose the originals or they are damaged you have got the copies for all the important info.
Don't forget your sense of humour and a couple of good maps.
The best tip is to enjoy it, even the hairy, scary bits (usually in retrospect ).
Each country has rules that are different from ours - for example if you need glasses to drive you must have a spare pair in Spain. You need to carry two triangles there as well.
High viz jackets for each occupant available to don before leaving the vehicle.
First Aid Kit is a requirement in many places.
Don't forget beam benders (make sure they're fit for your type of headlamps).
Depending on the bits you visit, not everybody understands English even if you talk loudly and very slowly :shout: - a simple phrase book in French and Spanish ought to do it as I believe French is fairly readily understood in Switzerland (though I haven't been there - yet - so I don't know first hand).
It may be handy to fit extra mirrors so you can see the stuff coming up on your left hand side. I found that my blind spot was just about where a car would be as its front was approaching level with my back, right up to eye contact out of the passenger window; a 3" stick on helped immensely.
I would say plan your route to keep everyone happy. How long do your kids like sitting in the Mh. Will they sleep at night while you drive. What do you want ...... to see things or get to .......... B quick.
There is no rule with a motorhome - your house is where you park it !. It may take you 2 days to get to spain or italy it may take a week. It is what you want it to be. To worry what others in the bus think is not to enjoy your trip.
Why motorhomes are great ........................ because you can do what you want to.
If your going a long way my advice would be add a day, that way if you have not gone as far as you planned so what. If you have gone past where you thought you would be .... fine. you may find a place to stay over and love it. You may arrive early and have longer at the place you planned. The point is CHILL . Your MH is home Remember that some days it just looks different out of the window. How great is that.
as this is our first summer with a motorhome, we have done a few weekends away an done about a 1000 miles in the lakes an north wales, we have got a 18 day adventure planned for august, we are going to do the first few days doin some climbin with friends in portland, dorset.
Hopefully the weather will be good cos we are hopin to spend the next 2 weeks doin a devon an cornwall tour, i am fully researched up, on it an have a general sought of plan.
We have now decided that with the recent weather, if it aint so good we might jump on a boat an see whats there.
Reading this thread has made me see how people have passion for this, it was quite inspiring, i have now got no worrys about it, if, it happens it our plan b, but just relax an see what happens and know there are websites like this were i can get all the help we need on our travels.