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What to take on a motorhome tour of Europe

Big road trip planned on the continent? Before you pack up your motorhome, it pays to do some research and make sure you’re ready to travel from place to place without a hitch. There’s nothing worse than taking to the road and suddenly remembering that you left your driving licence on the coffee table. We’ve done most of the legwork for you, so let’s dive straight in with our motorhome must-haves…

Documents

Of all the things you’ll need on your adventure, your documents are probably the most important. You may be able to pick up most forgotten items on route, but you can’t get a new passport at the ferry terminal. Keep your documents together and make sure you’ve got all of these:

  • Passport
  • Current driving licence
  • Health insurance paperwork
  • Motorhome insurance details – make sure you’re covered to drive in the EU
  • Travel insurance papers
  • Motorhome documentation – V5 log book, trailer certification

You may also want to note down any important phone numbers you might need in an emergency, just in case you can’t use your phone – no signal, dead battery etc.

Write down:

  • Your insurer’s contact information and any policy details
  • Details of an emergency contact
  • Details of your breakdown provider

First aid

Someone’s bound to pick up a cut or scrape whilst exploring, especially if you’re planning lots of activities or going beyond the beaten path. Get yourself a well-stocked first aid kit and fill it with as many essentials as you can. That way, you can patch up and continue on your adventure. Check that all supplies are well in date before you leave and make sure you’ve got:

  • A thermometer
  • Antiseptic cream & hand sanitizer
  • Tweezers & scissors
  • Plasters & bandages
  • Disposable gloves
  • Medication (plus oral rehydration therapy & diarrhoea medication)
  • Gauze & safety pins
  • Antihistamines & pain relief tablets
  • An ice pack
  • Tape
  • Insect repellent

Travel insurance

Consider taking out travel insurance before you make any bookings for your tour of Europe. The financial reassurance and peace of mind travel insurance brings is invaluable. Your GHIC card will give you access to emergency and necessary medical treatment in another country. However, if you need more than emergency medical treatment, that’s when travel insurance comes into its own. Amongst other benefits, travel insurance may cover things like medical expenses and travel arrangements if you need to return home after developing an illness or sustaining an injury.

Not sorted your travel insurance yet? Our friends at Swinton offer online exclusive single trip and annual multi-trip travel insurance policies which you might like to consider.

Motorhome insurance

When taking to the road in your motorhome, it pays to be prepared for every eventuality. Insurance is a legal requirement, but taking out a motorhome insurance policy may offer further benefits to help you on your way. These could include:

  • Motorhome breakdown cover
  • Cover for EU road trips
  • Windscreen repair 
  • Personal contents cover

At Safeguard, we always work hard to try and help motorhome owners find the right policy for their needs. We may be able to help you too. Remember, your vehicle must also be taxed and MOT’d!

Alarm

You may find a whistle tucked in your first aid kit, but you might also want to consider getting yourself a safety alarm – especially if you’re travelling solo. Your safety comes above all else when travelling either alone or in a group, so make sure you have all you need to protect yourself.

An alarm clock or a watch with an alarm functionality may also prove useful - they could help to make sure you’re making the most of your time out on the open road.

Breakdown cover

Before you fire up the engine, consider taking out European breakdown cover – because breaking down in another country could be both scary and costly. Being stranded in a non-English speaking country, particularly if you’re in the middle of nowhere, is nobody’s idea of fun.

If you’ve taken out Motorhome Insurance through Safeguard, you may already have UK and EU Motorhome Breakdown cover included in your policy. Check your policy wordings just in case and give yourself time to act if you need to get breakdown cover sorted.

Have plenty of water and snacks stowed in your motorhome to keep you going just in case you do suffer an unfortunate breakdown.

Hi-vis vests

Reflective yellow vests are mandatory for all passengers in France, they must be worn in the event that your motorhome breaks down at the side of the road. Vests must be easily accessible from the driver’s seat, so make sure to keep them within reach.

Warning Triangle

You must carry a warning triangle at all times. If you break down or are involved in an accident, place the triangle 30 metres behind your motorhome to warn approaching traffic.

UK sticker

GB stickers are no longer legal. Instead, you must display a UK sticker on the rear of your UK-registered motorhome. If your motorhome’s numberplate already features the UK identifier with a Union flag, a UK sticker may not be required.

If your numberplate features a GB sticker and Union flag, a Euro symbol, a national flag (England, Scotland or Wales) or numbers and letters only, you will need to display the UK sticker.

If you’re travelling in Spain, Cyprus, or Malta, a UK sticker must be displayed under all circumstances.

Insect repellent

Nobody wants to spend their holiday being bitten by pesky bugs, so make sure you pack insect repellent. Some products will work better than others, so it may be worth trying a few out before deciding on the right one for you.

Oil & washer fluid

It’d be a massive shame to have your trip halted for something as easy to fix as a low oil reservoir. Keep bottles of engine oil and washer fluid onboard for top ups as and when required. Remember to check for any signs of an oil leak as you travel along.

Spare bulbs & fuses

If you have blown or faulty bulbs whilst on your travels, you run the risk of being fined. Keeping spare bulbs for headlamps and side indicators etc. on board will mean it’s a quick and easy swap if you notice you have a bulb that’s stopped working.

Tyres

If you’re planning a long trip over several weeks, make sure to get your tyres checked out. Even if they’re OK now, it might be worth getting them changed before you leave to stop your tyre tread from wearing low once you’re off UK soil. Make sure you have motorhome-approved tyres fitted to your vehicle – they are NOT the same as car tyres even if the sizing matches up.

Whilst we’re on the subject of tyres, make sure your tyre pressures are set correctly for the load.

GHIC cards

A UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is free and lasts for up to 5 years. It’ll give you access to necessary state healthcare whilst you’re in the EU and some other countries. The UK GHIC replaced the EHIC card, however you are still able to use your EHIC (if you have one) until the expiry date shown on the card. After that date, you will need to apply for your GHIC. You can apply for a new card up to 9 months before your current one expires.

Take out your new card through the NHS website. Avoid unofficial sites which may charge you a fee.

Electric hookup adaptors

As you move across borders, you may find it tricky to access power for your motorhome unless you have an electric hookup adaptor with you. Before you leave, check to make sure you have country-specific adaptors for the places on your itinerary.

Spare keys

It may seem like an obvious one, but a reminder won’t hurt. Spare keys for everything from your motorhome to the padlocks on your luggage could prove a godsend if a key goes missing. Keep two bunches in safe places so you’ll be less likely to lose both sets.

Travel sickness pills

Just because we travel for fun, that doesn’t mean some of us don’t get travel sick. Make sure you pack a plentiful supply to last the whole trip, and maybe a few extras for good luck!