Thursday, 29 August 2013

Top Tips you should read before embarking on a European road trip

1. Use a Travelex Euro/Multi-currency cash passport. This card doesn't charge you for cash withdrawals, the commission is low, the website is reliable and it's quick and easy to top-up any amount of your choice over the internet. Way better than getting charged by your UK bank every single time you get out a wad of cash. You can also use it for internet transactions.

2. Shop at Lidl. Carrefour, Super U and E.Leclerc's are cheap but Lidl is much cheaper and its stock is good. I'd never shopped in one in the UK because I'm a snob. Oh, and remember to take carrier bags or a backpack to carry your goods as plastic bags from supermarkets can be expensive.

3. When using a sat-nav, spell your destination correctly. It might seem simple, but if you're visiting little towns or villages there are usually many incredibly similar spellings where there's an extra 'l' or 'e' which may be the other side of the country. (Luckily, we caught our mistake just in time and only went an hour out of our way.)

4. Over-estimate the time the sat-nav tells you, unless you're in a ferrari. Camper vans take a while longer to get up mountain passes and hair pin bends.

5. Don't trust tap water, even if it says it's drinkable, it's not worth the risk. Lidl will sort you out for 2litre bottles for 16c each.

6. Fast-food is more expensive than you think, and usually you're better off buying a yummy fresh baguette, ham and cheese. Support the local economy!

7. McDonalds' in Italy does not allow you to use wifi unless you have an Italian mobile number. French McDonalds' is fine but you're won't be able to connect outside of opening hours.

8. Diesel is expensive in Italy, less so in Greece and France. Shop around (if you can!) and you can usually find a bargain at the supermarket gas station. Don't buy any fuel on a motorway if you can help it because you're charged a fortune for service (the guy who has to fill your tank up - you're not allowed to do it yourself) as well as a premium for the stuff itself. Plan ahead!

9. Prepare for tolls. Some are much more expensive than others, especially if you're travelling through a lot of tunnels. Do your research online before you head off anywhere otherwise you can smash your budget in a few hours and that's sure to cause many a sad face.

10. Be aware of dodgy areas. We referred to a special camping guidebook which pointed out parts of motorways or tolls that we should be wary of. You don't want anyone puncturing your tyres or grabbing something through the window...

11. In the Med you should eat as much fresh fruit, veg and produce as you can because it's usually a total bargain and super delicious. Once you get to France the food returns to the standard in the UK: extortionate and tasteless. Boo!

12. Be nice to each other. If you're the passenger, don't fall asleep.

13. If there's lots of Germans, it's a good campsite.

That'll do. Enjoy!


Post a Comment