A road trip through Europe is one of the most exciting holidays you can take – it brings spontaneity, new experiences and lots of laughs.
Nothing but the open road stretched out in front of you and the possibility of unearthing new cultures, foods and famous landmarks with every passing country. It’s the ultimate sense of freedom and the most incredible way to spend some quality time with family, friends or loved ones. If you’re planning a road trip, whether it’s just a few days or an epic journey over several months, here’s my top packing tips to make your European road trip go off without a hitch. I have teamed up with Slater and Gordon who have launched the Safe Journey Guide initiative to promote safety checks and safe driving, which is especially important when on a long road trip.
Make sure you make all the right checks before heading off on a road trip. Oil, check, tyres, check, water, check, lights, check! Only 44% of drivers polled by Slater and Gordon said they check their oil, water, tyres and lights before heading off on a trip.
The very first item on your list should be a set of the comfiest clothes you own. Think pyjamas and you’re just about there. The last thing you want is to feel restricted on a long road trip. Take clothes for both hot and cold weather and plenty of layers for chilly evenings.
Don’t forget to pack your driving license (including counterpart paper license), and travel insurance documents including emergency contact number for your insurance company. And it goes without saying; don’t forget your passport!
Breakdown cover & roadside assistance
Although you may already have this in the UK, be sure to check with your provider that it covers you for travel in Europe, as a lot of policies won’t include it as standard. Eurotunnel offer you comprehensive breakdown cover at competitive prices when driving abroad – so you needn’t ever get stranded by the roadside!
Roadside emergency kit
Including fire extinguisher, hazard warning triangle, emergency foil blanket and more handy items, which hopefully you won’t ever have to use, but it pays to be prepared.
Sanef Toll Tag
The Sanef Toll Tag is a tag for UK customers to make automatic payment when driving on motorways and toll roads in France. It makes driving in France simple and you can beat the queues at the tolls. You can apply for the Sanef Toll Tag for free on our website.
Pack a small backpack with the bits and pieces you’ll need for the day including a small amount of money, snacks, driving license, water bottle and phone.
Blankets and pillows
Eventually your passengers will most likely want a nap, so make sure they’re comfortable by packing a couple of pillows and blankets.
First aid kit
Containing plasters, pain relief, travel sickness tablets, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitiser and stomach settlers, just in case anyone should need them during your trip.
Kids car organiser
Place a handy bag between your kids in the back seat to keep everything they need within arm’s reach. The cooler chills food and drinks, the pockets hold electronics, the two drinks holders prevent spillages and the top flips to create a games table. Clever, eh?
Keep hold of any old jam jars or bottles with wide necks and use them as snack jars for long journeys. Your next handful of trailmix or salted peanuts is just a moment away!
Let technology aid your journey
Take all the tech
As a travel blogger I am a tech lover anyway but I wouldn’t go away anywhere these days without my battery pack. It can charge my phone, camera, TOMTOM Bandit and everything in-between. Each charge has up to four charges – you need never run out of battery again.
Unless your map reading skills are outstanding, you’ll probably find it easier to let a GPS navigate you to your destination. Just make sure it’s fully updated with the latest software to avoid being caught out by any new road layouts.
This clever app sources real-time information from its users to outsmart any pesky traffic jams and get you to where you want to be as quickly as possible. It also tells you the locations of speed cameras and where to get the best price on your fuel.
Never run low on battery again with a multi USB charger which runs straight off your car’s cigarette lighter. You’ll also find multiple charging points inside our passenger terminals.
Of course you’ll want to capture those stunning roadside scenes so don’t forget to pop a fully charged camera with plenty of SD card storage into the car.
To keep you entertained…
Download and print a few in-car games such as this great scavenger hunt, perfect for keeping the kids (and the big kids) from shouting ‘are we there yet?’
No road trip is complete without a rocking playlist to go with it. Make a few different playlists to suit your mood (upbeat, chilled out, all-time favourites etc), and ensure you have at least 100 songs to choose from. Variety is the spice of life!
Seat back iPad holder
If your kids love to play with an iPad, why not turn it into a mini cinema in the back seat with a car iPad holder which slips over the seat back?
So now you are ready for your next road trip! Where would you explore? France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia or the Netherlands? Let me know in the comments!