Booking in plenty of time.
All of Europe is on the move in summer and popular places will be booked out. If you’ve read about an amazing campground that’s got excellent reviews and is well-priced then there’s a very good chance you’ll need to book it early to avoid disappointment. Just make sure you understand their cancellation policy in case your plans change. You might not think your plans will change but stuff happens!
Consider your travel companions carefully.
Travelling with friends can be tricky business. If you’re not careful, you might not still be friends at the end of the trip. In general it’s best to travel with others who have the same level of travel experience as you do.
Practice using your kit.
If you’re planning on camping then make sure you’re familiar with your equipment. Take your tent to your local park and set it up if you need to. Also make sure you’ve used your camping stove and know how it works. This will make your life a lot less stressful when you rock up to a camping ground starving as the sun is setting. Even practicing a few times will give you the experience and confidence you need.
Get a car charger and a GPS/roaming plan or local SIM
Having internet access on a road trip makes a huge difference. You might want to go with a dedicated GPS or if you can sort out data on your phone, then you can use that as a GPS. Make sure you have a reliable way of mounting the phone to your car so that you can view it clearly while driving. Practice using Google maps for navigation so that you’re familiar with how it works. It’s pretty intuitive but not completely so. Using the mobile app is a little different from using Google maps on your computer, so you’ll need to try it out around your local area before you use it in unfamiliar places.
Get yourself covered.
Familiarize yourself with your insurance policies and what they do and don’t cover. Getting European breakdown cover is an option if you’re a little concerned about the reliability of your car. If you’re planning on doing a lot of miles and will be departing and returning to the same location then you might consider doing a short term lease on a new car rather than using your own car, especially if your car is older or a petrol guzzler.
Plan your meals
Get yourself a cooler and start thinking about the meals you’d like to have on your trip. You want to strike a balance between your budget and getting to fully experience the food culture of wherever you’re visiting. We’d much rather skimp on our accommodation budget than our food budget. That said, eating out one meal a day is usually enough. You don’t need to eat in restaurants for every meal. Plan some healthy travel snacks and make sure you have refillable water bottles to keep hydrated and alert.