The ultimate travel checklist for your next campervan holidays

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Only a few days are left until the long-awaited holiday, but instead of enjoying the anticipation, we are busy with organisational questions, invalid passports and things that still need to be done. Most of us have experienced this at some point in our life. To spare you this, we have summarised the most important things to think about in the ultimate travel checklist.

1. In case you don't own one: Hire the right vehicle for you

Not owning your own motorhome doesn't mean you have to miss out on a camping holiday. Instead, you can easily rent a suitable camper - it's also a great way to try out different types of vehicles and equipment before you buy. Yescapa has over 12,000 vehicles available for rent from private owners in Germany and across Europe. If you are unsure which type of vehicle is right for you, check out our guide to the different types of camping vehicles.

2. Gather information about pitches

Find a pitch

If possible, we recommend you to look for a pitch as early as possible, as campsites are booked up very quickly. Especially if you are travelling in the high season, you should try to book a pitch at least six weeks in advance - at least if you plan to stay at campsites or private pitches.

If you prefer to keep a certain amount of spontaneity and flexibility (for example because you don't want to plan your itinerary in detail in advance and want to change your pitch more often), this is absolutely possible. In this case, Campy will be of great use to you. With the Campy web version or app, you can compare about 40,000 campsites and pitches all over Europe. Thanks to various filters, the search is very simple and efficient. For each pitch, you will find a detailed description including address and contact information, photos, reviews from other users, price, opening period, capacity and facilities. 

With Campy, you can quickly and easily find pitches that meet your criteria, contact the owners and get on your way. You can also save favourites in order to have a Plan B in case your original choice no longer suits you. By using Campy you save yourself a potentially long online search.

The basic version is completely free. If you are interested in additional features such as an offline map, satellite map or the option to save favourites, you can also test the premium version for 30 days free of charge. After that, the annual costs of the premium version are €14.99 per year.

Campy

In addition to staying on a camping or public site, wild camping is also an option used by many. Although the idea of parking in a forest or on a beach far away from other people is tempting and romantic, it actually is prohibited or at least heavily regulated in many countries. So be sure to check the rules in your destination country beforehand. Due to the popularity of wild camping and the fact that some campers unfortunately do not follow the rules of respectful behaviour, many beautiful places suffer from overcrowding or littering. We therefore ask you to be considerate and respectful of nature, animals and the local population. We have summarised the what you should look out for in an article on wild camping.

3. Gather necessary travel documents and check their validity

Make sure you have all the necessary (valid!) travel documents in good time. Of course, this depends on the country you are travelling to. For everyone wanting to travel to the EU, nothing much has changed since Brexit. You can still travel to the EU without a visa; you just need to fill out an electronic travel authorization (ETIAS).

Travel documents

These are the documents that you need, when entering the EU as citizen from the UK:

  • Passport: Keep in mind is that your passport has to be valid for a couple of months, usually between three and six months. Here you can check the specific requirements of your country of choice.
  • Driver's licence or international driver's licence: Your driver's licence will be valid when travelling to the EU. The only exception to this are some EU countries such as Norway, where you will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) in case that you have a paper driving licence or a licence that was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man. You can check it you need an IDP here.
  • Credit cards: Note that you may have to pay a fee when withdrawing money. An alternative are travel credit cards from various providers, with which you can withdraw money worldwide free of charge.
  • Documents for your vehicle: Make sure you have all the necessary documents with you. If you are travelling with your own vehicle, you should also make sure that you have your vehicle registration document and valid MOT with you.

If you are travelling with your pets, you should inform yourself in good time about the valid entry regulations and laws. Does your pet have to have certain vaccinations, is there a muzzle or leash requirement? Allow enough time to clarify these questions.

4. Read up on road traffic regulations

Campervan on street

Unless you are on holiday in your home country, you should check the traffic regulations before you travel. One of the most important ones is the side of the road to drive on. When going to the EU you will be prepared to drive on the right side of the road, the only exceptions to that in Europe are the UK, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus. 

Apart from the side of the road to drive on, there are other regulations to take into account.

In France, for example, you should be aware that different speed limits apply when it is raining - on motorways, you can only drive 120 km/h instead of 130 km/h. In Spain, it is a particularity that the speed limit is lower than in Germany. In Spain, you get a 50% discount on fines if you pay within 20 days. Also, local vehicles must carry 2 warning triangles in the vehicle - so if you rent a Spanish motorhome, it will be affected by the rule.

5. Catch up on your insurance policy

British citizens travelling to the EU can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will allow you to get emergencies or necessary medical care for you can get emergency or necessary medical care for the same cost as locals. 

Please keep in mind that an EHIC or GHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance - it will not cover mountain rescue or being flown back to the UK for instance. If you want a more comprehensive coverage, you will need a Schengen travel health insurance.

6. Learn the basic vocabulary of the respective foreign language

Vocabulary

"Una cerveza por favour" will probably not be enough to get you through your holiday :-)  Although you can get by quite well in English in most countries, it can't hurt to learn some useful vocabulary. This can include vocabulary to help you understand the menu, directions or small talk. Local people will appreciate a bit of goodwill and it will be much easier for you to make local contacts and get a feel for the culture if you can speak or understand a few words in the local language. To learn some basic vocabulary, we recommend the apps Babbel or Duolingo.

7. Make a packing list

Before you grab your bags and start packing, we recommend that you check the weather forecast. This way you can avoid taking unnecessary clothes or finding yourself without important items. To avoid forgetting important items, we recommend online packing lists, some of which you can filter by type of holiday: Beach holidays, city breaks or packing lists for motorhome holidays. 

Packing list

These are the most important things you should usually take with you:

  • Travel documents: Identity card or passport, driving licence, vaccination certificate, health insurance certificate, visa if applicable, flight or train tickets.
  • Possibly cash in the local currency
  • Hygiene items, such as toothbrush, deodorant, face cream, sunscreen, brush, shower utensils, disinfectant wipes and possibly laundry detergent
  • Clothing: What exactly you pack is, of course, completely individual and depends on the duration and destination of your trip. In any case, pack enough underwear and socks. We also recommend at least a thick jumper and long trousers, even on summer holidays. One item that is often forgotten is sunglasses or swimwear.
  • Cooking: Essentials include camping utensils, bottle openers, bin liners and a washing up sponge. If necessary, you can also find these at the local supermarket.
  • Medication: Especially if you are planning a holiday far away from big cities, you should be prepared for possible emergencies. This could include a first aid kit, painkillers or mosquito repellent.
  • Others: a small bag for day trips, books, earplugs for sleeping or listening to music, charging cable for electrical devices, power bank, notebook, small water bottle, dictionary.

If you are travelling with children, there are of course a lot of other things to consider. From toys and cuddly toys to child seats and night lights - the list is very individual. Take enough time and note down the things you don't want to forget. Even if you can buy forgotten items at your holiday destination, there are of course many personal items, such as cuddly toys, that are difficult to replace.

If you're travelling with a pet, we recommend taking a look at our packing list for travelling with a dog. 

8. Enjoy the anticipation!

We hope you found this list helpful and that it will help you prepare for your trip in the most relaxed way possible. 

Are you still looking for a suitable vehicle? Check out Yescapa and rent your dream motorhome for your next holiday!

Joseph T

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