While camping was once only regarded as the traditional domestic holiday, nowadays a lot of Brits are hitting the road and venturing abroad. This should really come as no surprise, with the camping industry opening up considerably over the last few years and becoming much more commercialised across the world.
However, before you pack up and hit the ferry, there are several issues that should be considered. Suffice to say, the international camping trip differs substantially from the one based a hundred or so miles away and the rest of this guest contribution is going to look at the transportation factors you should bear in mind before you depart.
Method of Transportation
While we did mention the ferry in the introduction to this article, in theory this is no longer the only option for a camping trip. You’ve of course got the Eurotunnel and most of the time campers will base their decision on pounds, shilling and pence. The ferry is most often the cheapest route, but special offers are regularly run with the alternative and this is sometimes preferred due to the shorter journey.
To Tow or Not To Tow
Nowadays, most ferry companies charge very little to take a trailer tent or caravan on their services. This means that it’s becoming increasingly popular to take advantage of these vehicles, especially with so many trailer tent rental services now being around. However, before you take advantage of one of these offerings, make sure that your car is able to legally tow the extra vehicle. There are a whole host of legal towing requirements in the UK and these often stretch across Europe. Fortunately, it’s usually very easy to distinguish whether or not your car will be suitable for towing and unless it happens to be on the very small side, you’ll usually be ok.
While some of the over-zealous traffic enforcement officers might indicate otherwise, the regulations in relation to what you have to carry in your vehicle are quite relaxed in the UK. However, once you take to Europe, it’s a completely different ball game. For example,a lot of countries demand that you carry your vehicle’s documentation at all times, while most also require the vehicle to have some form of GB identification on it to warn other drivers. There happen to be plenty more rules along these lines, ranging from carrying spare bulbs to a high-visibility jacket. Therefore, before you depart, make sure you find out all of the countries you will be traveling to and read up on the local legislation.
How to Drive
While you can nail everything from a legal perspective, nothing will quite prepare you for the rigours of driving abroad if you have never experienced it before. There is of course the issue of driving on the other side of the road, while this section of the article can also include several driving laws that are prevalent in some countries such as always keeping your headlights on no matter what the visibility.
Additionally, and this can apply to the UK as well, remember to prepare yourself if you have decided to hire a caravan or trailer tent. It goes without saying that towing is a bizarre experience at first and when it is combined with driving abroad, it can become too much for those who have not prepared themselves sufficiently.