Road tripping is undoubtedly one of the best ways in which you can see the world. The open road, the thrill of an adventure entirely in your hands, and the beauty of those rural landscapes only visible between A and B make motorhome travel a distinct joy for many – and one which can be taken on the road across the Channel. But in the wake of Brexit, what does travelling Europe by motorhome look like?
Time Limits and Legality
Before we even touch upon the more immediate logistics of cross-continental holiday travel by motorhome, it is important to engage with the legal side of the equation. This is especially important for travellers to refresh themselves upon in the aftermath of the UK’s exit from the European Union, where even seasoned road-trippers can be unceremoniously tripped-up by new rulings on road travel abroad. For one, visas are now an important legal document to consider, at least in terms of longer-term travel.
If you are purely travelling for fun, and spending less than 90 days (within a 180-day period) travelling the Schengen area, you need not worry about visas or any other formal documentation (besides a UK sticker, as explained shortly). However, if your travel is in any way related to work, this can change. As some musicians have been unfortunate enough to discover, taking work or trade materials abroad without a carnet can land you in hot water.
Vehicle Maintenance and Considerations
Naturally, the vehicle you are taking abroad will be a major source of concern for you, being your sole mode of transport and key lifeline throughout your trip. It will need a thorough check-over by a licensed mechanic before you set off, and, needless to say, it will need motorhome insurance coverage in order to be legally drivable by you.
There are some legal considerations that relate specifically to your vehicle, too. It is a small point, but nonetheless an important one, that your motorhome must have a ‘UK’ sticker prominently displayed on its rear to identify it as a UK vehicle by origin.
Now, we get to the fun part: planning your trip. Travelling Europe is a fun activity however well you plan for it – and, indeed, some of the best moments in a given road trip are the unplanned ones – but having a basic idea of your route, direction and rest locations will keep you both safe and grounded for the duration of your trip.
Even if your intentions are to sleep in your motorhome each night, you might want to place your rest stops near cities or settlements. This way, should something catastrophic occur during your trip, you have a failsafe in the form of local accommodation.
Finally, there are some ancillary concerns it would behove you to consider – at least, those which apply to you. The bigger of these is waste; you can accrue waste in your motorhome quickly over the course of a few days, and not just in the way of wrappers and discarded food. In planning your route, you should plan for disposing of waste (including organic waste) safely!