From the flakey croissants of France to the salty french fries of Belgium, treat your eyes, stomach and mind to a European holiday! And the best way to do this is through hiring a motorhome in Europe, and exploring this continent up close and personal.
Everything you need to know about renting a motorhome in Europe!
Motorhome hire allows you freedom when travelling, not anchored by hotel bookings or transport schedules, you choose your destination and sleeping spots as you go! You don’t have to pack light, you get privacy, and a nice big breath of fresh air. Now time to find out how to make this dream a reality…
Renting a motorhome
For your motorhome hire in Europe, consider using a sharing platform. They allow you to rent directly from a private owner, playing your part in reducing the wastage currently occurring with owners using their van only 4-6 weeks a year. You also get to rent at a lower cost, and receive advice on the local area or tips specified to your van. Consider them as a form of airbnb on wheels!
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing which van to rent:
1. Size. How many people are you travelling with? Will you spend a lot of time in the van or mainly use it for driving and sleeping? Consider how much luggage you’ll bring, whether you really need a larger motorhome with higher fuel consumption and toll costs, or if you could go for a sleek campervan then you’ll find it easier with parking and travelling.
2. Mileage. Are you planning to explore as many countries as possible on focus on travelling within a destination? Ensure you choose a van that can handle the mileage and that the Owner is aware of how far you plan to travel.
3. Location. Choose a starting point that allows you to explore easily and finish there without repeating destinations, an issue you would have beginning in Spain for example.
4. Insurance. Luckily, insurance is included when renting on Goboony, but be sure to check if you fit their requirements (e.g. age, years of driving) and inform them of how many drivers there will be.
Travelling within Europe
Driving rules often vary between countries, but not between cities within a country, so it is important to read up before you head somewhere. There are various things to watch out for, including:
1. Toll roads. Don’t be caught out on an unexpected toll road, be sure to quickly search for them in each country. Frequently you’ll be required to buy a specific sticker, which can be purchased online or at a petrol station, and will avoid further issues. Toll roads often catch people out in Austria, France or Switzerland!
2. Driving rules. What side of the road should you be driving on? This can cause quite the drama in the UK! What are the speed limits? Germany is a great one for cruising down the Autobahn, with speed limits up to 130km/h. In France, only children above 10 are permitted to sit in the front, so always check regulation when travelling with young ones.
3. Alcohol tolerance. We advise never combining drinking and driving, but if you’re planning to have one drink, be sure to check the rules in the country you’re driving in, you never know if they’ll be stricter than what you are used to!
4. Vehicle requirements. What safety equipment is required in your vehicle? Renting from a local owner has the benefit of them being aware of it already, but if you’re crossing borders be sure to request the necessary documentation and items in your van.
Wild Camping in Europe
Wild camping can be quite a grey area, as it is not legally permitted in most countries. However, there are always exceptions to this, so it is simply about doing your research and being considerate. You can check more generally where wild camping is allowed, and within a country simply contact the most relevant party. you’re planning to full on camp, with a campfire, awning and the rest of the works, you’re probably better off heading to a campsite! But if you’re looking to camp somewhere more secluded, then check out the top destinations for wild camping in Europe! With wild camping, it is more vital than ever to leave a place as you have found it – take only photographs, leave only footprints!
Overnight Parking in Europe
And then you have overnight parking, a less rural but more practical version of wild camping. The regulations on this are also a bit murky, but you definitely cannot park anywhere as you will be asked to move, or even fined! So where can you park overnight? The most common places to park overnight are the parking lots for casinos or supermarkets, but be sure to always ask the establishment. You also have designated spots for overnight parking, which you can find on the following online resources:
1. If we had to choose our top 3 destinations for a European road trip, we would (with great difficulty!) select: Norway, the Netherlands and France. Norway due to the insane scenery and great camping spots. The Netherlands as you can easily explore the country due to its smaller size, and the delicious food! And finally France for the variation in landscapes, from high mountains to lakes to dramatic coastlines – all with a big helping of cheese and wine.
2. Download some helpful apps for your trip, such as for finding campsites, comparing petrol prices and avoiding major traffic. Let your phone be your guide! But on that note, we also advise having good old fashioned maps at hand, you never know!
4. Plan for rainy days! They will sadly happen, unless you plan to plant yourself firmly in Portugal and Spain – not a bad idea! Don’t see them as a hassle, see them as an opportunity. Use them to catch up on your reading, to engage in a hobby, to play games with your travel buddies.
5. Kids can really enjoy campervan trips, and it can be a great way to get them playing outside and appreciating nature. But be sure to plan ahead, bringing plenty of activities for them to enjoy and not driving for too long.
6. Along with bringing young ones, you could also bring your dog! While bringing a dog involves planning and adjusting your plans slightly, it ensures you stay active, helps you explore the areas you’re visiting, avoids you requiring a pet sitter and lets them enjoy this trip too! Be sure to bring along their toys and familiar items to keep them calm, and keep them on the leash in these unfamiliar areas.
All that is left is to find a motorhome to take you on this amazing journey! A trip through Europe in a campervan is the best way to explore this amazing continent, with such varied cultures, landscapes and food. Enjoy the freedom of a home on wheels, and let the adventure begin!