Guide to Travelling in Europe

It’s that time of year again, when we pack up the caravan/campervan and head to the continent. Heading to Europe this year with your campervan, tent or trailer? You’re going to need a few items.

Some are compulsory and some advisable. The AA has a great page where you can check country by country exactly what you need. It’s worth downloading this before you begin.

Inside the Campervan/Caravan

Travel Alcosense BreathalyserBreathalysers: required in France. Under the current rules, the breathalyser has to be one certified by the French authorities, showing an ‘NF’ number. The official text states that one unused breathalyser must be produced. Two single-use breathalysers are therefore highly recommended. A replacement can be produced, if one has been used or damaged. From January 2013, the fine for not carrying a breathalyser, has been postponed indefinitely.

Radar/Speed Camera Detection Equipment: is prohibited across Europe. Usually includes products or devices able to warn or inform of the location of speed cameras. Can mean GPS systems or satnav’s capable of showing speed camera sites as Points of Interest.

If your satnav is capable of displaying French camera locations in France, then you must be able to disable the camera alerts. Contact the manufacturer for advice on removing the camera data, as many have updates for this purpose.

AA First Aid Kit1st Aid Kit: Whilst not compulsory in the majority of Europe, it does make sense to carry a First Aid Kit for emergencies.

Reflective Jackets: a few countries across Europe require these as a compulsory measure.  At the very least, the driver must have a jacket in the vehicle. A good precaution is to have a reflective jacket for every passenger, and when you use them, put them on before you exit the vehicle.

Outside the Campervan

Low Emissions: in some parts of Europe you may need to purchase a window sticker to enable you to visit certain areas. Visit www.lowemissionzones.eu for additional details. Paris, Lyon and Grenoble now have Low Emissions Zones, where you will need to purchase a ‘Crit’Air’ Sticker to display in your campervan/car. You can purchase one before you leave here.

GB Stickers  – you must display a GB sign, failure to do so may result in an on the spot fine. If your car has number plates that include the GB euro-symbol (Europlates) you don’t have to display a conventional GB ‘sticker’ within the EU. Some countries outside the EU require a GB sticker even if you have euro plates.

It’s always safer to display one. For vehicles travelling in International Traffic the GB sticker needs to be 1-3 letters in capital latin characters with a minimum height of 80mm (3.1in) and a stroke width of 10mm (0.4in). Letters need to be black on a white background of elliptical form with the major axis horizontal.

Travelling across Europe

Halfords Headlamp ConvertorsHeadlamp Adjustment: You’ll be driving on the right, so you’ll need some form of Headlamp Adjustment. Sometimes known as ‘Beam Converters’, ‘Beam Benders’ or ‘Headlight Correctors’, you don’t want to blind the oncoming traffic. Easy to apply, just follow the instructions within the packet, and available via Halfords, or service stations.

Dipped Headlights: From 1st January 2014, it’s compulsory to use dipped headlights when driving in Switzerland during daylight hours. It’s compulsory to use headlights at all times in Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia and Sweden.

We hope this has given you a starting point to your adventures this year, wherever you’re headed have a safe journey. Until next time…… have fun #getoutside.

Jo & Richard

4 Points Leisure
The Glamping, Camping and Festival Accessories shop, with years of camping experience

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