Carry on Camping

Whether you like your camping rough and ready or prefer something with more home comforts, Europe is ready and waiting. But make sure you have the right travel insurance and breakdown cover from Direct Line.

Many of you may have memories of camping trips from years ago, when your tent almost blew away or you turned up at a caravan site only to find that the toilet facilities were primitive, to say the least. While those holidays may still exist, there is a lot more to choose from these days, especially if you want to head to Europe.

Just a quick Internet search throws up a whole host of options – from companies that offer ‘campsites’ that have swimming pools, entertainment and shops, to those that are more basic, but set in beautiful locations. And several can be found very near to some of Europe’s major cities. So there is something for everyone, depending on the type of holiday that you are looking for.

Perfect planning

Of course, setting off on any holiday always requires certain planning, but if you are driving your own vehicle, maybe towing a caravan, or planning to sleep under canvas, then here are some helpful hints when heading to Europe.

  • Make sure that you have checked your car and caravan over thoroughly. If you are driving long distances, it may make sense to have your car serviced before you go.
  • Have all the correct documentation. Make sure your UK driving licence is current and valid and take the paper counterpart if you have a photocard licence. In some countries you will need to have an international driving permit as well as your UK licence. Also take your vehicle registration and insurance papers.
  • Make sure you know the driving laws, licence requirements and driving conditions in the country you are visiting. For instance, your car will need to have Euro plates or a Euro sticker showing your country of origin and there are also strict rules with regards to headlight usage. Drive Alive is a simple, but informative website that provides you with valuable advice on driving in Europe.
  • Plan your route in advance – you could use the route planner at Direct Line to help with this. And remember that some roads in Europe carry tolls.
  • If you are going by ferry and are flexible in your timings, then think about travelling midweek because these crossings can be cheaper or carry fewer supplements
  • If you are not sure which campsite to stay in, do a little research first by surfing the Internet. There are many sites that list campsites on a region and country basis. Some, such as Interhike and Europe Camping Guide have visitor reviews.
  • Check the weather forecast before you set off – this may not only affect the clothes you take with you, but also the driving conditions
  • If you are going self-catering, don’t feel you need to take everything with you – there are bound to be places you can buy fresh produce
  • Always take a first aid kit!

Be properly covered

If you are planning on a camping trip by car in Europe, then it pays to have European Breakdown Cover from Direct Line. This provides you with emergency assistance if your car breaks down or is involved in an accident. And if your car can’t be repaired, we will provide a replacement vehicle and make sure the car and passengers get home to the UK.

What’s more, you can add travel insurance to your European breakdown cover for you and all your passengers. So, subject to the policy terms and conditions, you will be covered in case your possessions are lost or stolen, if you need medical assistance or suffer excessive delays when taking your car on pre-booked transport links such as ferries or trains.

Go online to find out more about what is covered. And if you apply for both breakdown and travel cover, you can receive an instant online discount.

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Things you need to know about Over 50s life insurance:
Premiums stop after your 90th birthday but you still enjoy cover for the rest of your life. In the first year, if you die from natural causes we will refund any premiums, or if you die as a result of an accident, we will pay your cash sum. After the first year regardless of the cause of death we will pay your cash sum. Depending on how long you live, the total sum paid in premiums may be more than the cash sum payable on death. If you stop paying your premiums before the end of your policy your cover will stop 30 days after your missed premium and you won’t get anything back. This isn’t a savings or investment product and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made. Inflation will reduce the buying power of your cash sum in the future.

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