Thursday, 17 October 2013

Spain & Portugal Trip, Winter 2013/14 Euro Travel Checklist

Today I've been thinking about and working on my checklist for my upcoming trip. There are not that many things to prepare in advance when you already live in a vehicle, so that really takes the hassle out of getting ready to go away, but as it is another European country, there are a few things to take into consideration.

Here's my checklist I've been putting together and looking into today:

  • Change phone to PAGo

  • Satnav

  • Euro travel kit & extra triangle

  • check breakdown cover details

  • Medical card

  • check passport and driving license

  • UK supplies to take

In case you've found this page while planning a trip yourself, or if you're otherwise interested, I'll explain my thinking behind some if these listed things.

Firstly, I'll not be using my mobile when I get to Spain/Portugal, as its expensive with the roaming charges, and also to save money. I'll be relying on email, Skype, and messenger services over wifi. I do still want to keep my uk number active, so the solution is to switch the contract to 'pay as you go'. This way I won't have to pay a monthly fee, and my number will still be there when I need it. (On contacting the phone company I found out that I can't do this as I'd still have to top up monthly to keep my number active - I've decided to cancel my contract/number, and unlock the phone so I can use any other SIM when away or when in the UK.)

I've picked up a second hand sat nav on eBay for the journey. This will take away any navigation concerns, and should be more reliable than using an iPhone as sat nav with a Spanish SIM card. I think it's worth the £50 for the reliability.

Different European countries have different laws about what you must carry to drive on their roads. I've found out that I'll be needing the following:

GB Sticker
High Visibility Jacket
Headlamp Converter for driving on the right.
First Aid Kit
2 x Warning Triangle
Fire Extinguisher

It's going to be important to have all these things in the van or I could get fined if I'm stopped by the police. The second warning triangle is needed for Spain. If you're going to France it's required that you carry two breath testing kits as well.

I'll need to read through my insurance and breakdown cover details carefully, so I know exactly what to do in the event of a collision, or what's included in the breakdown assistance. Of course as a friend recently said, the best cover is to be driving a Toyota.

Apply for my EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) - this can be done online, and enables access to free or reduced cost medical care in European Economic Area countries.

I'll need to check the dates on my IDs like passport and driving license to make sure they're valid during my time travelling, and when to renew.

Lastly, I'm going to stick up on some uk goods, like tea bags etc - things I might miss while away, and to give to some folks out there too.

I'm currently in Bristol, spending some time on preparing for the trip, and hanging out with my friend Damian here. Good times.

The vans had a bit of work done to make the most of the terrain I'll encounter. Here's a pic, more on that coming soon..

Thanks for visiting!

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See you soon..

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