Saturday, 14 October 2017

Travel Preparations | Revolut Travel Money Card

Mid October, and it's coming up to that time of year when I finish working for the season and prepare for my migration south to warmer climes for the winter.

I've already been doing a lot of preparation, getting all my paperwork, and my van in order for the travelling ahead. This year the van needed the wheels balanced dude to tyre wear, and I had to replace the gearbox oil pan gasket which had been leaking since last year.

A few supplies

Wheel balancing was a simple trip to a tyre & exhaust place and £27 has the van running much more smoothly overall and vastly better acceleration in higher gears. The big chunky tyres go out of balance more easily than standard ones, so I'll make sure to have it redone again next year.

The gearbox oil pan gasket job was a bit more time consuming, but it was satisfying to complete this myself at a camp spot with the tools I carry on board. The gasket I was able to order online from and it arrived in a week. Great.

I'm also planning an exciting modification to the van which has required a lot of research and time to get organised, but all being well that will happen in England on my way south in November. I'll be posting about it here too, so more soon on that subject.

This year I'll be using the Revolut banking app & card while travelling. I've had it now a couple of weeks and I've been very impressed so far. You can top it up, like a pre-pay card, or have your income paid into the account. Then in a nutshell, you can spend your money in most major currencies with no bank fees or commission. Amazing! You can also exchange into different currencies on the phone app when the exchange rate is good, and you hold that money at that rate. The app also categorises your monthly spending automatically so at a glance you can see where it's going. There are many more features, take a look at for more details.

Open fire on the iPad

At this time of year in the highlands it's getting very windy, darker in the evening, and the temperature is dropping at night. I'm using my heater in the morning and evening and the fridge has been off since the end of August to preserve solar power to start the heater. Prior to that it was on for almost a year 24/7. The mild and pleasant weather over in Spain & Portugal has by now become a distant memory. I won't really believe it until it becomes a reality again day to day. Winter weather there is much better than the summer weather here.

My actual journey this year I has not yet taken shape in my head as I will wait to see what events unfold when I am on my way, and after settling into the new environment across the Bay of Biscay. A rough idea might be to skirt the Pyrenees on the Spanish side, then check out the situation in Catalonia before following the Mediterranean coast south.. Meeting friends again on the way. Time will tell.

Thanks for following along!

Get in touch if you like, or comment below.

Have a good one!


  1. Hi Chris. Thanks for taking the time to give the updates. Enjoyable and informative as usual. I am looking forward to find out what modifications you will be making to the van. After all these years and improvements you’ve made it hard to imagine what else could possibly be done! Thanks for your tip about the Custom made stainless steel exhaust. Got mine done and that’s one thing but shouldn’t need to be worried about in future. I’m going to need to do something about my leisure battery as it runs down very quickly when the heater is on.
    Anyway safe journey for the two of you en route south. ☀️ Colin

  2. Must be some heat coming off that fire, Rio's at the other end of the seat ! Seriously, good speed, and travel safely.