rv travel vacation

RVing in Europe

RVing in Europe is tremendous fun for all the family. If you have experienced an RV trip through Europe, you know it just can't be beat. The blend of the old and the new, cities and breathtaking outdoor scenery is virtually beyond description.

Gondolas in Venice

I find if I don't get outdoors as often as possible, I get withdrawal pains. And when you travel by RV, you can really get a feel for the outdoors. Europe is my #1 RV travel destination. North, west, east or south, I love it all and for me it just can't be beat.

What's so special, you ask? I love the quaint city centers, images of a time gone by. I love the European outdoors and the wealth of leisure activities on offer - white-water kayaking, mountain climbing, bicycling and just plain hiking, it's all on hand. Especially, I love the proximity to lots of cool activities. Making the most of CamperTrails' 3XF concept (3XF = FREEDOM, FLEXIBILITY, FUN), if I decide to visit a gallery, a museum, experience a great meal or go shopping I can do that on one day, and the next find myself halfway up an alp having the time of my life. No lying around the pool for me!

I have found that the best way to access all this fun is in an RV - or motorhome as they are frequently called in Europe. High quality campgrounds abound, many near city centers, and if you're not traveling in the high season then prices are very reasonable and parks relatively quiet. But beware of the high season, when campground prices escalate and the parks are quite often full.

OK, now you've decided on a great European outdoor vacation adventure, how do you go about it? Well, all you have to do is to take some simple and logical precautions, and you're sure to enjoy the most fantastic vacation imaginable. A word of caution: Your vacation can take a year to save for, only a second to ruin, so be sure to insure your trip.

Presumably the first item of business is getting there. A myriad of travel sites are out there, all geared to getting you to your destination as cheaply as possible. I prefer Kayak and Travelocity, who search hundreds of sites to find great deals. I also like to use the airline companies' sites - you can usually get a good internet rate there too. And if you're brave enough to wait for the last minute, you'll find top flight deals at - appropriately enough - LastMinute.com.

But what about my RV, you so rightly ask. If you're planning on a short(ish) trip, then you'll probably find your best bet is a rental. Many companies offer rentals in Europe, and you can even get a free, no obligation quote from us. If you plan a longer stay, then you can contemplate leasing or buying a vehicle. I A friend of mine tells how in his youth he bought a used motorhome in Holland and traveled overland all the way to India.

The whole trip took almost two years, and at the end he even managed to sell it! A talented cook, he made traveling money by adapting and preparing regional specialties for fellow travelers, some of which you can find at our sister site, 'OUTDOOR COOKING.COM'.

In Europe, size matters. The smaller the better. Firstly, gas is more expensive than in the US, and secondly, excepting for highways, many European roads are really narrow and winding. Think 'winding alpine trails' and you'll get the picture. Getting jammed on one of them, or in a narrow inner-city road, in a giant behemoth of a motorhome is really no fun at all. Especially when so many great compact options abound.

Another thing you should take note of is that most European RV rentals will have manual transmissions and many do not have air-conditioning. Europeans seem to think air-conditioning is superfluous, but the summers can get pretty hot. Driving around in a sweltering truck is no fun at all, so definitely take that into account when you rent or buy your RV.

The next thing to consider is an itinerary. Plan you're trip around those activities that interest you and your fellow travelers and then decide your route. I prefer to be on the move all the time, so I have short stops at several campgrounds along the way. Some campgrounds stipulate a minimum stopover period, especially during the high season, so take this into account. Several sample itineraries and European driving regulations are available on the CamperTrails website.

And finally - CamperTrails has an extensive and comprehensive list of free RV travel checklists available - don't be shy about using them.

And while you're planning your trip, don't forget to get your maps! (Click here to get 5% off all orders! Use promotion code SEPMAPS07 at the checkout. Expires September 30.)

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