You can easily camp your way through Europe, either on your own itinerary or with the help of a camping specialist, directory or group such as Eurocamp, Keycamp or the Camping and Caravanning Club. Popular camping destinations for UK holidaymakers include France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Switzerland and Slovenia.
You can choose to camp in one spot, or drive between several campsites. In France, for example, it is possible to make your way down and around the coast, camping as you go - a great way to break up a long trip but without the cost of expensive accommodation.
Many of today’s campsites also boast luxurious facilities for pitching your tent or caravan, eating, drinking, washing, cooking and swimming. If you are travelling with children you can take advantage of exciting activities often on offer nearby to the campsite, such as surfing, walking, canoeing, kayaking, horse riding and climbing.
If you’re camping, then it can make the most sense to travel by car. This means that your car can carry any heavy equipment around, instead of you. Of course, there are lightweight tents and equipment on the market that make it easier to travel by other modes of transport such as boat, train, bicycle and even on foot.
Driving holiday sites have helpful links to the most up-to-date intercontinental transport systems for cars and passengers including ferries and the Eurotunnel. If you are driving, then remember you will need to make sure that you have the relevant paperwork, including your car insurance documents. You may also have more peace of mind with extra European breakdown cover.
What to take
For advice on what to take on a camping trip visit sites such as Camping Expert. It provides a checklist for and articles on different types of camping – if you are going to be doing a solo fishing and camping trip, for example, your kit will differ to that required for a family holiday. A general kit checklist that you can adapt to your needs includes:
- Sleeping quarters – Tent (with pegs and guy ropes), groundsheet, flysheet, mallet, sleeping bags/blankets, air beds, roll mats, pillows
- Cooking equipment – Stove, gas, matches/lighter, cool box, pans, pots, plates, cutlery, cups; cooking utensils, tin opener, bottle opener, knife; foil, washing-up kit, basic food
- Personal hygiene – Soap/shampoo, toothbrush and paste, deodorant, toilet roll, wet wipes
- Clothes – Jumper, waterproofs, t-shirts, shirt, long trousers, shorts, boots/walking shoes, flip flops, swimsuit, sun hat
- First aid – Insect repellent, sun cream, antihistamines, antiseptic, plasters/bandages, pain relief
- Miscellaneous – Torch, phone, camera, binoculars, solar charger, radio, backpack, fold-up chairs and table, pen and paper, sewing kit, duct tape, trowel, spare rope, map, compass
- Some campsites provide accommodation such as caravans and chalets in which case you don’t need to take sleeping equipment. Most campsites also provide refreshments in a selection of restaurants, cafes and takeaway food spots. Simply find out what’s there before you go and adapt your kit.
Churchill has a range of travel insurance that can help you and your kit stay insured while away on a camping trip.
If you are doing any activities or extreme sports while camping you should also check our list of included and excluded activities.