When traveling to Europe, especially when you are visiting for more than just a few days, it's tempting to take your car and go road tripping. Driving for just a few hours allows you to experience other countries and visit world-famous landmarks.
But when you go on these road trips, you need to make sure that you pack everything you need for the duration of your adventure.
So without further ado—and aside from the items that you should have with you anyways such as clothing and toiletries—here are 10 things you absolutely, positively need to bring on a European road trip.
1. Loose Change
Many European countries have toll roads, where you might be expected to pay some money to keep driving. Having a few Euros (or, depending on your countries of choice, local currency) close by will come in handy.
2. A Good Book
Especially American travelers may not be used to this, but some European hotels do not have a TV—and most hostels definitely do not have one. A good book is a perfect companion for those nights you use to rest up for the next leg of your trip.
3. Good Music
As beautiful of a continent as Europe is, the roads will not always be interesting. Germany's famed Autobahn, for example, stretches for over 100 miles at times with little more to see than the sound barrier on either side on the road. Especially in countries where you may not easily find a good radio station, plenty of good music will keep you entertained on your way to the next sight to see.
4. An Up-To-Date GPS
Many travelers these days are part of one of two extremes: they either rely on old-fashioned maps to get around, or depend on their cell phones to do the heavy directional lifting. But maps take time to read (and can be outdated), while cell phones can easily lose a charge. A GPS, on the other hand, is the more reliable way to find the right road in Europe.
5. A Good Old Map
Even if you do bring a GPS, you should still keep a map or Atlas of the countries you're visiting in your car, just in case. Even the best GPS can break down, and having a backup—even if you never use it—can be a lifesaver.
6. Voltage/Outlet Adapter
Did you know not all of Europe uses the same outlets? If you're staying in Italy, you probably already have an adapter that allows you to plug in your American electronics into an Italian outlet. But if you plan that spontaneous trip toward northern countries, the adapter will be worth little. Instead, you need a universal adapter that works throughout the continent.
7. Phone Charger and Adapter
A car charger is absolutely crucial for your trip, but especially if you plan on being on the road for a while, you may even want to go one step further: buy a car adapter that plugs into your car's cigarette lighter and offers regular outlets in addition to your phone charger. Just in case you get stuck somewhere, you can now use all of the electronics you brought.
8. A High-Quality Camera
As is the case when getting directions, many travelers now rely on their smartphones to document their trips. But again, phone batteries lose charge easily, and their cameras are not always that great. Bringing a high-quality digital camera, on the other hand, allows you to capture all of your unforgettable experiences for later reminiscing.
9. All Your Documents
Even if you're traveling within the Schengen zone, you absolutely need to bring your passport and all other travel documents (including travel insurance) with you on any road trip. You never know what might happen, and if you come in contact with the authorities in any country, you need to be able to identify yourself.
10. A Reliable Car
Finally, perhaps the single most crucial item to bring on a European road trip is a trustworthy car. From afar, especially for American travelers, the continent may look rather small—but especially if you're planning a cross-continental road trip, you will still put thousands of miles on your vehicle. A reliable car helps you get where you need to go, no matter your destination.
And if you're planning that road trip but still have not found a vehicle that could accompany you on your adventure, contact us! Our long-term car rental possibilities may just be the perfect option for your needs.
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