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Sweden – perfect for a motorhome trip.

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Our motorhome is parked up for the night on the Swedish coast in a sleepy village called Stokka. (N61°53’55”  E17°21’16.3″)

Our motorhome stop at Stokka, Sweden.

To our east is the Gulf of Bothnia, and this place has red coloured wooden houses with verandas overlooking the sea. How lucky are the people who live here!

We have met many very friendly people on this motorhome trip. This morning we met Andy who came to our motorhome to introduce himself and we swapped interesting stories about where we had been and where we were heading. We also were chatting to a biker German man and his new wife, who were eager to chat to us about where they had visited in England.

Driving our motorhome north on the E4 in Sweden.

The days are long here and the light woke me at 4.30am. After breakfast we drove north up the E4 to our overnight motorhome stop, a distance of 180 miles. The landscape was fairly flat but with lots of huge lakes and millions of trees. Many of the picnic stops along the way look out over lakes and make a wonderful place to stop. Totally different to the picnic stops you might find on the M1!

Our motorhome parked at a picnic stop in Sweden.

The motorhome life is proving to be just as we had hoped on this trip. It’s the option to stop in remote places with views that no hotel can offer that is so appealing: not that there are any hotels near here.

Sweden is very laid back. The person responsible for collecting the £10 fee for the motorhome stopover is a lovely lady called Marianne. Her English was very good and she told us that she had been living in this place for 50 years and the community was once well known for ships coming into the harbour to fill up with timber from the nearby mill. A house just along the road was selling fresh fish and there is an honesty box to pay. This place is a world away from the traffic congested cities we are used to in England.

Tomorrow we head further north heading in a few days time for Trondheim in Norway.

A selfie at one of the many picnic stops on the E4.

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Camper

Motorhome Christmas Gift Ideas

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motorhome christmas gift idea

Us motorhomers are difficult to buy Christmas gifts for. We’ve listed some of the things we love which may help you with a gift for a motorhome owner.

The post Motorhome Christmas Gift Ideas appeared first on The Our Tour Travel Blog.

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Camper

Our Winter Touring Article in Motor Caravanner Magazine

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With the nights drawing in and the first snow across the UK, the folks at Motor Caravnner magazine thought it would be a good idea to give people tips for winter touring in a motorhome. They asked us if they could use our article on the subject, and of course we said yes.

Check out how great our tips look in print below (click on the images for a larger version), or you can read our original article which this feature was based on. It was written in early 2016 before we hit the Alps for the first time in winter.

Also,  if you missed it earlier this year, you can also read our article on travelling with a dog which was in Motor Caravanner Magazine in June and Charlie’s last feature before he passed away.

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breakdown cover

Brexit Considerations for a European Motorhome Tour

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motorhome on the channel tunnel How cool is this?

Ju and I are planning to start a six month(ish) motorhome tour of Europe in January 2019 (yeah baby!), which means we’ll be out of the country on 29 March 2019, when the UK leaves the EU. Hmmm. We need to think about what this might mean…

What impact will that have on our travel plans? We dunno. Until the details of Brexit are made known and ratified by parliament, we won’t know, but this post outlines the areas we’re starting to consider, just in case. At this very point in time we’re watching and waiting to see what happens in November and early December, but if you plan to travel with a pet, you may need to take immediate action. Read on folks.

Motorhome on Channel TunnelJu’s booked us on the Chunnel in January, so no fear of sea sickness!

Please don’t treat this post as anything but our thoughts on what may or may not need to be done. We’re not experts in any of the areas mentioned and we may well have misunderstood or missed some key aspects. If the UK agrees a deal with the EU, then it’s entirely possible none of the points below will change from the current pre-Brexit scenario. 

If you spot anything inaccurate or missing below, feel free to tell us using the comments section, that would be very helpful.  Please don’t go political on us though. Comments we deem to be political won’t be approved as we’re just trying to keep stuff simple, and make sure none of us fall foul of the law in April next year.

OK, let’s go.

Motorhome Insurance and Green Cards

Best case here will be that our insurance continues to let us travel in the EEA countries plus Serbia, Switzerland and Andorra, without needing to present a Green Card document to the authorities. If we travel outside of these countries (like Morocco or Turkey for example), we currently have to get a Green Card from our insurer in advance (you physically need the piece of green paper, so it is posted to you, this makes it tricky to arrange once you are on the road). For some countries, like Ukraine and Bosnia & Herzegovina, our insurer will not issue a Green Card and we have to buy third party insurance at the border, known as frontier insurance.

Brexit won’t change the need for frontier insurance, but could force us to get a Green Card for the countries which don’t currently need one. Whether this is necessary or not remains an open point until any deal is agreed with the EU. We’re in touch with Safeguard (our insurer) to get their view on the situation and will update this section when we have a response.

Breakdown Insurance

Our motorhome insurance policy includes European AA breakdown cover. We also have a separate breakdown policy with the ‘German version’ of the AA, called ADAC (this option is no longer available non-German applicants, nothing to do with Brexit). Our expectation is that these policies will remain valid after Brexit, as we’ve not been advised otherwise.

Travel Insurance

We buy travel insurance for our tours abroad. The main reason for this is to avoid potentially very high medical costs for emergency repatriation to the UK, or for emergency private treatment abroad. We don’t see this need changing post Brexit, and will continue to ensure we’re covered but will check the wording more carefully if the EHIC becomes invalid (see below).

Internet and Mobile Roaming Costs

At the moment mobile phone call charges and Internet data roaming costs are capped in Europe. This might not be the case at some point post-Brexit, but then again it might stay exactly as-is (here’s the government’s official line on it). According to the BBC if there is a deal: “All EU rules and regulations, including on mobile roaming anywhere in the EU, will continue to apply until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.”  This wouldn’t apply if there is no deal, but the same BBC article states: “Three has “committed to maintain the availability of roaming in the EU at no additional cost following Brexit”. Vodafone, EE and O2 made similar statements.

We use 1p Mobile (www.1pmobile.com) for our phone SIMs (for voice calls and text messages), and Three (three.co.uk) Internet with Legs (mobile Internet data SIMs). So it looks like we don’t need to worry about the Internet, but may need to change provider for our voice and text SIMs. We’ll keep a close eye on what happens and switch providers if needs be (or consider buying SIMs abroad).

The PETS Pet Passport Travel Scheme

We’re no longer travelling with a dog, after Charlie passed away earlier this year. Our understanding is that even if you have a Pet Passport, it might not be valid after Brexit, depending on whether a rabies inoculation test was done when it was issued.

If you plan to travel in the EU post Brexit with a pet, we’d strongly recommend you contact your vet ASAP to check whether your passport is valid, as you may need to allow up to four months to travel after Brexit in a worse-case scenario. You may also need to obtain a health certificate in advance of any trip, another point to discuss with your vet. The reasons for all this are complex, and explained here.

Customs Controls

It’s possible customs controls will come back into force, so we won’t be able to import large quantities of wine from France back into the UK, say. This is one area we’ll just keep an eye on, and act according to whatever the law says when we cross international borders after Brexit. Needless to say we brought back a considerable amount of wine when we returned from our last trip, just in case!

Driving Licenses and International Driving Permits (IDPs)

At the moment we can use our UK driving license in any EU country. This may or may not continue after Brexit. If it doesn’t continue, we’ll need to buy two International Driving Permits (IDPs) each (to ensure we can travel to all EU countries – France and Spain use different IDPs for example). The IDPs will be available from Post Offices and cost £5.50 each, last a year, and we’d need four of ’em (two each). For more on IDPs and Brexit, read the government’s notice here.

The EHIC Card and Health Insurance 

At the moment we both carry free European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC), which entitle us to access state-provided health care in EEA countries plus Switzerland (read about the cards on the NHS website here). It’s possible the EHIC system will continue after Brexit. In the worse case scenario where the EHIC scheme is discontinued, we’ll need to spend more time checking exactly what our travel insurance will cover before buying it, and possibly budgeting more for medical treatment abroad.

Visas

At the moment, as UK citizens, we can visit most of Europe without applying for a visa (Turkey and Russia being obvious exceptions). It’s not yet clear whether this will continue post Brexit and we can only watch and wait to see what any new requirements will be.

Passport Validity

The UK foreign office has already stated that passports need a minimum of 6 months validity before travelling to the EU. Our passports both have a few years validity on them.

I **think** that’s it. Please feel free to pop any (non-political remember!) thoughts in the comments section below.

Cheers, Jay

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