Blimey! How much did we underestimate how much work there was to organise such an adventure! We originally thought we’d need a week, maybe two after leaving work in order to get things sorted to allow us to have a year or so gallivanting around Europe. So the unexpected and rapid (and very pleasant) departure from work which gave us 10 weeks for Ryan to get things ready whilst Mel still worked her notice were an absolute Godsend! Talk about landing in shit and smelling of roses (again!)
Whilst I’ll be the first to admit the 10 weeks weren’t exactly flat out, we undertook oodles of research as to what would be needed; the legal requirements; the insurance requirements – and also work out how we are going to survive without Internet! We generated a tips page on our website (http://www.doyourdream.co.uk/eurotips.php) which contains the fruits of this work which will hopefully be of use to others.
Contrary to popular belief, we do not have an unlimited stash of cash hidden away, and so this adventure has to work within a set budget. As we have been planning this for years, we have penned in a set amount of cash we can spend without us getting into trouble. However one of our rules (well actually, probably our only rule!) – is “If we want to do it – we do it!”. So undoubtedly we will be having some expensive days which will need to be balanced out.
To that end, we will be exploring the options of camping in both Aires (which we’ve never used before) and undertake more wild camping which is just camping where we like! This means we need to be more self sufficient, and in a small van not really designed for long periods away. At the 11th hour, we decided to upgrade the gas in the van to Gaslow and upgrade the batteries. The Gaslow upgrade was undertaken by the van suppliers, Roy Wood Transits, who charged a fair price and did a neat job. Shame they put the filler cap upside down! This means we can fill up our onboard gas from any standard petrol stations that sell LPG/Autogas. We decided to do the battery upgrade ourselves, which due to the late start meant the van was still in bits the day before we left! However, we now have 200AH of battery storage with some extra upgrades on charging electrics and the stereo system.
The van was serviced, everything checked and working, and then set ready to go!
Our trip is only really possible with grateful thanks to certain people:- Ryans Manager/CEO who let him go on this adventure a few months earlier than planned with better finances! (Without knowing I hasten to add). Debbie next door who will be keeping an eye on our house! The team at RWT for their support. The anonymous people on Internet forums, www.motorhomefacts.com and www.motorhomefun.co.ukfor their tips, advice, support, encouragement and also for the bargains they sold me! And most importantly friends and family whose well wishes and voices of encouragement has convinced us this is the right thing to do!