Top Travel Tips #BEDM 6

Today I thought I’d share some tips on travelling abroad for an extended period.

CapturePlan your route

This took us absolutely AGES to decide.  We knew we wanted to get the Eurotunnel as it meant that the dogs could stay with us in the car – on the ferry they need to be put into kennels for the crossing on the lower decks.

We had 1300 miles door to door to get through and we wanted to do this as fast, but as safely as possible.  We ended up splitting the route slightly unevenly and did a whooping last leg of 600 miles from Bordeaux to the villa.  You can read about our route here.


Insurance & EHIC

Travel insurance – the obvious one.  We’ve got an annual worldwide policy as we went to St Lucia at the start of the year and already knew that we’d be doing this Spanish trip so it made sense to pay a little more.

It’s also worth thinking about the EHIC card (previously called E111).  This lets you get free or reduced cost healthcare in Europe.  It’s worth remembering that you need to have this card on you to get the healthcare you need.  If you don’t you may end up paying more, or being turned away (this happened to someone we knew in Spain).

Don’t forget to check that your home insurers are OK with you being away for an extended period of time – ours allow us to leave the house for 90 days.

If you’re driving, like we did, make sure you have European cover included on your car insurance.  (it might even be worth considering European breakdown cover…)

Finally…pet insurance…again, some insurers include European cover and some don’t.  We had to pay a small amount to increase the cover we had.

Travelling with dogs


There’s a whole raft of information around taking your dogs abroad.  Firstly, they need to have pet passports (yes, it includes photos!).  They need to have all their vaccinations and medication up to date.

On the return journey, you must ensure that you take your pet to a local vet for tapeworm medication and further information needs completing in their passports.

Check the government website for the most up to date information.

You should also be aware that dogs must be safely harnessed or secured in the cars so you can’t just have them roaming around on the back seat – we bought some seatbelt harnesses from Halfords.

Of course, factor in plenty of stops for the dogs so they can stretch their legs, have some water / food and ensure there are no accidents in the car!!  I think the dogs were better behaved in the car than I was…on the 600 mile leg journey, the last 3 hours were torturous and I was SO bored!!!!!

Cash Money!


We took about 500 euros with us to keep us going – we knew that this wouldn’t last us the duration of the trip.  We wanted to be able to use a debit or credit card without there being a huge charge so applied for the Halifax Clarity Credit Card.  There’s no charge for withdrawing from ATM’s either so it’s a pretty handy card to get.

I’m pretty sure there’s a couple of other things that I haven’t mentioned but those are the main ones!



  1. Sue
    06/05/2016 / 5:52 pm

    Some good tips. I wouldn’t consider travelling without insurance. I’ve got a Post Office card that is fee free when abroad too. Although for Greece it’s best to take cash as they don’t trust the banks!

    • happywiseowl
      06/05/2016 / 6:38 pm

      It amazes me that some folk still do! I worked in a travel agent for a while & people thought if they had an E111 then that was adequate…scary!!
      Good shout on the Post Office, never considered checking there tbh!

  2. John B
    07/05/2016 / 7:59 am

    Also always good to plan the NEXT trip / holiday – so we have booked a long weekend in Rome for early Octobet

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