So, you’ve finally done it! You’ve been through all the stress and troubles of finding your dream home abroad. You have the keys, everything is in place in your home country and you’re ready to move to a place you’ve only ever dreamt of.
However, there is still the slight hurdle of getting there. For a lot of people simply getting on to a plane just isn’t practical. When you’re moving “lock, stock and barrel”, there will be belongings that are precious to you and you’ll want them with you on your journey.
If you’re making a long distance move from the UK to somewhere in Europe for instance, driving is possibly the best way. Not only that, it’s also the best way to get your car to your new home with you. But, there are some very serious guidelines you should follow. Below, you will find a selection of the points I feel come top, (having done this myself).
Make sure you know what your route is going to be and, don’t be tempted to stray from it. A drive across Europe can be quite stunning and it’s very easy to think “We’ll just turn off for a while and have a look”. This is nothing more than a distraction and it will waste time. Remember, you have the rest of your life to explore this continent.
There are loads of applications out there to help you these days. Online route planners are a great source and (to a certain degree) so is a satellite navigation system. If you opt for the latter, make sure you have the most up to date software AND take a map with you as well. Sat-Nav’s (as good as they are) don’t always get it right so, don’t rely on this alone.
On the Way
If there is going to be more than one driver, you should decide before-hand who will drive when and for how long. This is not the time for bravado. Saying you can sit behind the wheel for hours on end just to be macho is actually quite the opposite.
Falling asleep at the wheel is more common than you think so bear this in mind. Ensure you make plenty of stops and it’s also a good idea to have plenty of cold drinks (especially water) in the car with you.
Depending on how far you have to drive might mean an overnight stop somewhere and don’t be afraid to do this. It will give you the time to soak up the atmosphere in the town of your choice and you’ll get some well earned rest.
Treat this final part of your journey as something to be enjoyed. As long as you plan well in advance, make sure your car is up to the job (a good old service is advisable before you go) and, educate your-self on European driving laws, this part of your journey can actually be a lot of fun.
Author: Julie Coburn