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Thursday, 2 April 2009

Preparation


We don't want to go into lots of detail about the different things we have sorted out before travelling for a year. Other bloggers have done this much better than we have (see below). However, there are a few things you might be interested in:
Clothing: We have limited space in the van and don't intend to do any ironing while we are away, so over the past year we've bought lots of technical walking gear, Rohan, Alpine Lowe and others. This is lightweight, quick drying and easy to wear. Whilst this clothing is expensive, we've managed to save money by buying second-hand on Ebay, buying in the sales and from Cotswold Outdoor getting a fantastic discount with our Cycling Touring Club membership.
Keeping in touch: We have a 3 mobile phone, which allows use of our price plan minutes in Italy and Austria and will be useful for text messages and we have the laptop so we can use Wi-Fi at campsites when available. Otherwise it will be telephone boxes and internet cafes as other options seemed expensive and complicated.
IT stuff: As well as the laptop we will have a portable hard-drive to back up photographs and documents and a pen drive for an additional back-up. As these, by necessity will all be in the van, the internet will also provide additional back-up for photographs.
Extras:  Two bags of guidebooks for countries we won't visit until later and some extra novels are being left with Matthew and Rachel to bring out in August and Christmas. We've also left some parcels of novels for them to post out if we are ever on a campsite long enough.
Modifications to the Campervan: Everyone modifies their van to suit their own needs and we are no exception. We are not taking any clothes that need hanging, so we've added three shelves to the wardrobe to give us much more space for clothes. We also put shelves into the large cupboard under the oven, to make it easier to get at the pots and pans we keep in this cupboard. As Carol is only 162 cms a box to fit in the passenger foot well was useful for comfort and for Rough guides and phrase books not required in the country we are in. We put a fabric shoe rack on the back door for our campsite shoes and a unit designed as shelves for the shower on the wall above the loo for toiletries.
Help and advice: We've picked lots of brains during our planning and thank you to everyone that has helped us, the following websites have been particularly useful:
http://www.doyourdream.co.uk/- thanks to Mel and Ryan for their marvellous site.
http://www.magbaztravels.com/ - this couple have masses of experience around Europe and share it very willingly.
http://www.motorhomefacts.com/ - the lively discussion boards on this website are worth the £10 annual fee alone, not to mention all the other info there.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link to our site. Just saw yours on our referral list so am now reading it and copying some ideas back.
    Your blog is added to our list - how did I miss it before!?
    Ryan & Mel

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