Where do I start?……..
As previously stated, this is a blog so that friends, family and other interested parties can follow our travels without the need to subscribe to social media. The plan is that Sarah and myself can update this regularly with our travels, adventures and photographs.
I am sat writing this on Friday 12 August. We have a confirmed leave Livingston date of Monday 15 August 2016; when we will travel to Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire for a couple of days before motoring down to the channel tunnel and the start of our big adventure!
If you’re wondering why we’re going to Woodhall Spa – it’s sort of half way to Folkstone, and just along the road from the Petwood Hotel; which was the former officers mess for Number 617 Squadron (better known as the Dambusters!). Having a pint in the room (and maybe even the spot) where Wing Commander Guy Gibson stood has been on the bucket list for a while. Just proves, you can take the boys and girls out of the uniform but if you cut them, they bleed RAF!
This week has been full of preparations and hurdles; Olympic hurdles in some cases! It would appear wanting to go away for an extended period is not the ‘norm’ – (note:- most of you reading this will know us quite well and appreciate that normal is something we aint!)
It started with checking the travel insurance (through the Police Federation). Only covered for 60 days. So new travel insurance had to be sourced through the Caravan & Camping Club – BUT, the maximum they will provide cover for is 180 days.
The house insurance was next. Again it isn’t the norm so it’s a good way to get loads more money out of us to provide cover for the time after 60 days (we’re guessing a lot of people don’t bother telling their house insurance provider that they are away for an extended period).
Vehicle insurance wasn’t a problem (Lifesure) – 360 days continuous European cover included.
Breakdown Insurance was the final obstacle. We have cover through the RAC Arrival scheme (specifically for motorhomes and caravans) and yes you’ve guessed it, 90 days maximum European cover. After loads of research & phone calls I received a message on Facebook from a member of the Auto-Trail Facebook Group suggesting I try ADAC (The German motoring organization). A quick phone call to their information centre to ask if they cover for longer than 90 days on a single trip received a typically Germanic response of “why wouldn’t we – that is why people have camping cars – to go away!”
So, ADAC membership completed by email (125 euros and that includes 90 days travel insurance and a host of other extras (stolen money, repatriation by air ambulance, kenneling for dogs etc. etc.) that I hope we’ll never need. Additionally, the ADAC insurance is useable in the UK. Just call their partner, the AA!
So that’s where we are, it would appear that the longest we can be away (and be insured – house / travel) is 180 days, so that gives us a return date of 13 February 2017.
The next 4 days will be spent loading and no doubt unloading the van as we try and decide what and what not to take with us and catching up with family and friends.
I will pop back soon and update this in an effort to keep you updated and get to grips with how this ‘blogging’ lark works.