Safer driving for older drivers
The freedom of being a temporary nomad is proving very attractive to independent travellers who don’t want to be tied to airports and hotel check-in times. And because a motorhome means you can choose when and where to stop, serendipity is often just around the corner - a perfect café, secluded beach or bustling local market.
Many people take bikes, water sport and other equipment and a growing number tow a small car to use as a run around when they arrive at their destination. While we might not have the vast scale of American sites where these latter day wagon trains set up camp, there’s a good range of places to stop and of course, the chance to sample different local food, culture and scenery en route.
Modern motorhomes are comfortable and well equipped – a far cry from roughing it in damp vans, someone twiddling a wire coat hanger trying to get a signal on a portable black and white TV while someone else battled with a reluctant barbecue. In fact, a recent Saga survey showed just how attached the over 50s are to their iPads , Kindles and other gadgets when travelling. Obviously, such items need to be stored securely out of sight when not in use; thieves too find lightweight, portable goods extremely attractive!
Freed from the tyranny of airline baggage allowances, it’s all too tempting to load up the motorhome, especially when it comes to bringing goodies home. But, it’s really important to make sure everything’s stowed safely and weight’s distributed evenly, tyres are in good condition and at the right pressure. Similarly, make sure that you meet the legal and other requirements for all the countries you’re driving through that include extension mirrors, road safety and breakdown kits and, if a proposed new law comes into force in France later this year, portable breathalysers.
Road trips - films and music
Motorhomes are ideal for a flexible holiday, and while they can be an economical alternative to hotels, that has to be balanced against fuel costs. But, that aside, it takes a lot to beat the sense of freedom that comes from driving down that open road. We’ve all been influenced by road movies; Easy Rider, Thelma & Louise, Vanishing Point and many more, along with the soundtracks but do bear in mind that your version of Bat out of Hell might not be the best way to impress a gendarme.