When travelling abroad you are required to carry the vehicles ownership documents, ie the V5C, as well as its MOT certificate (photocopies are not acceptable). Add to these documents, travel insurance, vehicle insurance, passports and maybe prescriptions etc and you can see that they need to be held securely.

We have a hidden steel safe onboard in to which all of the above are held. We only dig the passports out when we judge we may need them.

Also in the safe are:

  • Envelopes, each containing €100 in cash. They are numbered so that we always know how many we have used whilst away. Most of our purchases are made using bank cards but you need to have cash readily available. We also have one envelope marked ‘Emergency Euro’s’. This is never touched and is there to cover us should we fill the vehicle up with fuel and the filling station doesn’t accept any of our cards. In such a situation you can’t give it back, it’s in your fuel tank. That’s when the emergency funds come to the rescue. 

  • Bank cards of other accounts which can be called upon in the event of loss or theft of cards from our main accounts. 

  • Spare keys to the vehicle and the front door key to the house. 

  • A list of contacts in the event of an incident, including family and organisations. This means we aren’t relying on ‘contacts’ in a mobile phone which may get lost or stolen.

Having space to fit and hide a steel safe is another good reason for buying a vehicle large enough for your needs, and I would suggest the security of your possessions is a need.

In the cab we have another plastic wallet which will contain photocopies of our vehicle insurance details and MOT together with a copy of the ‘Travelscript’ giving details line by line of that trip’s cunning plan, together with anything else which may be considered appropriate and useful, but which, if stolen, would not cause us any problems.

If Brexit finally happens you'll need to have a GB sticker on the back of your vehicle and carry an International Driving Permit (IDP). They only cost £5.50 each, and you can get them from The Post Office. Take along a passport sized photograph, your driving license and passport. Don't ask me why but there are two versions, the French and the majority of countries use one version, and the Spanish a a few others use another. Check it out online.