Driving a Supercar in Europe? The kit you really need to pack.

Much has been written about the bits and pieces you need to take when driving in Europe. Passports, insurance, driving licence, blah blah blah… Here at Radical Rally we like to credit our readers with a little bit of nous – we kinda think that you’ve already got the obvious on the list.

The thing is, rolling in a supercar is a little different from, say a 4×4, tourer, or even a regular family estate. Not only do you have way less room for random stuff, there’s also slightly differing needs. So without further ado, here’s our alternative list for the must-haves to pack when driving in Europe.

Driving in Europe: The supercar essentials

OK, so it goes without saying that minimalist is the way forward. However, on your travels you need to be prepared for every occasion. One minute you’re hiking in the Pyrenees, the next you’re donning your glad rags to hit the casinos in Monte Carlo. Dressing to impress from the storage space of an Aston or Lambo takes careful consideration.

Packing a space saving wardrobe

Ladies can’t go wrong with a classic, soft-touch tunic dress. Check out this one from Hotouch. It takes up minimal room and can be dressed up or down with a simple change of footwear. Add a beautiful scarf, such as one from Tory Burch, and you’re all set to rub shoulders with any royalty or celebs you might meet on your travels.

Guys will love the ease of the crease-resistant range from Orvis. Team an Oxford shirt with a waistcoat for that no-jacket-required vibe. If you don’t want to waste precious packing room on an extra pair of trousers, then rock the look with a dark-coloured pair of trekking pants. You’ll be amazed at how smart they are, plus you can go for a convertible option so they double as shorts as well. 

A light pair of flippies works for warm, everyday wear. We’re fans of those from Reef, but there’s loads out there to choose from. When the mercury drops think insulating but light, such as these Merino men’s wool runners from All Birds. They’re also slick enough to be worn to that silver service restaurant in St Moritz as well.

We could go on but we think you get the picture. Select your wardrobe carefully and it’ll only take up minimal room in the (virtually non-existent) storage space.

Getting techie with it…

No doubt you’ve already got a phone with a great camera, such as the  iPhone 12 Pro, or the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. But if you’re anything like us then you like to travel with a few extra gadgets. By far the best way to get a selection of devices online while abroad is with a mobile WiFi router. Huawei do both 4G and 5G options that connect up to 10 phones/tablets/laptops. Just insert a sim from any country and boom! WiFi for them all.

Upgrade your cloud storage and you’ll never need worry about running out of room to keep those holiday snaps. Include a plug adaptor (get a worldwide one and be done with it), a multi-USB port and a decent power bank. We love those from Anker for their size and portability.

Finding your way when driving in Europe

While some supercars might sport a sat-nav, many remove such luxuries for the additional grunt and power we all crave from our ride. So download the necessary onto your phone – Waze is our favourite by far. Mostly because it gives you great community sourced updates on speed traps and Police locations.

You might also want to consider these apps because they can be accessed offline (provided you have downloaded the maps for your area in advance).

  • Google maps
  • Maps.me
  • Here WeGo
  • Sygic GPS

You might also want to slide an old-fashioned European map book in somewhere, just in case of any IT issues.

A little bit of luxury

Of course, you don’t want to leave all the home comforts behind. So pack a Molton Brown travel set for when the hotel toiletries aren’t quite up to standard. And how about this wine cooler bag with glasses? Perfect for that sundowner tipple at that romantic beachside spot before you walk to your hotel.

When it comes to dining on the go, you’ll need a picnic blanket that’s both funky and small to pack. Those from Just A Joy take up far less room than most. You can also elevate the alfresco dining experience with a Joseph and Joseph cutlery set. After all, we might be travelling light but it doesn’t mean we need to become savages…

The key to packing a supercar for driving in Europe is down to the planning. Strip it down to the bare essentials – then see how much room you’ve got left. That’s the area you can fill with those can’t-live-without luxuries. And with the small blip of lockdown that we’re currently living, there’s no better use of your time than getting prepped for your next big road trip. 

It’s armchair shopping at its best and the perfect way to while away the dark winter nights before the post-pandemic dawn that awaits us in 2021…

Image by MonacoCannes from Pixabay

Read More

Supercar Camping … Is it Really a Thing?

For some people, the thought of camping (let alone supercar camping) might bring you out in a cold sweat. It might also encourage comments, such as, “Over my dead body” or “I’d rather stick pins in my eyes”, etc etc. If you’re of that ilk then you’ve probably already clicked to another page. 

However, (and bear with us here), while camping and supercars might not seem like natural bedfellows, the two actually have more in common than you might think. Not yet convinced? Well, consider the following:

  1. Supercars aren’t really built for comfort. Instead, they’re built for the very things that petrol heads crave – power and speed. Indeed, unless you’re in the realms of the Mclaren 650S or the Acura NSX, then the driving experience hasn’t exactly been optimised for your comfort. And guess what? Camping is the same! While you might not get to snuggle on a memory foam blanket cosseted by four walls and air con/heating (delete as appropriate), what you do have is ultimate freedom. Plus, if you get the location right – an idyllic backdrop that you don’t have to share with anyone.
  2. You need to be a bit ‘out there’ to camp – or drive a supercar: And that, surely, is a reason to do both. After all, who the heck wants to be normal? (What is normal, anyway?).
  3. They’re both perfect for minimalists: Happy campers know exactly what they can do without while still remaining in (relative) comfort. Supercar makers – and by association, their drivers – have also learned to live without those little luxury driving extras.

Enough of all that. What about the Practicalities of Camping with a Supercar?

First and foremost – supercar camping is possible. With a little forethought, there’s nothing stopping you loading up the boot and/or even the roof (yes, really) with a few little comforts that allow you to spend a few (or many) nights under the stars.

Now, we’re not pretending that you’ve got room to pack a lot of kit. Attempting to squeeze all your gear into the storage of a supercar is like trying to find room in the overhead lockers when you’re last to board a Ryanair flight!   But… The camping industry has spent mucho money and effort creating decent gear that’s ever-smaller and ever-lighter. Designed so long distance hikers, runners, cyclists and the like can go native for weeks on end, it’s perfect for camping with your supercar. The kit might not be cheap, but you’ll be amazed at what’s out there and how comfortable it can make a supercar camping trip.

Can’t Do Without Kit: Somewhere to sleep

Unless you’re going Australian and rolling up in a swag, this is going to mean a tent. Now, we have seen pictures of roof tents added to Porsches – something that requires specialist roof bars added to the car. We’re not suggesting anything so extreme. Instead, go for ultra-light tents that are made by companies such as Terra Nova and MSR

Partner them with a decent sleeping mat and you’ll be surprised at quite how good a night’s sleep you can have. Top tip – going for a slightly bulkier sleeping mat, such as the Exped Mega Mat might mean sacrifices in other areas of storage, but we promise that it’s worth it….

Decent bedding is another must-have item. Snuggly sleeping bags that pack into a miniscule bag is the kind of camping tech we were alluding to. Alpkit do a great selection of synthetic sleepers, including traditional cocoon style or those that unzip into a quilt.

There’s so much good camping kit out there, just be sure to check you’ve packed the necessities. While supercar camping is, by nature, minimalist, at a bare minimum you’ll need:

  • Water, and a way to boil it for your morning cuppa
  • PJs
  • A ground sheet to run between the car and your tent
  • Food and cooking utensils
  • A change of clothes/warm layer (this is the UK, after all). And while we’re on that subject – don’t forget the waterproofs

Supercar camping locations

The next practicality is where you plan to go. While the world is your oyster if you’re driving, say, a Land Rover Defender, a Ferrari or Lambo doesn’t offer quite the same flexibility. Most importantly, supercars certainly don’t have anywhere near the ground clearance, meaning you need to keep to decent(ish) roads. 

This does limit your choices somewhat. But with a little imagination you can still wild camp with a supercar. Areas such as Northumberland National Park are a fab example, with responsible camping actively encouraged by the forestry commission. You simply pull up in a car park and pay your tenner (or whatever it costs) into an honesty box. You’ll likely be the only person there to enjoy one of the UK’s best Dark Sky locations.

The area and coastline from North Lincolnshire up to North Yorkshire is also a beautiful and relatively wild part of our wonderful island. Plus you could stop off for a track day at Cadwell Park to blow away the cobwebs.

Other, further afield locations (post-pandemic, it goes without saying) that offer true supercar camping potential include the mountains of Europe. We also love the azure shores of the South of France. And if you don’t mind the shipping faff of getting your car there, the good ol’ US of A. For the latter you’ll need a specialist transporter, such as Straight Eight Logistics. These guys are truly experienced in the movement of super and classic cars by air, sea or land.

So yes! With some care, planning, and a will to do something a little bit different, it’s truly possible to go camping with your supercar. 

Or, of course, you could simply book into a decent hotel…

Can’t decide what car to take? We’ve already compared supercars to grand tourers for you.

Read More

Road Trip: Highways, Cities & Hidden Gems of Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe, while not quite on our doorstep, is a wonderful destination within easy reach of the UK (especially with the power of a supercar at your disposal). With a diverse array of countries, including Croatia, Russia, Romania and the Czech Republic, you can experience cities crammed with culture, landscapes that range from open prairie to mountain ranges and, very importantly, roads that stretch for mile upon mile with barely a car in sight.

Welcome to Eastern Europe – a location that, for the supercar owner, is the ultimate adventure playground for you to test your driving skills to the limit…

Reasons to Visit Eastern Europe 

1.     The incredibly diverse culture: Countries might not be far apart geographically, but when it comes to identity and culture they’re poles apart. Cross a border, and brace yourself for a whole new world…

2.     The traditions and experiences: Cites, such as Krakow, Prague, Vilnius, and Kotor will, quite literally, blow your mind as you explore and discover local customs. Get the timing right and you can party like a local at incredible festivals across the region.

3.     The welcome: Many Eastern European countries were, not so long ago, closed to outsiders. Today they embrace visitors with open arms and many are the friendliest and safest places on the planet today.

4.     The food: Gastronomic choices abound, and that includes beverages on which to imbibe. In many cases local production isn’t enough to export, so only by being ‘boots on the ground’ will you ever get to experience what’s on offer. Quite simply, foodie heaven…

5.     The landscapes: From national parks to lakes, beaches to jaw-droppingly beautiful mountain views, Eastern Europe over delivers on every front.

Best European Roads & Cities: Road Trip Heaven

Achingly beautiful cities, deserted roads and a variety of landscapes, you certainly won’t be disappointed with a road trip to Eastern Europe. Check out the following to whet your appetite.

From Poland to Estonia

After spending at least a day exploring the wonders of the Polish capital of Warsaw, head to Krutynia River, the country’s lake district and a premier Eastern European kayaking destination (no experience required). Spend a day messing about on the water before heading to Białowieża Forest, one of the continent’s last primeval forests and a protected UNESCO world heritage site.

Hit the road again, this time crossing the border into Lithuania, and head to Vilnius, the delightful capital city where you can marvel at the culture in the daytime and party hard after dark. Next stop is the capital of Latvia – Riga – with its art nouveau and gothic architecture (and rather scrumptious delicacies that include smoked fish and spicy sausages).

Hit the beach next, as you head to the resort city of Pärnu in Estonia, a relaxing place to wend away a day or two, enjoying the long, sandy beaches, walking the river of the same name that bisects the city, dining on regional specialities of pork, fish and pastries, and enjoying the rather fine beer and vodka that the country is known for. 

Final stop is the Estonian capital of Tallinn – small, compact and perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in all of Eastern Europe, it’s a fitting place to end a trip of around 700 miles. 

The Adriatic Highway

One of the best ocean drives in the world, the Adriatic Highway takes in the countries of Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro. Incredible coastal views, mountains, serpentine turns and twists, crashing waves hundreds of feet below, hairpin bends… Truly the stuff of supercar dreams.

Stop at will along the way, perhaps enjoying The Bay of Kotor in Montenegro and the beautiful fortress old town of Kotor with its fjord-like landscape. The fascinating city of Dubrovnik enchants and, if time is on your side, you may wish to linger here a little longer than you intended. And then there’s Split, a city that we guarantee will steal a little piece of your heart. We recommend ditching the guide book and just wander – get lost if possible – and discover those never-to-be-forgotten cafes and bars to chow down with locals for a few hours and truly embrace the traditional vibe.

You can visit the beautiful islands of the Dalmatian Coast from here, we recommend doing so from the port town of Zadar – where you’re far more likely to experience delicious tranquillity as you sip a traditional rakai, local beer or a rather good, locally produced wine while watching the spectacular sunsets the region is renowned for.

The Adriatic Highway, or Jadranska magistrala to give it its Croatian name, really is a bucket list drive that you have to experience at least once in your life…

The Transalpina Highway

Romania’s high-altitude Transalpina Highway extends from Novaci to Sebes should definitely be on the bucket list of every supercar driver. At only 87 miles long it might not be the longest in the world, but wow! Is it spectacular. You can only drive the road during the summer months due to the altitude (7,038 ft/2145m) and snow during the winter, and is officially open from July 01 to November 01 each year.

We recommend a road trip that takes in the beautiful city of Bucharest before driving the 171 miles to Sibu, a Transylvanian gem in its own right, before hitting the awesome mountain ‘Devil’s Path’ that is the Transalpina.

The Best of the Rest: Eastern European Roads and Cities

Other great driving and travel opportunities include:

  • The Troyal-Karnare Pass, Bulgaria
  • Serpentine Road, Kotor, with its 25 infamous switchbacks
  • Vienna to Vienna: stopping at Ljubljana, Zagreb, Budapest, Krakow, Wroclaw and Prague
  • Moldova to Albania: taking in Chisinau, Transylvania, Sofia, Skopje and Tirana

Eastern European roads and cities represent some of the best driving in the world. Still relatively undiscovered, the roads are far less crowded than the more-visited areas of Central and Northern Europe and are generally in good condition. Plus there’s a huge added bonus that local communities are generally welcoming (and if you’re in a supercar, you’ll likely become somewhat of an infamous visitor with people clamouring to investigate your ride… )

We really can’t recommend a road trip in Eastern Europe enough. It’s a place where adventure beckons around every curve and bend, locals are genuinely pleased to see you, and the roads? Well, they might just be the best the planet has to offer…

Image by Aida Toromanovic – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Read More

Get occasional emails

Get advanced notification of upcoming rallies some of our best blog articles delivered about once every other week.

  • Make and Model
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get Rally updates & travel tips

Share your email with us and we'll let you know about the latest rally news plus share some of our very best tips for road trips in supercars.

You have Successfully Subscribed!