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 vs. Rally – What’s the Difference?

Those with a passion for motoring, either in the latest exotic sports car or perhaps in a lovingly restored vintage motor, will always be dreaming of the next trip. But there are a few subtle differences that distinguish a rally from a road trip.

On a rally or a road trip, it’s not about the destination, it’s the pleasure in getting there that’s important. Both involve sightseeing and driving for the sheer adulterated pleasure of handling your prized motor on unknown highways and byways. There’s no defining distance or length of time to mark one from the other, so let’s look at what makes it a rally rather than a road trip.

Road trips – Laid-back and go-as-you-please

If you’re planning an easy-going trip, driving your dream motor through Europe’s pleasant scenery and stopping wherever you fancy, odds are you’ll be doing a road trip. Road trips are to car fanatics what long-distance solo hikes are to walkers. They are journeys by road, taking days or even weeks. They are loosely planned and the main purpose is to enjoy the drive – wherever that may take you.

On a road trip there’s only you (and perhaps your co-pilot/passenger) to think about. You can be spontaneous, turning off to explore a promised waterfall, pretty village, attractive restaurant or other local landmark.  

Rallies – Meticulously planned and sociable

A rally may have the same goals of enjoying the drive, the scenery and the thrill of putting your favourite motor through its paces. However, a rally is dependent upon a third party – a company or person who has mapped out every detail down to the last minutia.

While some rallies may only last a few hours, most are longer experiences. Some rallies have Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) events or conclude with a concourse. Others simply record your data for your own personal interest without it being an actual race, such as the famous Gumball 3000 and our very own Radical Rallies. 

Most amateur leisure rallies include exclusive evenings of wining and dining, taking in the specialty cuisine of the region you are visiting. Look forward to sharing the joys of the day with fun people, exchanging humorous anecdotes, discussing the merits of your motor, and trading tips about other great routes to drive.

What to drive

Rallies bring together like-minded drivers and their particular pride and joy, usually a quality marque or limited edition vehicle designed to turn envious heads as you sweep by. Most rallies are limited to particular brands or types of luxury sports cars. For example, you may find a rally specifically for Tesla users, carefully planned to take into account distances and charging points on each joy-filled leg of the route.

Other rallies may be specific to a brand, such as Porsche. They can include all models from the early rear-engine Porsche 356 coupes to the newest Porsche 911 GT3. These latest models remain unfazed on even the toughest Paris-Dakar Rally, a gruelling off-road endurance event with a coveted trophy, but that’s another story. Most rallies, such as our Sandbanks to Monaco Grand Tour, simply have a participant’s list of eligible wheels.

The route

Rallies involve driving a pre-determined route independently but in the company of other drivers with a similar passion for motoring.The journey will be carefully planned to take in some of the best highlights, scenery and landmarks in the area.

You can expect it to include some exclusive tours and private experiences that money can’t buy. These may be once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as an audience with a motor racing legend or the chance to ogle some priceless motors that have made their mark in racing history. Rally organisers also have the clout to arrange afternoon tea with a local celebrity from the motoring world, a private tour and tasting at an exclusive vineyard, or perhaps the chance to see behind closed doors of a private museum or estate.

Exclusive rally benefits

At the end of each day on a rally, you will be checking into some of the world’s most exclusive hotels and boutique accommodations. Your booking will already have been made and your luggage will be waiting for you in your room. No problem that your Lamborghini Gran Turismo has next-to-no luggage space or you have an awkward Porsche Boxster frunk (that’s front trunk/boot for those from the non-Porsche-speaking world). These supercars were made for driving and enjoying, carrying a few designer shopping bags and a bottle of Moët at most.  

With a rally, all you need to do is read the prospectus, make your booking and dream. Everything else is taken care of. You’ll get a carefully detailed route and all ferry, restaurant and accommodation bookings are included in the price. From the exclusive launch party to the final celebration banquet, a rally is the ultimate road trip with knobs on.  

Image by Marlene Bitzer from Pixabay

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!