Books You Should Never Leave Home Without!

Space is limited.  Kindles have removed the need for books.  Brilliant!

BUT…

There are some books you just can’t leave home without!

Kindles or downloads don’t work for these books – you have to be able to keep them in your glove box and wade through them at a moments notice.  These will be the best-thumbed books you’ve ever owned!

If you are travelling Europe in a motorhome, there are some ‘MUST HAVE’ reads that will 1) save you money, and 2) make life a damn sight easier!

So, here is our list of MUST HAVE BOOKS;

GO MOTORHOMING & CARAVANING 

Before you even buy a van, read this bible to motorhoming.  It was the best thing we ever did.  From the first page, this bible is crammed with great hands-on, practical advice about purchasing a van, what to consider, what to avoid, how to fix/mend/fit additions and of course, motorhoming etiquette.

As a consequence of reading GO MOTORHOMING, we opted for an LPG conversation and made last minute changes to our list of priorities for layout and extras.

It really is brilliant and I would not advise buying a van without first reading it!

CAMPING CARD ACSI BOOKS (& MEMBERSHIP DISCOUNT CARD)

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The camping card ACSI book is full of campsites across Europe that offer a considerable discount to motorhomers during the low seasons.

CampingCard ACSI is a discount card that you will find at the back of one of the books (you receive two books for every purchase) which will allow you to camp for up to 50% off in the early and late low seasons. 

Upon production of a valid CampingCard ACSI at a participating campsite, you will be able to stay with two people for just € 11, € 13, € 15, € 17 or € 19 a night.
We seriously saved hundreds and hundreds of pounds with this discount card.  We met travellers who were paying 27 Euros for a pitch that we were paying 11 Euros for.  The books are easy to use, informative and accurate.  The accompanying app also provides latest reviews (though I found these to be a place where most people like to moan!).  The greatest benefit of these books is that you always know what you are going to pay.  The codes enable you to see what facilities are on offer and whether they will accommodate pets, larger vans, children etc.
Your CampingCard ACSI is valid for one calendar year.  If, like us, your ACSI card runs out during your travels, fret not – you can pre-order the next years’ books and ACSI will send them to a campsite of your choosing.  We had ours sent to Tarifa in Spain!

ALL THE AIRES OF FRANCE (NORTH AND SOUTH)

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There are so many aires (motorhome stopovers) in France that this book had to be split into two volumes! Though you can order the volumes separately, it is more cost effective to buy them both.

The North guidebook details aires and LPG stations in the following regions:

  • Pays de Loire
  • Nord-Pas-de-Calais
  • Normandy
  • East of France
  • Champagne
  • Centre
  • Burgundy
  • Brittany

The South guidebook details aires and LPG stations in the following regions:

  • Atlantic
  • Limousin & Auvergne
  • Mediterranean
  • Midi Pyrenees
  • Poitou
  • Rhone Alps

Whilst aires are widely signposted, we found that the best aires were hidden away from busy motorways – in fact, I would not recommend staying at any stopover close to the main toll roads, they are often targeted by thieves.  For the lovely little farm aires, canal or harbour stopovers, you really do need to have these books with their GPS coordinates – otherwise, you will never find them.  Aires offer you a cheap, safe and enjoyable alternative to busy, overcrowded and expensive campsites.

All 3034 aires in the books have been photographed and inspected.  Detailed information about facilities and nearby amenities are included, as is the price for each stopover.  One sheet map is included with the pack of two books. You can easily plan your route and find LPG gas stations along the way.

Some of the aires we stayed at in France were simply fantastic.  They were better situated than their camping counterparts.  They were also much less expensive.  Base de Loisirs Fontet was one of our favourites at 9 euros a night.  Pont de Gastes was another at just 7 Euros a night.

ALL THE AIRES OF SPAIN & PORTUGAL

All the Aires Spain and Portugal 4th edition

All the Aires Spain and Portugal is unique among Spanish and Portuguese aires guide because of its high level of detail. In addition to listing 449 motorhome stopovers, this well-formatted guidebook contains the address, coordinates and directions for LPG autogas stations in Spain as well as a good selection of LPG outlets in Portugal.

It is exactly what you need to tour around Spain and Portugal with ease.

Without this book, we would never have found some of our favourite aires on the West Coast of Portugal.  The beach-side aires were amongst the most spectacular in Europe.  If you only buy this book to discover the natural rugged beauty of the West Coast, then it will be worth very penny!

CAMPERSTOP EUROPE

This comprehensive book contains over 8910 motorhome stopovers in 27 countries, sorted alphabetically by region.

Each aire includes a photograph, number of pitches, GPS coordinates, prices, surface, distance to village or town / beaches / supermarket / restaurants / motorway / Public transport etc.

This is a must-have book if you are travelling beyond France, Spain and Portugal.

New countries in the guide include Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Czech Rep Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Greece.

This book was a life-saver in Italy and helped us to find our most favourite aire in Europe, right on the edge of Lake Varese, Gavirate!  It was beautiful and much more intimate than Como, Garda and Maggiore.  Just 0.50 Euros for electricity!

It’s a must have!

MULTI-SCALE EUROPEAN ROAD ATLAS

You have to record your travels!  Take a highlighter pen and draw a line along every road you travel.  It’s a great keepsake – and of course, gives the kids or other half something to do too!

THE ALCHEMIST

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And finally, I couldn’t leave this page without making a personal recommendation based on my favourite book of all time.

The Alchemist will always hold a special place in my heart.  If you haven’t read it, pick a moment in your life when your mind is rested and your heart is open.  This book will guide you to make decisions that will change your life irreversibly, for the better.

Follow the Shepherd Boy as he leads you to follow your dreams.

I was so inspired by this book, I even dedicated a blog to it!  Read The Alchemist here.