A Guide to campervan and Hostel life at Euro 2016

Image of a green Irish campervan with flags on a grey background.

If you’re planning a trip to Euro 2016, you’re probably already thinking of how you can save money on the trip to France. Campervans offer an unbeatable combination of affordability and convenience, as well as a chance to really get to know your travelling companions. While the youth hostel is no longer solely the domain of aging hippies and Australian backpackers. They’re both good options, but there are a few rules for making the most of Euro 2016.

Read on to see how you can avoid an own goal during your trip:

Choose your campervan wisely

It can quickly get uncomfortable if you’re planning on cramming half a football team into a battered old VW. Take time to choose the right campervan or motorhome, and definitely don’t buy or rent one that doesn’t have sufficient space for your group. Remember, you’re going to be spending a significant part of your days and nights in it. Unless you want to spend two weeks with an up close and personal view of your mate’s feet, choose wisely.

Know where you’re going

This might seem obvious, but while you may fancy the idea of hitting the road with a song in your heart and a vague idea that France is “over that way”, it’s always best to plan your route to some extent beforehand. You’ll be able to time your journey more effectively, pick out suitable campsites along the way, and ensure you don’t get stranded with nothing but a French dictionary and a nervous smile. If in doubt, pack a map of France.

Drive sensibly

Chances are you’ll be driving something that’s a lot larger and heavier than you’re used to, and on the opposite side of the road to boot. Set off slowly, gradually build up speed, and don’t forget that your braking distance will be much longer than in a car. Knowing the French rules of the road before you set off is also a good idea. Remember, if you don’t want to end up practicing your French on a ticked off gendarme, slow and steady wins the race.

Don’t hog the stereo

While that beaten up tape of “Joxer Goes to Stuttgart” may be one of your most prized possessions, even Christy’s Euro ’88 epic can pale after the fiftieth rendition in a row. Make sure everyone gets their chance to play DJ. Yes, even your mate who likes One Direction.

Bring earplugs

Light sleepers beware. There’s always one serious snorer in every crew. In the intimate confines of a campervan or hostel dorm, every night-time noise is magnified. If you want to guarantee some proper shuteye, a decent pair of earplugs could be the best investment you make on this trip. As an added bonus, they also work on One Direction.

Brush up on your French

With your pasty white skin and questionable dress sense, your natural charm might struggle to shine through. Thankfully you can just memorise this simple phrase – “Je suis Irlandais” – and you’ll immediately be recognised as one of the best fans in the world.

Keep your shirt on

Ok, so it’ll be a bit warmer in France than you’re used to. That doesn’t mean you’ve earned the right to parade around the hostel common room in a state of undress. If you must top up your tan, do it on the beach. That way you won’t be the only one embarrassing yourself.

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