We love poring over maps, planning our future trips (although our plans change frequently!). This Europe Route Planner from the AA covers the whole of Europe, on two sides, and also has 17 city plans.

It's no replacement for a dedicated atlas but it's great for an overview of Europe - if you want to look at more than one country at a time, it saves that annoying switching of atlases!

This map came from http://shop.theaa.com/ 

 

 

 

 

We discovered France Passion during our first tour in France, in 2010 (no sniggering!). It's an organisation whereby you become a member by buying the book (a new book is produced each year) for £25. You can then stay on a host's site for one night only - free of charge! You have to be self-sufficient, in terms of water etc, which is why the scheme is only open to motorhomes and campervans, not caravans or tents. Read more about it and order your guide on www.france-passion.co.uk

 

 

Travelling in the UK and Europe during the low season is so much cheaper - and even more so if you use these Camping Card ACSI books. The only downside is having to buy a new book every year, but if you stay on enough sites, you'll make the saving.

In the 2014 edition shown above, there were 2739 sites to choose from; the 2016 edition will have over 3100 sites in it, and has pitch prices ranging from €11 to €19.

The 2016 edition can be pre-ordered and will cost £14.50/€18.85 - order your copy from https://www.vicarious-shop.com/ACSI-UK-CampingCard-DVD/

 

 

 

 

I'm a huge fan of the All the Aires Guides from Vicarious Books (and no, they don't pay me to say that!). They're clear, concise and easy-to-use - don't visit France without your copy!

Every time Vicarious Books bring out a new edition, it seems to be twice the size of the previous one. The latest edition is quite literally twice the size - it's two books! 

We're showing the 4th edition above but the new edition, for 2015/2016, has over 3000 aires and rather than having one book which would weigh a tonne, they have published it in two volumes - north and south France.  It costs £24.99/€32.49 from www.vicariousbooks.com

  

 

 

 

We visited Belgium and Luxembourg in 2012, armed with the book on the left. There were definitely more aires than in the UK but they were still limited in number; many were actually 'camperstops' and charged accordingly.

Before we visited Belgium and the Netherlands in 2014, we emailed Vicarious Books, to ask about the updated version on the right. What an improvement! There are dozens more aires to choose from, many of them free. If you are planning a trip to Belgium, Holland or Luxembourg, and you only have the old book, treat yourself to a new one!

This, and many more aires guides, can be purchased from www.vicariousbooks.com 

 



 

Is it worth buying a new aires guide every time one is released? It can be a lot of money to shell out, especially if you plan to visit lots of countries, but there are usually enough new aires added to make it worthwhile. We sometimes get every other edition instead, which is what we have done for Spain and Portugal. Here are some numbers for you so you can make up your own mind:

In the 2nd edition, there are 156 aires listed in Spain and 76 in Portugal.

In the 3rd edition, there are 204 aires listed in Spain and 82 in Portugal.

In the 4th edition, shown here, there are a whopping great 321 in Spain and 135 in Portugal.

There are also many more LPG stations listed, and the guide comes with a handy fold-out Locator Map.

So if you haven't bought a new edition for a while, it's worth getting hold of a copy... £17.99 from https://www.vicarious-shop.com/