Newsletters

May and touring is once again underway

Dear Fellow Motorhomer,

May and touring is once again underway. This week is the start of the GB Motorhome Tours’ Scotland Highlands and NC500 tour, with tour participants meeting in a well appointed campsite at Loch Lomond.

Loch Lomond Camping – 25/05/2021

This tour is fully socially distanced allowing all to enjoy a safe holiday whilst travelling in their own motorhome. The scenery is simply stunning, which only the Highlands of Scotland can provide as part of UK touring. A repeat of this tour has just been confirmed for September this year, and this is now available on the GB Motorhome Tours website. The full itinerary is at https://www.gbmotorhometours.com/tour/scotland-highlands-nc500 with bookings available via the GB Motorhome Tours website.

In the next couple of weeks, the GB Motorhome Tours’ A Journey Around Ireland starts. This tour makes a complete circle of Ireland sticking mostly to the coastal areas and following much of the Wild Atlantic Way along the dramatic west coast. The tour is now fully booked so we are unable to offer any further opportunities for joining this.

A tour which currently does offer an opportunity to join, is the Exmoor Coastal Fleeces to Flamingos tour. Starting near Taunton on Monday 21 June this tour gives an opportunity to explore much of the Exmoor national park and the stunning coastline around this area.

Combe Martin, North Devon

Stays at quality campsites in Combe Martin and Porlock on the north Devon and Somerset coasts, provides ideal opportunities for relaxing whilst taking in excellent scenery all around you. From the Exmoor coastal areas the tour travels to Slimbridge and another well appointed campsite on the banks of the Gloucester-Sharpness canal, close to the River Severn. From our campsite the amazing Slimbridge Wetlands Centre is just 800m walk away and it is also possible from here to visit the fascinating Purton Ships’ graveyard. The tours full itinerary is available at https://www.gbmotorhometours.com/tour/uk-exmoor-coastal-fleeces-to-flamingos with bookings via the GB Motorhome Tours website. This tour includes all the GB Motorhome Tours’ benefits of travelling with like minded people whilst having everything arranged for you, along with having the support of our great Tour Directors throughout.

For foreign touring, from Monday 17 May this is no longer subject to any UK Government legal restrictions, making it possible for those who wish to leave the UK for leisure purposes able to do so. There does however remain a number of requirements for both entering other countries and for returning to the UK. GB Motorhome Tours continues to monitor all aspects of foreign travel and keeps fully up to date with all the current regulations and requirements for foreign touring. Where planned foreign tours are safe and sensible to proceed, these will be offered for those who wish to travel at that time. All booked tour participants are kept fully updated on the position for their tours and whilst Covid-19 continues to impact on foreign travel, all tour participants are offered the chance to delay their travel to a later date if they choose travel at that time is not for them. GB Motorhome Tours commitment to providing maximum flexibility and choice for all tour participants will remain for as long as foreign travel is being impacted by Covid-19. Further tours for 2022 will continue to be added to the GB Motorhome Tours website, so keep an eye out for these. Bookings can be made in the confidence of knowing that should Covid-19 have an impact on your tour then you will have flexibility in choosing for yourself if travel is right or not for you at that time.

For September this year there are two recently re-arranged foreign tours with some availability, both offer foreign travel in ‘closer to home’ destinations. The Grand Duchy to Cote d’Azur tour offers 28 nights of travel from Luxemburg, through Switzerland to the south coast of France. Whilst Gentle Germany offers 11 nights of relaxed travel along the River Rhine. Both tours can be viewed and booked on the GB Motorhome Tours website.

One aspect of future foreign travel that we are being asked about, which seems to be causing confusion,  is exactly how the EU implements its 90 days out of 180 day rule for third party nationals being in the Schengen visa area. A reminder of the issue around this. Since Brexit at the start of 2021 British citizens are no longer EU members, so do not have the free movement rights or rights of stay within EU countries as previously. British citizens are now third party nationals for travel in EU member countries, this allows for visa free stays of up to 90 days within the last 180 days. This is calculated as a total of 90 days for all visits made to any EU country in an ongoing rolling period covering the previous 180 days. It can be difficult to accurately calculate this backwards, particularly where multiple trips are involved.  An easy check of your own plans can be made using the Schengen visa checker at https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/visa-calculator. Remember days spent in Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Ireland, or in countries outside of the EU (e.g. Turkey) do not count towards the permitted 90 days.

Back in the UK and looking towards this summer, GB Motorhome Tours will be attending the Norfolk and Malvern outdoor shows, where we will have our stand at both. At each show will be a number of our Tour Directors who will be happy to discuss all aspects of any tour and travel in general with you. Do come along and see us.

Until we next see you, we hope you can enjoy some time away and make the most of the return to some normality for travelling in our motorhomes.

Anything you wish to ask about any of the GB Motorhome Tours feel free to contact us.

Kindest regards,

Your GB Motorhome Tours Team

Tel. 0044 7481 479 057
Info@gbmotorhometours.com
www.GBMotorhomeTours.com

April and travel is once again underway

Dear Fellow Motorhomer,

April and this month sees the return of UK campsites being open. The general unlocking of travel restrictions for UK citizens progresses in the right direction and it is good to once again see motorhomes moving around the country. For those who wish to travel, doing so in one’s own motorhome with self-contained facilities, offers just about the safest way to be away from home whilst remaining socially distanced and enjoying a holiday.

For UK travel, by the end of April it should be possible to freely move between all of the UK nations and stay away from home at campsites. Our 3 UK and Ireland tours arranged for this spring/summer should now proceed as planned. Whilst the tour of the Scotland Highlands and NC500 is fully booked there remains a couple of available places on the two other tours.

A Journey around Ireland

Dunmore East, County Waterford, Ireland

On this tour before you’ve travelled far you’ll be enchanted and captivated by a land that is simply Ireland. Its people and laid-back atmosphere are just wonderful for relaxed travel. Enjoy late Spring/early Summer as we tour around almost the entire coastline of both the North and the Republic over 26 nights. There will be an opportunity for visits into Belfast and Dublin, however this tour really focuses on the much more rural areas of the south and west coasts. It is here that Blarney, Bantry, The Ring of Kerry, The Dingle Peninsular, The Cliffs of Moher, Connemara and Ballina are all found, as we travel leisurely along the Wild Atlantic Way of the Republic. It’s then time to be in the North for some touring, firstly inland at Lough Macnean, where the water creates the border between the North and the Republic, and then to Bushmills on the North Coast. Here is home to the famous Bushmills Distillery and the natural phenomenon of the Giants Causeway.

UK Exmoor Coastal Fleeces to Flamingos

Combe Martin, North Devon

The meeting point for this tour is a well-appointed campsite near Taunton with easy connections from the M5. This sets everyone up well for a leisurely drive the following morning across north Devon and the Exmoor National Park, to arrive at Combe Martin on the North Devon coast. Our campsite is very well appointed and is within a few minutes walk of both the local beach and village. The campsite is also on the local bus route giving easy access to Ilfracombe in one direction and Lynton & Lynmouth in the other. From Combe Martin we travel along the coast to Porlock on the North Somerset coast, where you should take time during your stay to visit Porlock Weir and its boat shed museum. We then move to Slimbridge on the banks of the Gloucester-Sharpness canal close to the River Severn. From our campsite the wonderful Slimbridge Wetlands Centre is just 800m walk away. Also from here take the opportunity to visit the fascinating Purton Ships’ graveyard. At the end of the tour it is just a short journey from Slimbridge back to the M5 motorway.

All the UK and Ireland tours provide the same GB Motorhome Tours experience of travelling with like minded people whilst having everything arranged for you, along with the support of our great Tour Directors throughout the time away. Bookings for all tours can be made on the GB Motorhome Tours website.

In addition to UK touring many people are wanting to again venture further afield and resume foreign travel. Indications are that from 17 May onwards the UK Government will take away the legal restriction currently placed on UK citizens which forbids foreign leisure travel. Whilst foreign travel may not be for everyone at this stage, for those who do wish to travel be assured GB Motorhome Tours will offer opportunities to tour abroad. Providing all regulations can be met, a meaningful tour experience can be expected and the tour is both safe & sensible to proceed, then foreign tours will run. Over the previous 12 months GB Motorhome Tours has built up a wide range of experience and expertise in touring within the limitations of travel regulations, including ensuring tours are meaningful whilst remaining socially distanced. This experience includes complying with UK and EU regulations, completing of paperwork for transiting and travelling in European countries and meeting entry requirements for EU countries and returning to the UK. This expertise enables GB Motorhome Tours to offer travel options for those who wish to travel going forward during a period where travel is likely to be permitted but will also require certain regulations to be followed. What has consistently been seen over the 4 tours GB Motorhome Tours have completed since September last year, is that with very well-planned and organised tour arrangements travel continues to offer a rewarding experience to tour participants.

Our next scheduled foreign tour is to the Baltic States in July.

The Baltic States 

Positioned in the north east corner of Europe the Baltic States provide one destination with 3 countries, each having a unique culture and varied cuisine. The Baltic States remain very rural with little traffic making for a relaxed driving experience. Crossing each country, you will see evidence of the Soviet occupation that lasted until 1991 when the States took their independence through the ‘Singing Revolution’. During the tour we travel along the Baltics Amber Coast, including a stay on the sea’s second largest island of Saaremaa, famed for its locally produced food and beers. Try not to leave the Baltic States without taking home at least one small piece of Amber. There remains a couple of places available on this tour and bookings can be made on the GB Motorhome Tours website.

For September this year there are two recently re-arranged foreign tours with some availability, both offer foreign travel in ‘closer to home’ destinations. The Grand Duchy to Cote d’Azur tour offers 28 nights of travel from Luxemburg, through Switzerland to the south coast of France. Whilst Gentle Germany offers 11 nights of relaxed travel along the Rhine River. Both tours can be booked on the GB Motorhome Tours website.

GB Motorhome Tours aims for all planned tours to take place. However, in these times where travel is not as predictable as pre-Covid times, GB Motorhome Tours also understands foreign travel may not be for everyone at the time of their booked tour. In this context our flexible booking policy will continue to be offered to anyone who prefers to delay foreign travel until a later time. Anyone with a foreign tour booking for this year, who prefers not to travel at the time of their tour may move their booking to a later date, with all money having been paid transferred in full to another tour.

Getting ready for foreign travel, over the last three months newsletters (previous newsletters are available to view at Newsletter – GB Motorhome Tours) we have been looking at various items in relation to post Brexit foreign travel. So far these have covered the newly UK introduced Global Health Insurance Card, a look at personal and vehicle travel documents required for continental motorhome travel and the 90 days out of 180 days rule for UK citizens staying in the EU. This month we complete the series with a look at 4 additional miscellaneous items.

GB Stickers

It is recommended that you display a GB sticker on the rear of your vehicle, irrespective of whether you currently have a number plate which includes the GB identifier. GB Motorhome Tours have had these made up and one will be included in your tour pack for you.

Mobile Phones

Surcharge-free roaming for mobile phones and other devices is no longer guaranteed when travelling in the EU, although the big UK network providers have all said that they have no plans to change their charging structure at the moment. Our Tour Directors who have travelled abroad since the start of this year have also confirmed they have not been charged for using their UK phones whilst in Europe post Brexit.

Tax Paid/Duty Free allowance

Free movement of goods between the UK/EU has now ceased. Tax Paid/ Duty Free sales of alcohol and tobacco beyond UK security controls will now apply on the same basis as for non-EU destinations. When returning to the UK you will no longer be allowed to bring unlimited amounts of alcohol, tobacco or other goods for personal use. Instead the following are the new limits and includes goods that are bought tax free (i.e. on a ferry in International waters) or tax paid (i.e. in supermarkets in EU countries).

Alcohol
42 litres of beer
18 litres of still wine
4 litres of spirits OR 9 litres of sparkling wine, fortified wine or any alcoholic beverage less than 22% ABV
Tobacco
200 cigarettes OR
100 cigarillos OR
50 cigars OR
250g tobacco OR
200 sticks of tobacco for heating
or any proportional combination of the above
Any other goods
Up to the value of £390

Automated penalties for driving offences in EU countries

Like in the UK many EU countries have road-side cameras located for detecting motoring offences; predominantly travelling above the local speed limit, for passing through a red traffic light or driving in a restricted bus/taxi lane. In 2019 France alone issued 450,000 automated driving penalties to UK drivers. These fines were issued under an EU agreement obliging all EU members to share vehicle owner information with other member states. For the time being EU countries no longer have access to the UK vehicle owners database for the serving of penalty notices, so further automated fines will not be issued. In person penalties (for instance speeding detected by police) will still result in the driver being fined, however, for automated penalty notices to restart this will require the UK Government entering into a new co-operation agreement with the EU as a whole or with individual countries.

With the sun shining this week across the UK and campsites back open in England and Wales, we hope you are able to be away in your motorhome. All of us at GB Motorhome Tours look forward to travelling with you again soon and to be escorting you to many more great places.

Kindest regards,

All of your GB Motorhome Tours Team

Tel. 0044 7481 479 057
Info@gbmotorhometours.com
www.GBMotorhomeTours.com

March and the return of motorhome touring edges closer

Dear Fellow Motorhomer,

March and the return of motorhome touring edges closer. Thankfully the Covid-19 situation continues to improve in the UK, the vaccination rollout progresses very well and case numbers remain in the right direction. This is good for both our health and for progressing towards Coronavirus restrictions being eased.

At GB Motorhome Tours the last month has been an extremely busy period, with many alterations to the spring tour programme being required. With foreign travel for UK citizens remaining prohibited until at least a point after 17 May 2021, all foreign tours for this spring have been cancelled. Tour participants have been notified and they will shortly be offered priority to replace their foreign tour with a UK tour, more about these UK tours later. GB Motorhome Tours fully understands the importance people place on their holidays, so whenever we are forced to cancel tours we will always try and offer an alternative tour around a similar time to enable those who would like to continue with a holiday to do so. With all foreign travel destinations unachievable until at least later in the year, three UK motorhome tours have now been arranged for this spring. They are :-

A Journey around Ireland – 23 May to 18 June 2021 (26 nights) starting and finishing in Stranraer, Scotland for the ferry to/from Ireland

Scotland Highlands and NC500 – 24 May to 16 June 2021 (23 nights) starting and finishing in Scotland

Exmoor Coastal Fleeces to Flamingos – 21 June to 2 July 2021 (11 nights) starting near Taunton and finishing near Gloucester

Further information for these tours is contained on the GB Motorhome Tours website page for additional 2021 tours. The full itinerary for each tour will be on the GB Motorhome Tours website from Friday 26 March 2021 and at that time bookings for the tours will also be available.

As well as offering those with cancelled spring foreign tour bookings the option to join one of the UK tours they have also been offered the chance to move their foreign tour booking to the same tour re-arranged at a later date. Three of the five tours that were arranged for this spring have moved to 2022 (GreeceWestern Turkey and Poland) with the other two (Grand Duchy to Cote d’Azur and Gentle Germany) having moved to September this year. These September re-arranged tours are now on the GB Motorhome Tours website and bookings can be made, subject to places remaining available.

GB Motorhome Tours have always offered a flexible approach to customers who need to make changes to bookings for any reason and throughout the Coronavirus pandemic this has enabled tour participants to switch tours to fit in with their own personal circumstances. This flexibility will continue to be a feature of GB Motorhome Tours.

Since early January leaving from the UK for new travel has been prohibited for UK citizens. However, at the time of the start for this winters Canary Islands tour travel was permitted and whilst the uncertainty of travel over this winter was certainly not for all, it was an opportunity some wished to take. The Canary Islands tour ran from mid-December throughout January and finished at the end of February. The weather throughout was great and the Covid-19 cases in the Canary Islands remained low. No doubt, the all year round warm weather that the islands enjoy, that naturally leads to an outdoor lifestyle plays a big part in keeping Coronavirus cases low. Throughout the Canary Islands, shops, cafes and restaurants all remain open and working normally, with social distancing between tables implemented. Travel in and between each of the 7 islands is open and you are free to explore. For next year the Canary Islands 2022 tour again features in the tour programme and is now available to view and book on the GB Motorhome Tours website.

Canary Islands tour – January 2021

‘For us it was the first tour with GB Motorhome Tours. From all our heart we say it was the best holiday we have ever been on. All the 68 days, Kevin and Nurcan created a permanent state of safety and protection, for us to fully enjoy the entire programme of the tour. You can go to the Canary Islands on your own but I don’t think you will ever be able to feel, see, taste and enjoy so many things we lived together. We will definitely go on future tours. Very enthusiastic for our next GB Motorhomes Tour. Elena and Mircea Costache – Canary Islands – Dec 2020/Feb 2021

Since last September GB Motorhome Tours have completed 4 tours, 2 in the UK, 1 in Ireland and the Canary Islands winter tour. These have been accomplished in compliance with Coronavirus regulations and in a safe and sensible manner. Wherever possible, GB Motorhome Tours will continue to offer tours for those who wish to travel, both in the UK and on the continent. Over the last 12 months GB Motorhome Tours have built up a wide range of experience and expertise of touring within travel regulations, including making tours socially distanced. This experience continues to be put to good use for the forthcoming UK spring tours which will all be socially distanced.

Usually at this stage of the year, the GB Motorhome Tours programme for the following year would have been finalised with tours made available for booking. Be assured there will be a full tour programme for 2022 and some tours for the early part of 2022 are now being added to the GB Motorhome Tours website and available to book. Further tours will be added as we go.

In the last two months newsletters (these are available to read at Newsletter – GB Motorhome Tours) we have been looking at various items in preparation for future post Brexit travel. So far the newly UK introduced Global Health Insurance Card, along with personal and vehicle travel documents required for continental motorhome travel going forward have been considered. This month we look at what is commonly being referred to as the 90 days out of 180 days rule.

One of the overriding principles of the EU is that free movement of people must be granted to all member’s citizens by all member states. It was this principle that was probably the major decision maker for many people who voted for Brexit. Whilst the EU would likely agree to further free movement if this was requested by the UK, it would require the arrangement to be reciprocated by the UK government for EU citizens. As this would go against everything the UK government campaigned for, to achieve Brexit, it really is not going to happen. That leaves UK citizens in the default position of being from a third party country for travel in the EU, which limits time in the EU to no more than 90 days in any period of 180 rolling days. Whilst 90 days will be fine for some people there are many hundreds of thousands and possibly over a million UK citizens who have regularly spent more than 90 days in 180 within the EU for many years and wish to continue to do so going forward. So what are the possibilities around this?

Firstly, pressure from UK citizens may see the current position become untenable for the UK Government going forward and require them to negotiate an agreement with the EU. This could take the form of a simple visa being required by both UK and EU citizens wishing to spend longer than 90 days out of 180 in the EU/UK. This would certainly resolve the issue whilst also allowing the UK government to class it as ‘selective movement’ (due to a visa being required) rather than ‘free movement’. On this basis it would not go against the governments Brexit position of ending free movement, and could well be a solution.

However, if this is not the case then EU member states can set their own rules on the length of time they allow third party countries citizens to stay in their own countries. EU members are not bound by the 90 day rule if they choose to act differently. Spain and Portugal have both indicated this is a route they will consider if other possibilities do not open up for UK citizens to spend longer than 90 days in their countries.

It is also worth mentioning at this stage, that despite being EU members, time spent by UK citizens in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania and Ireland does not count towards the 90 days. This comes about for the first four countries with them having different status within the Schengen area (EU visa scheme) to the remainder of the EU member countries and for Ireland, it is exempt through being a member of the UK common travel area.

There is certainly some way to go on this topic and it is one GB Motorhome Tours continues to follow closely. For now, and probably the remainder of 2021, it is unlikely to impact many UK citizens as they will not get away as much as they would have liked for this year and will therefore not exceed 90 days in 180. Going forward we will bring you further updates as progress on this issue is made.

With the longer days and some better weather now arriving in the UK it certainly feels like the right time to start planning to get the motorhome moving again. Take a look at our Spring UK tours for some exciting possibilities. If there is anything you would like to ask feel free to contact us, we are always happy to answer any questions.

We look forward to once again be travelling with you soon.

Kindest regards,

Nurcan & Kevin, Sue & Ron, Liz & Dave, Cheryl & John

Your GB Motorhome Tours Team
www.GBMotorhomeTours.com
Info@gbmotorhometours.com
0044 7481 479 057

February and there is some optimism for travel

Dear Fellow Motorhomer,

February sees Coronavirus figures in the UK heading in a better direction and linked to a successful vaccination programme there is some optimism for travel to hopefully return sooner rather than later. Exactly what form travel for this year will take remains unknown at this stage. Whatever it may be, GB Motorhome Tours is ready to make tour adjustments as necessary, with all of us at GBMT remaining fully flexible to make the most of all the opportunities for travel throughout 2021. Providing tours can run in a safe and sensible manner, GB Motorhome Tours will be making available as many tours as possible for those who would like to travel throughout 2021. At the same time, for anyone with a 2021 tour booking who prefers not to travel in this year, alternative options will be made available to delay travel to a later time. In all instances, customers with bookings will receive an email update for their tour prior to the balance payment becoming due.

Coastal Ireland tour – September 2020

It is now approaching 12 months since the pandemic started to impact on travel. Over this period GB Motorhome Tours have built up a wide range of experience and expertise in touring within the permitted limitations of travel and with varying degrees of regulations/restrictions in place. This began last March when the pandemic first started across Europe, forcing the 2020 Canary Islands tour group to initially go into ‘campsite lockdown’ and later to return to the UK one week ahead of schedule; through the successfully run UK and Ireland socially distanced tours during the summer/autumn and in to December of 2020; to this winters Canary Islands tour which is currently taking place. In all instances GB Motorhome Tours have travelled in compliance with all travel legislation & regulations of the time and in a manner that provides a high degree of safety & sensibility for the tour. This experience over the last 12 months has including adapting tours to be fully socially distanced and this could be a feature required throughout some of 2021. Once travel restrictions for UK citizens are lifted GB Motorhome Tours anticipates having tours in place for those who wish to undertake travel.

Usually at this stage of a new year, the GB Motorhome Tours programme for the following year would have been finalised with tours made available for booking. Be assured there will be a full programme of GB Motorhome Tours for 2022, we are just waiting a little longer this year before making them available in an effort to gauge how travel may be following the vaccination programme. We expect this will enable the 2022 tour programme to be as accurate as possible. One tour that will shortly be made available to book is the 10-week 2022 winter Canary Islands tour. This tour will take either the format of a traditional tour with a full excursion programme (see the 2020 tour itinerary at The 2020 Canary Islands – GB Motorhome Tours) or along the lines of the fully socially distanced tour currently taking place in the islands (see the 2021 tour itinerary at The 2021 Canary Islands – Tenerife, La Palma and Gran Canaria – Tour Underway – GB Motorhome Tours ). The tour for next winter will start early in January 2022. If you would like to register your interest in this tour you can do so now, by sending us a simple email requesting this. It will ensure the tour itinerary is emailed to you in advance of it being made generally available giving you first opportunity of reserving a place on the tour at that stage if you so wish. We anticipate the tour itinerary will be available around the middle to end of next month (March 2021).

In preparation for future post Brexit travel, last months newsletter looked at the newly introduced UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC replaces the previous EHIC). This month we consider the post Brexit impact on personal and vehicle travel documents required for continental motorhome travel going forward.

Passports – For travel post Brexit (01/01/2021) passports on the day of arrival in the EU need to have both:

  • At least 6 months’ validity remaining
  • AND be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

Note that if you last renewed your passport before the previous one had expired, extra months are likely to have been added to your current passports expiry date. Check your passport will not be older than 10 years on the date of entry to the EU, if so it must be renewed in advance. These rules do not apply if travelling to the Republic of Ireland (a separate common area travel agreement is in place between the Republic of Ireland and the UK). Here you can continue to use your passport as long as it is valid for the length of your stay. Going forward the burgundy passports, whether with “European Union” on the cover or not, will remain valid alongside the newly issued blue UK passport.

Driving Licences – The UK and EU recently entered into a new agreement for UK issued photocard driving licences to be accepted throughout the EU, with only the old paper licences requiring an International Driving Permit to support them. This is good news, meaning for the majority of people there is no need to have anything further than their normal photocard licence for driving in the EU. Do check yours is in date (they expire every 10 years) and if you continue to have only the old paper licence consider applying to change this to a photocard licence.  Further information is available at Driving abroad: Check if you need an international driving permit (IDP) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Vehicle Insurance – A ‘Green Card’ should be obtained prior to travel from your motorhome insurers to support your normal insurance certificate for travel in the EU. Most motorhome insurance policies automatically include annual EU cover. Ask your insurers for a ‘Green Card’ prior to travel. Many are offering these without charge if you accept it via email, whereas an administration charge is applied if you wish your insurers to physically post a paper ‘Green Card’ to you. The name ‘Green Card’ comes from the fact that the document is always green in colour. Keep this in mind if having the ‘Green Card’ emailed to you and obtain some green paper to print it on. This is important so that it is instantly recognised by any authorities requesting to inspect it. Don’t be surprised to encounter further questioning if your ‘Green Card’ is printed only on white paper. Further information is available at Vehicle insurance: Driving abroad – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). With new travel for UK citizens currently not permitted now is a good time to check and prepare your documentation in line with the above.

Throughout the continued UK lockdown, GB Motorhome Tours remains working as normal with everyone working from home. Feel free to contact us with anything you would like to ask, we will always aim to respond to you either the same or next working day.

Take good care of yourselves and we anticipate to be travelling with you again soon.

Kindest regards,

Nurcan & Kevin, Sue & Ron, Liz & Dave, Cheryl & John

Your GB Motorhome Tours Team
www.GBMotorhomeTours.com
Info@gbmotorhometours.com
0044 7481 479 057

January and the hope is for a very different travel year

Dear Fellow Motorhomer,

January and the start of the year sees much hope for better travel conditions in 2021 compared to 2020. The vaccine programme is having a strong roll out and with it comes the real anticipation that it will lead to more normal conditions for all aspects of life, including future travel. Whilst this can’t come quick enough for most, the exact timing of when this will be reached remains a little unknown at this stage.

At GB Motorhome Tours we continue to operate in a very flexible way, so we are well positioned to adapt to changing circumstances. Whilst we remain hopeful to offer all 2021 tours as planned, some of the early Spring tours may be just too early to benefit from a completed vaccine programme and could require some changes, time will give us the answer to this. In all situations, customers with tour bookings will be kept updated prior to any balance payments becoming due and thereafter, as the time gets closer to the tours start date. Like in 2020, GB Motorhome Tours will be looking to provide as many options as possible to all those with tour bookings. If your planned tour cannot proceed, wherever possible alternative tours will be offered covering a similar time period. Some of these could be in ‘closer to home’ destinations when these are offering a safe and sensible alternative. Should continental travel remain challenging at any stage in 2021, GB Motorhome Tours have trips covering Ireland and Scotland fully researched and ready to go. These can be made available at short notice and can also be arranged fully socially distanced should this be a requirement.

Sango Sands Camping, Scotland October 2020 (Included on Scottish Tours)

On all tour bookings, customers money remains secured in a dedicated trust account and continues to be fully protected throughout. In any instance of GB Motorhome Tours cancelling a tour (Covid-19 included) all customers money paid directly for that tour becomes fully refundable or transferable to an alternative tour, the choice is yours to make at the time.

GB Motorhome Tours remains confident that throughout this year a good number of tours will be completed for those who choose to travel in 2021. Hopefully many of these will be as planned, but where this is not possible, then to alternative destinations.

With an expectation that plenty of touring in 2021 will take place, over the next few months within our newsletters, various aspects of travel post Brexit will be covered. This will cover items that need (or are advised) to be considered prior to undertaking continental travel going forward. The UK-EU Brexit deal has kept many things simpler for future continental travel rather than would have been in a no deal scenario, however there are items that will be different from here on. This month we look at the European Health Insurance Card, well known by many as the EHIC. It is good news this has been included in the Brexit agreement and is being continued with, albeit under the new name of GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) from the UK governments side. Thankfully, it is only the name that is changing, the scheme itself remains as comprehensive as previously, where importantly it covers any emergency medical treatment required whilst in EU member countries. If you already have an EHIC (plastic credit card size) these remain valid until the expiry date, when they will upon application, be replaced with a GHIC. To apply for a GHIC, if you don’t have an existing EHIC or it has expired, click on the link below.

Apply for a free NHS issued Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

The fact the scheme also covers pre-existing medical conditions is a strong reason to carry the card with you on all continental tours. Whilst personal travel insurance remains strongly advised to cover many things the scheme does not address, the GHIC/EHIC scheme will supplement your travel insurance. Importantly it will cover all emergency medical needs, including in the event of your travel insurance refusing a claim for treatment. Start planning for your future travel, apply for your card now in preparation for your next trip.

Despite the lockdown, GB Motorhome Tours continues to work as normal with everyone working from home. So feel free to contact us with anything you would like to ask, we always aim to respond to enquiries either the same or next working day.

Take good care of yourselves and we hope to be travelling with you soon.

Kindest regards,

Nurcan & Kevin, Sue & Ron, Liz & Dave, Cheryl & John

Your GB Motorhome Tours Team
www.GBMotorhomeTours.com
Info@gbmotorhometours.com
0044 7481 479 057

December and Christmas feels very different this year

Dear Fellow Motorhomer,

As we enter the festive season, from all of us at GB Motorhome Tours we wish you a Merry Christmas. We hope for those who are wanting to be with family members over the coming period, this is both possible and works out for you.

2020 has been a particularly difficult year for travel, with many challenges being faced for continental travel, to the point that almost all the planned GB Motorhome Tours throughout 2020 had to be cancelled. However, not being a tour operator to give up, whilst continental travel has been unrealistic for most of the year, GB Motorhome Tours did turn its experience for organising interesting tours to arranging some closer to home tours. In September, a 24 day Coastal Ireland tour and a 12 day England Flamingos to Fossils tour were both completed. These were enjoyed by 30 motorhomes across the two tours. Additionally, over this last week a UK December Get Away tour has been taking place throughout the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Wells Camping, Somerset – UK December Get Away tour

It’s been great to be able to get away safely in these difficult times. Ron and Sue have done a wonderful job to keep us safe and able to socialise with others in the group. Barbara and Peter Ball – UK December Get Away tour 2020

As 2020 comes towards an end we look towards 2021 and sincerely hope things will be different as the new year progresses; to allow life to return to a more normal and to allow us to travel freely once again. In 2021 GB Motorhome Tours have many great tours scheduled for the year. We are constantly monitoring all aspects of travel so as to assess any impact ongoing restrictions and regulations may have on these. Also, and most importantly of all, for the safety of those booked to travel on each tour along with our Tour Directors scheduled to lead each of the tours. Tour participants with bookings for 2021 will be kept updated regarding their tours; as information covering the time and location of the tour becomes available an email update will be sent. At this stage it is too early to gauge how things will be from the Spring of 2021 onwards, however if you have any concerns regarding your booking for any 2021 tour you may email these to us at any time. Remember, as a registered Tour Operator, GB Motorhome Tours fully protects all customers money in a dedicated trust account, so should your tour not be able to proceed for whatever reason (Covid-19 included) and is cancelled by GB Motorhome Tours, then all of your money is safe and becomes fully refundable.

Before we get to spring, keep in mind throughout the damper winter months motorhome manufacturers recommend owners to remove cushions and bedding from their vans and store these indoors for dryness. Often the practicality of doing this is not easy, so a simpler alternative can be to periodically run a de-humidifier inside the motorhome to keep moisture levels low. Also doing this for 24 hours before taking your motorhome on a winter trip can be particularly beneficial, ensuring you set out in a cosy dry van.

We hope you have a good and safe festive season, we look forward to travelling with you soon.

Kindest regards,

Nurcan & Kevin, Sue & Ron, Liz & Dave, Cheryl & John

Your GB Motorhome Tours Team
www.GBMotorhomeTours.com
Info@gbmotorhometours.com
0044 7481 479 057

November sees two new tours for December

Dear Fellow Motorhomer,

November and touring in England is temporarily suspended, with the nation in ‘lockdown 2’. For the remainder of the UK, travel continues mostly permitted. It is fully anticipated from 3rd December as England exits lockdown, travel and overnight stays will again be permitted for all. Once this is confirmed, travel in our own motorhomes will once again provide us with a very safe way of being away from home and out & about.

In full expectation of the England lockdown coming to an end as planned in early December, GB Motorhome Tours has put together two socially distanced tours for getting away in December. The first of these is a UK tour which will appeal to all, whilst the second is a tour for the more adventurous traveller looking to escape for the winter.

Offering the opportunity of a UK Pre-Christmas Get Away our newly arranged 7 night socially distance Cotswold & Somerset tour provides the chance to tour in a wonderful area of our country whilst having Christmas events built into the tour. Two real highlights of the tour will be the stay and visit to TV’s countryfile featured Adams Farm, and the visit to Wells Cathedral & Bishops Palace. The full tour itinerary is available to view on the GB Motorhome Tours website where places for the tour can now be booked. See www.gbmotorhometours.com/tours

New Year Camping in Tenerife

The second tour is a winter long trip to the Canary Islands. This tour is fully socially distanced and with a great winter climate, the Canary Islands ideally lead themselves to outdoor activities, which all evidence suggests is the safest place to be regarding Coronavirus. The Canary Islands are currently exempt from the UK Government’s list of destinations to quarantine from, so the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) recommendation is no longer against travel to them. The full tour itinerary is available to view on the GB Motorhome Tours website where places for the tour can be booked. In considering this tour it’s important to understand that continental travel at this time requires compliance with local regulations and tour itinerary alterations may be needed due to changing local situations, some of which could be at short notice. It is also necessary to have in place travel insurance that provides cover in the event of FCO advice being ‘against all but essential travel’. Check your own policy, if this is not covered then a single trip policy can be arranged through StaySure Insurance, who offer an extension to their policy for this. This tour offers the possibility of travel throughout this winter, to those with an open mind for travel in the current circumstances and who have a flexible approach to touring.

GB Motorhome Tours continues to monitor the situation for travel across all countries, always with the aim of protecting the wellbeing of tour participants whilst also to minimise any disruptions as much as possible to any tours. Feel free to contact us if you would like to ask anything about any tour or to chat through the practicalities of travel at this time.

The recent announcement of a Covid-19 vaccine is very welcome news and something that could have a very positive impact on travel, with hopefully some or much of next year beginning to return to a more normal. In this respect, once it can be seen travel is returning to a more normal, GB Motorhome Tours will be introducing further touring opportunities for next year. Details of additional 2021 tours will be contained in future newsletters and also on the GB Motorhome Tours website.

In preparing your motorhome for getting away on a winter trip, if you have access to a de-humidifier run this in your motorhome for a day or two prior to departure. You will then find upon departure your van feels nice & dry and ready for use. It can also be beneficial to periodically do this, even when not using the motorhome, to keep moisture levels inside low.

Throughout the winter the GB Motorhome Tours office remains fully open so feel free to contact us with anything you would like to ask about any tours.

We look forward to traveling with you soon.

Kindest regards,

Nurcan & Kevin, Sue & Ron, Liz & Dave, Cheryl & John

Your GB Motorhome Tours Team
www.GBMotorhomeTours.com
Info@gbmotorhometours.com
0044 7481 479 057

October and new specially designed socially distanced tours have been taking place

Dear Fellow Motorhomer,

October and some new specially designed socially distanced tours have recently come to an end. Over the last month, two GB Motorhome Tours have been taking place, both of these being newly and specifically designed to meet touring requirements within the current environment of Coronavirus. With both tours being socially distanced, they provided comfortable opportunities for travel whilst offering the maximum level of safe social participation between tour members.

The UK Flamingos to Fossils tour saw participants travel from Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, along the North Somerset coast and across Exmoor to finish on the Jurassic south coast. The weather was exceptionally kind throughout, allowing the outdoors to be enjoyed in full.

The last night of the UK Flamingos to Fossils tour – Sept 2020

Thank you to Iain and Sue Munro for supplying the above photo. Some customer reviews from the UK Flamingos to Fossils tour.

‘This is our first holiday with GB Motorhome Tours. We have enjoyed all the campsites and places of interest. We must complement our hosts, Liz and David who have made us feel very welcome and have been there at all times to help and guide us. It has been very challenging for them with the Covid changing daily. However, Liz came up with solutions every time.’ – Rita and Peter Barnard

‘This tour was completely different to all our previous GB holidays but still proved to be most enjoyable. Liz and Dave went out of their way to make the trip successful and we have thoroughly enjoyed it.’ – Iain and Sue Munro

‘Our tour directors Liz and David were continually supportive, finding out local places of interest, buses and eateries and especially parking facilities for motorhomes.’ – Chris and Wendy Farrer

The other trip to recently be completed was the Coastal Ireland tour. This saw participants enjoy almost the entire coastline of Ireland, including travelling much of the Wild Atlantic Way, throughout both Northern Ireland and the Republic. Again the tour was fully socially distanced allowing comfortable touring arrangements for all. The Coastal Ireland tour also enjoyed great weather and many stunning campsite locations.

Camping at Galway, Republic of Ireland. Coastal Ireland tour – Sept 2020

Some customer reviews from the Coastal Ireland tour.

‘A quality tour arranged at very short notice. Some very good campsites found in the most beautiful locations. Kevin and Nurcan, as always, superb tour leaders, knowledgeable and always on the ball. Good to have Ron and Sue with us as well, excellent suggestions from them for side trips.’ – Roy and Kath Tipping

‘We really enjoyed our time on the Coastal Ireland tour. Considering the difficult circumstances due to Covid-19 it was excellent, very well organised. We were able to eat group meals in some great restaurants and sample some foods specific to Ireland. The good weather was an added bonus. Thank you Nurcan and Kevin, we are so pleased we joined with GB Motorhome Tours, keep up the good work.’ – Jill and David Earwaker

‘A different tour with the restrictions, but GB pulled out all the stops to make another great adventure. Thank you Kevin and Nurcan.’ – Carolyn and Roger Metcalfe

‘Was the last minute decision to join the GB Coastal Ireland tour a good one? Definitely YES! Travelling around Ireland we were able to appreciate the very varied, dramatic and interesting scenery, knowing that our concerns with the Covid problems and restrictions was being looked after by Kevin and Nurcan in their usual very capable and relaxed manner. Many thanks for another very enjoyable trip.’ – Stuart and Carol May

Both the UK Flamingos to Fossils and the Coastal Ireland tours were replacements for cancelled foreign tours. All of us at GB Motorhome Tours fully understands the disappointment cancelling tours creates and is something that has never been undertaken previous to this year. It is not something we will do lightly, but we will also only travel when it is safe and sensible to do so. GB Motorhome Tours is a very flexible tour operator, so when forced to cancel tours will always try to offer some alternative options to save peoples holidays.

GB Motorhome Tours is continuing to monitor all aspects of travel in these current and very changeable times. This is to monitor the impact restrictions may have on our December Magical Amsterdam Christmas Lights tour and the Switzerland for New Year tour, whilst additionally keeping a longer term eye on how travel may be for next spring onwards. We are also monitoring closely how travel over the winter may look, with a view to trying to offer an opportunity to tour in warmer climates throughout the early months of 2021. If you are interested in trying to get away over the winter, click on the link below to register your interest in any potential tours we can offer. Those with registered interest will automatically receive advance notification of any new tours for this winter and have first opportunity of reserving a place. To register your interest send us a simple email requesting this and we will look after things from there.

With winter approaching and particularly in these times of restricted travel, if you will not be using your motorhome for a period of time remember to drain down the water system to avoid any potential problems from freezing water tanks and pipes. How to do this is usually covered in your motorhome habitation manuals, or if in doubt give your motorhome dealer a call and they should be able to guide you. This should ensure when you come to next use your motorhome you will not encounter water system problems.

Throughout the winter the GB Motorhome Tours office remains fully open so feel free to contact us with anything you wish to ask about any tours.

We look forward to traveling with you soon.

Kindest regards,

Nurcan & Kevin, Sue & Ron, Liz & Dave, Cheryl & John

Your GB Motorhome Tours Team
www.GBMotorhomeTours.com
Info@gbmotorhometours.com
0044 7481 479 057

September and two new tours take place

Dear Fellow Motorhomer,

September and there are two new socially distanced GB Motorhome Tours taking place. Whilst travel remains severely curtailed, particularly so for continental travel, we are pleased to have two groups currently touring and making the most of the good weather the UK is experiencing. The UK Flamingos to Fossils tour is now in the north Somerset coastal resort of Porlock where their campsite is ideally located to allow for walks into town and along the coast paths.

Dunmore East Camping, Ireland 12/09/2020

For those on the Coastal Ireland tour they have now reached the south coast where they are staying at Dunmore East camping, which is within an easy walk to the picture perfect coastal village of the same name. They will shortly be making their way along the south coast to arrive at the famous ‘Ring of Kerry’.

Dunmore East village, Ireland

Travelling in a motorhome remains one the safest forms of all travel in these times, where own motorhome facilities can easily be restricted solely to own use. Touring in a motorhome enables travel to continue with the absolute minimum degree of risk. If continental travel remains difficult, GB Motorhome Tours will continue to offer alternative closer to home tours to enjoy. Whilst we cannot offer the full range of included activities usually associated with our tours, we are able to offer all the organisation with the opportunity to travel in the company of like-minded people. With all GB Motorhome Tours one of our experienced Tour Director couples will be with the group from start to finish to facilitate the smooth running of everything.

A number of the 2021 tours released to date are now fully booked. As travel becomes more predictable there will be further tours added to the 2021 programme. Keep an eye on the www.GBMotorhomeTours.com website for further tour releases, also on our monthly newsletters where these will feature.

Along with the impact Coronavirus is having on travel through restrictions being put in place by various foreign Governments, whilst the UK Government continues to issue warnings through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) against ‘all but essential travel’ to each of the countries it places on its quarantine list, it is important to understand the impact this FCO advice has on travel insurance. If choosing to travel to a destination that the FCO advises against, then almost all travel insurers will reject claims. Normally the FCO only advise against travel to countries when there is deemed to be a real danger to UK citizens choosing to travel in that destination. In the current situation it is very different, with the FCO advising against travel to countries that most would consider to still be safe. Countries like France, Spain, Portugal etc. are all currently listed as being ‘against all but essential travel’. It may be you feel these are safe countries to travel to, but do not wish to travel without insurance cover. For a good while it has already been possible to obtain travel insurance for destinations against FCO advice. This has been provided by a small number of specialist insurers covering this market, but these have tended to be expensive options. Just recently there has become a simpler option for continued travel insurance cover in the Coronavirus times. Mainstream travel insurers Staysure, have added an option to their travel insurance policy that provides policy cover for all European destinations regardless of FCO advice. The only restriction is any claim directly relating to the reason behind the FCO advice would be declined. In the current circumstances this would mean full policy cover for all normal medical and other travel claims, with just specific covid-19 medical claims whilst away being declined. This provides a good level of cover for those choosing to continue to travel, full details about this cover can be found at www.staysure.co.uk/fco-advice-travel-insurance,

GB Motorhome Tours continues to monitor how travel is in all European destinations. This includes looking at UK Government advice, Foreign Government advice and obtaining information from many campsites and suppliers all across Europe. This gives us a broad picture of the ongoing situation and is used to gauge the possibilities & practicalities for offering tours; both in the immediate future and for the longer term.

If there are any questions you have relating to current travel feel free to contact us, our office remains open and we are happy to assist.

Even in these changeable times we look forward to travelling with you soon, whether this is on a continental tour or one closer to home.

Kindest regards,

Nurcan & Kevin, Sue & Ron, Liz & Dave, Cheryl & John

Your GB Motorhome Tours Team
www.GBMotorhomeTours.com
Info@gbmotorhometours.com
0044 7481 479 057

August and everything is becoming socially distanced

Dear Fellow Motorhomer,

August and everything is becoming socially distanced. How easy is it to maintain social distancing whilst travelling in your own motorhome? Surprisingly easy, with almost all fellow campers being respectful to each other whilst on campsites. For further peace of mind, making use of your motorhomes own facilities there is no need to enter the more likely pinch points of the on-site facilities.

Keeping the context of remaining socially distanced whilst travelling in your own motorhome, GB Motorhome Tours have been working on some new tours for this September, with everything arranged to make social distancing both possible and easy. Two new tours have been introduced.

•    Austrian Alps and along the Danube tour – Travel through the amazing scenery of the Austrian Alps including crossing the Grossglockner High Alpine route. From the Alps the tour picks up the River Danube and follows this all the way back to its source in southern Germany.

•    UK Flamingos to Fossils tour – Enjoy a tour in the south of the UK. Travel from the Gloucestershire banks of the River Severn, along the North Somerset/Devon Coast, to cross Exmoor and arrive on the Jurassic South Coast. All socially distanced and travelled in your own motorhome.

Both tours have proved popular since being introduced a week ago. The Austrian Alps and along the Danube tour has now just one place remaining. If you would like to book this, please do so via the booking form on the GB Motorhome Tours website.
The UK Flamingos to Fossils tour is now fully booked. There is a reserve list available, if you would like to be added to this please email us.

Also socially distanced was the re-arranged Peterborough Motorhome Show, which took place over the weekend of 31 July – 2 August. Pleasingly, the event went very well, again with everyone attending seeming to be respectful to others in keeping a sensible distance. With everything being held outdoors at this years shows, this aids to social distancing. The Peterborough show was far bigger than being anticipated, with support from all sectors of the motorhome industry being on display. From large dealers having motorhomes to view, to accessary stands covering all aspects of motorhoming, to stalls of a more general nature. GB Motorhome tours was pleased to support the show, where it was great to catch up with existing customers and new people who wish to travel with us in their motorhomes.

GB Motorhome Tours is also supporting the Malvern Motorhome Show over this weekend (14 – 16 August) with our stand being at number 25A. Do come along and see us. Day entry is free of charge with free parking included. To register for a day ticket, click on the logo below. Camping for the weekend (£30) may also still be available, again click on the logo below for up to date information on this.

In these continuing changeable times it is good to once again be out travelling in our motorhomes. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Kindest regards,

Nurcan & Kevin, Sue & Ron, Liz & Dave, Cheryl & John

The GB Motorhome Tours Team
www.GBMotorhomeTours.com
Info@gbmotorhometours.com
0044 7481 479 057