1. A map – Sat Navs like Tom Tom are great but they are not infallible. Sometimes you need to check they are going to the right place!
2. Passport – obvious really! But remember to check in good time if it’s still going to be current when you go. New anti-terrorist rules make the application process much more lengthy now.
3. In your vehicle – warning triangle and luminous jackets. These are mandatory, use them for all break downs. One luminous jacket for each passenger must be in the car.
4. Vehicle Documents – insurance, driving license and log book. If you are stopped the gendarmes will want to see these and there is a potential fine if you can’t produce them.
5. Cash or credit card for the motorway tolls – embarrassing if you haven’t got them.
6. Bottle opener – again obvious really, you really do need to try the local wine.
7. Freezer blocks & cooler box – you’ll need this to keep the beer cold!
8. Electrical adapters
9. Suntan lotion and after sun – catching those carp will leave you exposed, no need to become a lobster!
10. HIC card for health insurance – saves paying upfront for emergency healthcare.
11. Antiseptic wash/first aid box.