I guess whether you call it an RV or a camper van, there is something special about traveling in your own little house on a camper van trip. I know it’s such a cliché to say you have the freedom of the open road, but sometimes clichés are just so … right. If you don’t mind your life being confined to a pretty small space, the convenience and freedom can truly be liberating and there are some countries just made for a camper van trip. Make like a snail and have a great camper van trip – here’s how!
1. Take Advantage of Free Campsites
If you’re thinking about undertaking a camper van trip through prime road trip destinations such as Australia, America or New Zealand, why not educate yourself on the free campsites available along the route you’re hoping to take. Not only will this save you money, but free campsites also allow you to meet other adventurous road trippers and secure some great tips on where to go and what to see next. Whilst many areas offer reasonably priced books detailing the location of the region’s free campsites, the tourist information centers can also usually point you in the right direction.
2. Have a Basic Itinerary
A camper van trip is definitely the ultimate getaway idea for those seeking the freedom that a road trip provides. Equipping yourself with a basic itinerary is a great idea. A basic travel plan ensures that you don’t miss must-see attractions or spend too long in one particular area. An itinerary also enables you to predict your expenses and keep your holiday in budget!
3. Take the Road Less Travelled
Many travelers tend to stick to the highways and popular tourist areas whilst on holiday. A camper van getaway however, is your prime opportunity to get off the beaten tourist track and really get in touch with your chosen destination. Turning off your GPS and using an old fashioned map is a great way to find scenic roads and smaller towns, which most holidaymakers probably overlook. Unsealed roads should generally be avoided if you’re renting a camper van however, as most insurance companies don’t allow their vehicles to be taken “off-road”.
4. Buy Your Supplies from Supermarkets
One of the biggest issues with most road trip holidays is sticking to your budget, as fuel, food and attractions are generally more expensive than most people initially anticipate. A great way to keep expenses down during a camper van holiday however is to make scheduled stops at supermarkets to buy what you need, rather than picking things up at gas stations. Not only are snacks and other food and personal hygiene items usually twice the price at gas stations, you also don’t have anywhere near the variety of products to choose from.
5. Talk to the Locals
One of the main advantages of road trip holidays is that you actually have the opportunity to meet and talk to locals during your travels. Whilst this may not seem like a big deal to most tourists, seasoned holidaymakers know that there is no better way to get great information and tips about the region you’re visiting such as: where the cheapest food and fuel is sold; which of the area’s attractions are must-sees and which aren’t worth your time; and where the best campsites are located.
6. Pick the Right Van to Suit Your Needs
The beauty of a camper van trip is that you already have your accommodation organized at the end of every action-filled day. This can turn into a nightmare however, if you haven’t chosen the right van to suit your particular needs. Travelers who are planning to stay in caravan parks for example may not need to worry about having a toilet and a shower in their van, whilst those hoping to “wild camp” will definitely need them. Taller travelers should also consider investing in a pop-top camper to avoid extremely cramped and uncomfortable living conditions during their getaway.
7. Pay a Little Extra for Some Creature Comforts
Yes, you’re going on a road trip, but that doesn’t mean that you need to be on the road 24/7. The best tip for holiday makers planning a camper van trip is to pay a little extra every now and then for the creature comforts that caravan parks offer, such as electricity and washing facilities. Doing this generally makes for a much more relaxed and civilized break!
A camper van trip offers something quite different and more variety to a resort based holiday and more comfort than backpacking and tent camping. Is it something you’ve done or would do?