The thought of a campervan holiday is always a fun one! Travelling with your best mates or partner to an Instagram-worthy vista and spending the night there – it sounds great. But is it really as good as it seems? And where should you start?
Generally speaking, you have a choice of options when it comes to the method of transport you use. We’ll work you through them…
Car campers offer the smallest and cheapest option for you to rent or buy. Usually, they are just an SUV with seats that fold into beds, which is great if you’re a fan of packing light. You might get a few bits of camping gear in but you may be stuck for space. You’ll probably end up relying on campsites for showers and toilet stops. They’re ideal for the campers on a budget, but admittedly they’re not always the most comfortable.
When you hear campervan, what do you think of? An old VW from the 60s? Well, not anymore. Campers of today get a small fitted kitchen, beds and a small toilet. That’s a fair upgrade in 50 years, isn’t it? Campervans can sometimes feel a little cramped and can get expensive to rent or buy, but on the whole, they are a stylish and practical way to explore.
This is where comfort meets practicality. You generally get a bit more in a van conversion than in a campervan. Van conversions can have a shower, toilet and kitchen section with beds. While they may be a bit bigger or longer than campervans and cost a little more, you get what you pay for.
Motorhomes, also sometimes called RVs, are the big bus-sized things you often see on American TV and films. They are pretty much a home on wheels, providing the pinnacle in portable comfort and travel. The only couple of issues with these types of vehicles is that they are very expensive, and you quite possibly run into problems with manoeuvring and height restrictions.
Where Can I Stay?
If you decide to go on a campervan holiday in the UK, you are spoilt for choice with places to park. As long as it’s safe and not private property, you can take your pick of wherever you’d like.
Of course, you can also find campsites that have dedicated spots for campervans that offer facilities like drinking water and chemical water disposal for a premium. Here in the UK though, there are 1,800 pubs that are happy for campers to use their car parks overnight under the agreement the travellers use the pub during their stay.
If you want to keep things simple, just visit campsites. They offer bathrooms, showers and sometimes even wi-fi for a decent price. Some campsites are truly stunning so do your research before you choose which to stay at and you could be camping in picturesque surroundings!
What’s it Like to Live in a Campervan?
Van life can be idyllic. There will be times where it seems like the best thing in the world. Looking out at a stunning sunset over a lake or having a campfire going on a beach – it really can be perfect. But the longer you spend in a van, the smaller it will feel. Cabin fever (or camper fever) is something you need to be aware of.
Living in a campervan is also better when you don’t have to contend with the weather, so a Campervan Holiday in the UK can be an issue at certain times. It’s all well and good parked up on a warm summer’s night in a forest with a small fire to keep you warm but when the rain is pounding down, it’s bound to be less of a joy.
Typically, camper travel works best when the weather cooperates. Consider a larger van or motorhome with suitable heating or air conditioning for extended stays where there is a risk of harsh weather.
Is it right for you?
There really aren’t many things better than being able to pull up at a beautiful spot and call it home for the night. But be realistic – do you love long car journeys? Because you’ll be faced with a lot of them. And do you really love your friends or family enough to be spending time with them in such close proximity? If not, maybe consider a different holiday.
Whatever you face, it’s going to be an adventure. A campervan holiday is sure to be an experience that will stick with you for life.