A First-Timers Guide to Campervanning
Chief Adventurer at CamperDays, Max Schmidt, shares his top tips for those considering their first road trip.
With travel firmly back on the agenda, hiring a campervan and heading out onto the open road is a fantastic choice for families planning their next adventure. Campervanning is as much about the journey as it is the destination and a fantastic way to make the most out of you to spend quality time with loved ones while enabling you to get out into the wild and reconnect with nature. For those who haven’t experienced a campervan holiday before and are unsure where to start, Max Schmidt, Chief Adventurer at CamperDays, is sharing his complete guide to campervanning.
Max says, “A campervan trip is a wonderful way to get out into the great outdoors, particularly we welcome a warmer and sunnier springtime in April where we receive the most bookings ahead of the summer holidays.
“With a plethora of campervans available, it’s a great option for those wanting to try their hand at camping without scrimping on everyday luxuries, such as a hot shower or kitchen facilities.
“This type of travel is as much about enjoying the journey as it is reaching your destination, but to ensure the best trip possible, it’s important to pre-plan, particularly when it comes to your first road trip.
“It’s important for anyone considering their first road trip to do their research and plan accordingly, whether that be choosing the right vehicle, packing for their trip, researching the rules of the road or familiarising yourself with your chosen route ahead of time. This helpful guide will help you make the most out of your first trip to ensure the best experience possible.”
Read on for Max’s top tips for those planning their first road trip…
Choose a vehicle to suit your needs
When planning your first campervan trip, it’s important to choose a vehicle that’s right for you and the trip that you’re planning. Consider how many guests you’ll be travelling with, how much time you’ll be spending in the campervan, whether you feel comfortable driving a larger vehicle and how the distance you intend to drive each day. As is the case with booking any accommodation, it’s also worth booking as early as possible to ensure that the vehicle you want is available for your intended dates of travel, particularly when it comes to booking during school holidays, for example.
Larger families, for example, might want to consider a 5-6 berth motorhome, which are typically kitted out with kitchen and shower facilities, negating the need to herd the little ones to communal campsite showers or expensive restaurants.
Couples looking for a more rustic road trip experience might opt for a VW pop-top campervan, which are generally smaller and possess less facilities but are easier to park and have a much lower fuel consumption.
If you feel unsure on where to start, it’s best to get in touch with your provider directly who can address any questions or concerns you may have.
Decide on a destination and plan your route accordingly
While the allure of hitting the road and seeing where it takes you might be strong, it’s always worth planning your road trip route, no matter how experienced a ‘road-tripper’ you are.
Decide on your location and if you’re booking a campsite, book early to avoid disappointment, particularly if you’re planning to visit during the busier summer months.
If you’re planning a more remote experience, it’s important to remember that not everywhere allows wild camping, especially in the UK where laws are strict to protect the natural environment and wildlife. Do your research well ahead of time to make sure that your intended destination does indeed allow this. In Scotland, for example, it’s legal to pitch up on unenclosed land, including a number of national parks, you can refer to Outdoor Access Guides for advice on how to camp responsibly. It’s also important to note that if your campervan doesn’t possess WC facilities, an area with the relevant waste disposal facilities will likely be necessary.
Once you have an idea of your destination, it’s useful to plan your route, familiarising yourself with the roads and making sure that you feel comfortable driving a bigger campervan wherever you’re headed. If you’ve not driven a campervan before or a less confident drivers, avoid small villages which might have narrower roads.
Familiarise yourself with the rules of the road
Even the most experienced of drivers should do their research ahead of time and familiarise themselves with the rules of the road ahead of their trip, especially given that these can vary largely depending on the destination of travel. In France for example, it’s illegal to drive without a high-visibility jacket and warning triangle in your vehicle. Also, many European countries have different set speed limits, so do your research ahead of time and make sure to adhere to each countries rules of the road when travelling.
Clever apps like Accudriver, which can be downloaded to your phone, can show you the traffic rules of over 60 countries to ensure you’re all set for your road trip, wherever you’re headed.
Before you head off on your road trip, make sure to check the weather for the dates that you’re away and pack accordingly. Many destinations can be much colder in the evenings, even in the summer months, so it’s always useful to pack a light jumper.-
It’s also helpful to consider what you’ll be eating during your trip- is your campervan fully kitted out with kitchen facilities, or will you need to meal prep ahead of time? If your van does have kitchen facilities, does it have the necessary crockery to prepare and serve food? If you’re unsure, double check with your provider.
You may find it useful to create a meal plan ahead of your trip, particularly those considering more remote destinations who otherwise may not have easy access to restaurants or food shops.
And don’t forget to pack the standard necessities you’d deem useful for any road trip such as a first-aid kit, portable charger, water and snacks for the road.
Remember in-van entertainment
If you’re travelling with the whole family or you have additional passengers on your road trip, don’t forget about that all-important in-van entertainment! Particularly important if you have a long drive ahead of you. Think cards, books and board games – all of which can also come in handy when you’re sat round the campfire in the evenings.
To find out more or book a van for your next road trip, visit www.camperdays.co.uk.
Notes to editors:
CamperDays Co-Head and Chief Adventurer, Max Schmidt, is available for interview or comment upon request.
For further press information, please contact:
Will Challis | Olivia Hazelden-Kingdon | Elsa Findlay
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Launched in Germany in 2013, CamperDays is Europe’s leading camper tour operator, working with 150 partners in over 700 locations globally.
CamperDays facilitates access to over 35,000 vehicles available for rent worldwide, including in the UK, Europe, Australia, USA, Canada and South Africa. The platform allows customers to choose from a selection of trusted providers globally via an easy three step booking process, with rentals available from just £70 per day.
Since it was launched, CamperDays customers have booked over 250,000 nights in vehicles rented through the site. CamperDays provides access to a broad selection of campervans and motorhomes catering to every type of traveller, with transparent pricing and no hidden costs. All vehicles come with insurance, with excess, as standard, to allow renters a truly carefree holiday.
For more information or to make a booking, visit the website: www.camperdays.co.uk.