Travelling in a camper van is one of the best ways to discover new places and truly unwind. Here are a few things to keep in mind on your first camper van holiday.
Have you finally decided on making that dream of travelling Europe in a van come true? Well, congratulations, but don’t fire that engine just yet. If this is your first time going on a camper van holiday, we have some essential camper van tips and tricks for you to read before you hit the road!
First of all, some terminology. A camper van is not a regular van you see doing deliveries on the street. It is a van that has a sleeping space and/or bathroom and kitchen inside. You can buy or rent a camper van, but you can also convert a regular van into a camper van by adding sleeping space in the back.
Secondly, if you’re in a position to visit a camping exhibition, try to do so. This can help you plan your camper van holiday, as they’re a great source of information on trends and the best camping spots in Europe.
Ok, now on to the camper van tips and tricks!
Make sure you can drive a camper van
You may think of yourself as a competent driver, but don’t start your camper van holiday before you’ve had some time behind its wheel. Driving a camper van is different from driving a car and it’s important you get the feel of such a large vehicle, its weight and turning path.
Pick your camping mate carefully
There aren’t two ways to go about this — travelling in a van means being in a tight, enclosed space with somebody, a LOT. Bad weather can add to the stress if you’re not spending the time with somebody you get along with well, so pick your sous driver well.
Enjoy the freedom, but plan ahead
Camper van life is all about the spontaneity and flexibility to go wherever you please, but trust us, freedom tastes sweeter with a pinch of planning.
Start by creating an itinerary with your must-see places and map out an outline of your route and potential stops.
There are countries that will fine campers if they’re not parked in designated camping areas, so avoid stressful moments by planning your camping spots.
Try not to overpack
We’re talking about the classic luggage problem when you pack a full suitcase and end up not wearing half of the clothes. Bear in mind that a camper van has limited storage, which you will need for food and basic necessities, so think about that third pair of pajamas. The answer is that you definitely can do without it.
Invest in a mattress
You probably know the worth of a good night’s sleep, and your camper van sleeping space should offer the same or similar comfort as your own bed. So, take your time and decide on a good mattress or mattress topper, your back will be thankful. If you’re looking for more comfort, we have some extra advice on how to have the most comfortable camping experience.
Find a good campsite
When you’re parking for a stay, be mindful of the terrain you’re choosing. It’s really important you find a level spot — nobody wants to be sliding on their bed because the entire camper van is off balance. There are camps that offer a good description and images of their pitches, so you know which spot you’re booking.
Take a look at our pitches and find the perfect one for your camper van!
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