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Top tips for travelling in a campervan

Written by Fiona

January 24 2018

Have you ever just fancied packing up a campervan, taking a break and living on the road for six months exploring the UK, or further afield? If so, there are some things you need to know. It’s not all sunsets and campfires but it could be one of the best experiences of your life.

Benefits of travelling in a campervan

Freedom to go where you want: The biggest benefit of living in a campervan (seenAll Seasons campervans) for six months is the freedom it offers. you can go wherever you want and stay for as long as you want. You will find hidden gems and see places that the average tourist misses.

Money saver: While there is the initial outlay of a campervan, it is a long-term investment that will likely save you money, especially if you are planning to live in it for six months. You won’t need to pay for hotels or B7Bs, instead you can stay in cheap campsites and stopover points across the UK, or for free in many wilder places in Scotland.

Amazing views every day: Waking up to a different view every morning is priceless. Each day you’ll see new sights, such as sun rises over the mountains, a sea view, a loch and more.

Easy for eating: Travelling in a campervan means you can eat when and where you want and it cuts the cost of eating out in cafes and pubs.

Confidence booster: Living in a campervan and like being off the grid can be great for improving self-reliance and confidence. You will need to budget, plan and overcome problems as well as maintain a relationship with your companion in a cramped space.

Travel light: It can feel very freeing to take only what you need and live with a small range of clothing and kit for six months.

Get closer to nature: In a campervan you can open the door on nature and the natural environment every day. This has been proven to be a great way to boost your mental health and avoid depression.

Planning your route

This might seem like a bit of a contradiction to the freedom mentioned above but you can avoid stress by making a vague plan of stopovers along the way.

Campsites are great because they usually have hot showers (a luxury you will long for) and laundry facilities, but they add cost to a trip.

Alternatively you could try wild camping (easier in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK you should be aware the owner of the land has the right to ask you to move on.

When you need a wash, head to a campsite and ask if you can use the showers only or go for a swim and shower at a local swimming pool.

There are also places where stopovers are sanctioned such as at farms, pub or carparks. You can find a list here.

How to budget

How much you spend is up to you and it will depend on what you eat, drink, or do while you travel. Without doubt your biggest expense when travelling in a campervan will be fuel but the good news is, there are ways to save money:

Tips on saving money on petrol

Avoid city centres: All that stopping at traffic lights, roundabouts and waiting in queues costs a lot in fuel especially at rush hour. Every time you stop, then switch to first gear it takes a huge amount of fuel to begin moving again.

Have patience : The cheapest way to drive is at a constant speed in the highest gear. Staying at around 40-50mph for long distances will save money. It is impossible to avoid over-taking but do so smoothly as over-revving uses a lot of fuel.

Keep tyres inflated : Low tyre pressure increases the drag, which consequently uses more fuel. Check the tyre pressure regularly and keep those tyres pumped up.

Brake slowly: Slowing down naturally instead of slamming on the breaks can make a real difference in fuel consumption so keep plenty of distance from the car in front.

Shop around: Don’t wait until the fuel gauge is on red. Plan ahead and stop for fuel where you see it is cheaper. Many supermarkets offer competitive fuel prices and there are petrol comparison sites online, so it pays to do a bit of research. For example, it’s much cheaper to fill up in the northern counties than the south

Packing the essentials

Everyone has a different idea of what to pack when going travelling but no one wants to start their road trip by discovering they have forgotten a bottle opener or towels, so here are some things you will definitely need

  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Sharp knife
  • Baby wipes
  • Washing up liquid
  • Towels
  • Camera
  • Toilet roll
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Head torch
  • Toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Matches.

A few more tips for a happy campervan trip

Mess = stress so try to keep your campervan organised. Never leave litter behind and make sure you only camp where you are allowed.

Save money by shopping at cheaper supermarkets and take time to interact with the locals you meet on the way for invaluable tips.

Travelling by campervan is one of the cheapest and best ways to discover the many delights and spectacular scenery the UK has to offer

Further Resources:

  • Camping and Caravanning Club
  • All Seasons Leisure

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