Camper Vans: perfect for group vacations
Hitting the road for your next vacation is an ideal alternative for those who don’t like traveling with the crowds, are scared of planes, are on a tight budget or simply into an alternative vacay.
Have you ever thought that it would be really cool to hit the road but planning the whole journey seemed like a huge task? You might hate the idea of spending hours to book Airbnb’s or you cringe with the thought of sleeping in random motels en route. Or you always dreamt of doing a Eurotrip, but the train/bus schedules look very confusing? The answer is simple: rent a camper van!
Camper vans have been around for quite a while but in recent years they have been really classed up. If you are into road trips maybe you should consider buying one with all the necessary features depending on your needs. If you just want to check out the experience, nowadays more companies offer camper vans for hire from super cheap (with very basic features) to very expensive (super luxurious). Choose what suits you, plan the route and before you hit the road read through our tips to be fully prepared.
1) Spend some time mapping the journey
You are not Magellan so don’t take this tip literally. By mapping I mean select the routes you will take and find a couple of alternatives so you are not relyong on your GPS entirely. As you know, Google Maps often fail us, it’s not fully updated and possibly won’t include any road works, or give you the best alternative for traffic jammed roads. By planning the route, you get the opportunity to also google any sightseeing you can do en route, or rest stops with actual edible food. Instead of stopping in random places you can actually select where to eat, to drink coffee or where to stop and check out a cool museum.
2) Choose your fellow travelers wisely
We all have friends that we love to bits and adore hanging out with. But we can’t imagine living with them because they are super high maintenance. Picture it, 2-week vacation with a person that will moan about pretty much everything. Not everyone is cut out for sleeping in bunk beds, sharing the cleaning load on a trip, setting an outdoor tent in the dirt etc. Plus, you will be in a tight space with no rooms to hide in for x amount of time, that’s a lot to put up with, especially if you’re dealing with a difficult person. The easygoing, free-spirited, roll with the punches type of company is the best for a camper van adventure.
3) The group should be in 100% agreement with the planned trip
If your trip goal is to go see a band you love in another state and you decide to make a vacation out of it, great. But be sure that everyone coming is on board. If you all have a different perspective and ideas of fun for the trip, you will have a shitty time. Everyone needs to be on the same page, so if you’re going on a beach holiday no one should be moaning about the lack of action. Ideally, you should have the same physical ability (especially if you’re going on adventure trips such as hiking up the Grand Canyon).
4) Each one has a Role
In any trip that requires some sort of labor (meaning that it is not an all-inclusive resort) the roles have to be shared. Who is good at cooking, who is good at cleaning, who will rotate in driving? Assessing your roles is important so the workload is shared and no one will end up feeling tired and like they’ve been working instead of relaxing. Share the jobs and everyone is happy, what needs to be done gets done and you can enjoy your time without fights and post-travel accusations for laziness/sloppiness.
5) Pack light and smart
No giant, overweight suitcases are allowed. Literally there is no space for them. Pack your necessities in duffle bags that can easily be smooshed in corners and tossed anywhere. Storage is limited so be smart as to what you bring. For instance, if you’re going on a hiking trip don’t pack formal wear it will be completely unnecessary. You may have to wear stuff twice in order to decrease the volume of your stuff (unless it's your underwear, pack plenty of those). Think carefully through all the activities planned for the trip and pack accordingly. This a less is more kinda situation.
6) Shop smart
Another less is more situation. I suggest making a rough meal plan. It will minimize the shopping time and unnecessary purchases. Food storage is limited so try to create a meal plan that suits everyone's dietary preferences. Be smart with the shopping list, don’t buy stuff that expires too quickly or requires specific storage in order to keep them fresh. Also, don’t overdo it with the groceries. There will be supermarkets along the way and you don’t have that many cabinets. You will definitely need: Hydro Flask cups, bigger cooking pots (the ones coming with the van are usually tiny) and a cooler (for food or drinks overflow).
7) Be super organized
With a group in a van, things can get very messy quickly. Organize where everything goes and be practical about it. Also, familiarize yourself with the nooks and crannies of the van to better store your stuff. Agree in which cabinet each item goes and try to stick with it till the end of the trip (a lot of unnecessary fighting about who moved my mug will be avoided). Plus, being organized saves time and space. Insider traveling tip: find a space for the shoes (shoes are stinky and take up loads of space) and it’s not fun tripping on them at night.
Most importantly, remember to have fun! Roll with the punches, don’t let the little things upset you. This an adventure of a lifetime with your friends, family or better half. Don’t waste your time by moaning and arguing about the small things and pointless stuff. Have Fun!
Went on a camper van trip, after reading this article? Do you have any pointers you would like us to include? Share your experiences with us in our contact tab!
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