If there’s one thing on every backpacker’s bucket list, it’s an epic road trip in a campervan. The call of the wild and getting out on the open road to see things most people only dream of. What could be better than parking up next to a lake and waking up to views of glorious mountains, or enjoying a van cooked breakfast against the backdrop of that perfect beach? Here’s 5 reasons why traveling in a campervan is the best way to travel, and 5 reasons why it’s not!
1. Go Everywhere and Anywhere
Traveling in a van means you can go anywhere and everywhere, sometimes waking up to breathtaking views you couldn’t even dream of witnessing from your doorstep. The world is one big campground and you could find yourself
2. You Have Your Own Space
Granted it isn’t that much space, but it beats cramming all your belongings onto the top bunk of a hostel and sleeping with one eye on the door. It’s warmer than a tent and smells better than a tour bus. Everything has its place, from the cutlery to the surfboard to the toilet roll holder. A mini rolling home with everything you need within reach, just incases you need to dash out in the middle of the night with one hand on the loo roll and one hand on the door.
3. Cheaper than Hostels and Hotel Rooms
On the road, the only cost is fuel. No forking out for a private double room when you’ve managed to fit a king-size mattress in the back of your Volkswagen Transporter. If you have the setup, you can even cook in your mini kitchenette and save yourself from eating out; all a packet of noodles needs is a bit of hot water and your gourmet meal is served.
4. No Time Constraints
Want to see the sunrise over that famous landmark? Get up and go, you don’t even have to get dressed since you’re already in the vehicle! Traveling in a campervan means you can make your schedule and arrive at your own time. No missing the last train, no last-minute scramble for the only hostel in town, head out in your little home on wheels and the world is your oyster.
5. Embark on Some of the World’s Best Road Trips
Some amazing places in the world can truly only be experienced by packing your bags, loading up your van, and heading out on an epic road trip. With the sea wind in your hair and the sunset on the horizon, what could be better than whizzing along the most breathtaking roads in the world? Our trip around Tasmania wouldn’t have been half as wild without our camper. If that makes you want to buy a campervan and get out onto the open road, this lot will make you want to hole up under your duvet with a stack of books and a hot chocolate…
And… why not…
1. The Engine might Blow Up
You could do all the fixing up in the world to your campervan, and the engine still might blow up. After our first night on the open road, the most gorgeous beaches in Australia were calling; unfortunately, we missed their call as we were too busy calling up mechanics to tow us into a garage. 3 weeks later and with our pockets $3000 lighter we were eventually back on the road.
2. The Roof might Cave In
Vans are generally much taller than regular cars and don’t always fit into car parks or under bridges. When we unknowingly knocked our skylight off, we set off a chain of events that ended in catastrophe. When a raging storm hit the East Coast of Australia, our van was flooded through a gaping hole in the roof. With the storm settling in for good we were forced to spend the night on a soaked mattress hiding from security in a private hotel car park.
3. You Might Get Locked Out of the Van
After a perilously steep drive to the top of Mt Wellington in Tasmania, the wind almost blew us off the summit so we had to bolt the van’s pop top down before enjoying the view. Unfortunately, we had left the keys on the floor and were now locked out with no way to get back in. Two hours later in the cold dead of night, a locksmith helped us bust through the passenger window and get inside to retrieve the keys. It cost $170 but at least we didn’t have to sleep outside on a stormy night on the top of a mountain.
4. You Might Get Stuck in a Ditch
Approaching a campground nearby one of the most famous stretches of beaches, a sandy corner was mistaken for gravel and the back wheels became stuck in the sand. An hour later, using half the branches of a tree and the biggest rocks we could find from up and down the beach and the tires were only deeper; the faint smell of burning rubber perfuming the ocean air. Roadside assistance may seem like an excessive choice, but calling up a tow truck 3 times a week certainly evens out the cost.
5. You Might Get Woken up by the Police
Occasionally you end up in a spot where it isn’t exactly legal to sleep in a van, sometimes the stealth pays off; the curtains are closed tight, the lights are off and no one is home - or so it seems. Other times your luck is out and the police come knocking on your door at 7 am after you’ve worked a New Year’s Eve party and managed only half an hour of blissful sleep. Sometimes they’re happy to move you on with a warning, but there’s always the chance of a huge fine.
Do whatever you like. Travel in a campervan, or don’t travel in a campervan. Life is an adventure you create.