Traveling in a camper: everything you need to know to make your trip go smoothly
We’ve all had that dream of taking a van, with friends or a partner, and going on a trip to explore everything around us.
Traveling in a camper is synonymous with being able to surf, wake up on the beachfront or be near the sea, hiking and discovering natural spots. Traveling by camper gives you an infinite number of options since you take your house on wheels with everything you need.
Traveling is living a new adventure, learning about other cultures and discovering idyllic destinations. As you know, it is very comfortable to travel by train or plane, but if you choose to travel by camper it will give an added value to the trip.
Having the freedom to choose your own route, where and when to stop to rest and sleep in your own vehicle as if it were your home. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
If you are still wondering if traveling in a camper van is for you, don’t miss this article where you will discover everything you need to know to travel in a camper van: the 5 most visited and best rated destinations, where you could spend the night in there and some of the most useful Apps for your trip… And if you don’t have a van, here you’ll find how to rent one for a few days. Let’s get started!
Where to travel with your camper? Choose your favorite destination!
The best way to travel the world, savoring every kilometer with total freedom of movement is to travel in a camper. No rush, no strict plans and allowing a total connection with the environment and a deeper coexistence with the local inhabitants of your chosen destination.
The country of pizza, love, coast and mountains. A pleasure to visit at any time of the year, especially the coast during the summer (the colorful houses of Monterosso will make you fall in love), the Tuscany area in autumn and spring, and the Alps during the winter.
A lovely combination of nature, art and modern yet historic cities. Undoubtedly, Italy makes any traveler fall in love. The only drawback of traveling with your camper in Italy is the price of diesel: it’s the most expensive in Europe. But we anticipate that every kilometer traveled will be worth it.
In Italy it is not legally allowed to camp freely. In fact, it is usually quite guarded in very touristy areas. When it comes to spending the night, it is best to do so in campsites, designated areas or look for secluded places, do not take out tables, chairs or awnings, and do not sleep more than one night in the same place.
It is a country with all the geographical diversity and with many qualities and the added bonus of a camper culture very developed and better seen than in Italy. Although free camping is legally forbidden, the interpretations are wider and more permissive, also as far as overnight stays are concerned.
To talk about recommended places in France would take a lifetime, but we can tell you that you should not miss a roadtrip through the Pyrenees and the French Alps, experience the magic of Mont Saint Michel or a wine route through the small French villages and vineyards.
3. Spain (Playón de Bayas in Asturias)
In Spain you can find an endless number of places to get lost in your camper trip but in this article, we would like to travel to a specific point: keep reading to discover it!
The views from the location where you can park your camper van, autocaravan or caravan to spend the night are nothing special. But the fantastic thing about this place to spend the night in Asturias is what we can find 200 meters away: the beach called Playón de Bayas or Sablón.
Being able to sleep near the beach (Asturias also has one of the few official beaches for dogs), take a walk in the morning, have breakfast overlooking one of the cliffs where the waves break, make this place to sleep with your campervan one of the most visited when talking about traveling with the camper in Asturias.
This place also has showers and fountains. And as a tip, if you go in the summer season, get up early to find a spot, because although the parking is large, all places are covered.
Austria is a country that, by size and location, is also perfect for traveling by campervan and is full of amazing places and super fun people. As such, it deserves a top spot on this list of the best destinations for touring Europe by campervan.
The downsides are that the cost of living is high and, although it has numerous services for campers, camping is also not legally allowed. Depending on the region, it is possible to spend the night on the road and in nature areas without taking camping equipment outside.
Regardless of the country, the size and discretion of your van, as well as your behavior, have a great influence on the overnight stay. Remember: respect and politeness first and foremost.
Getting to know Salzburg, the city where Mozart was born, will be just an appetizer of what can become a very varied night when you park in the city of Graz. It also offers a variety of cultural attractions. Of course, you should reserve a good part of the time available for the Alps, where, in addition to nature and unique landscapes in every season, dwellings dating back to 5000 BC have been found.
Paradoxically, the laws do not allow official camping in Germany, but the camper culture is so present that they are very permissive about it. Another good news for your pocket is the absence of tolls if you travel by camper in Germany.
The possibilities in Germany are immense. It is a huge country where getting lost is synonymous with enjoying a unique landscape and where you will always meet other camper van drivers. In fact, it is the best country to attend camper and 4×4 meetings, since the largest Bad Kissinger in Europe is held there.
Beyond meetings, Germany offers beautiful and cosmopolitan cities such as Berlin, Cologne or Munich. The Medieval Castles Route and the Romantic Route will make you feel like in a fairy tale. The beauty of the Black Forest is breathtaking and you will enjoy it like no other by campervan. Overnight stays in Germany are permitted in authorized parking lots on public roads (no camping equipment, chocks or pouring fluids).
First step: where to rent a camper van?
When planning your getaway or campervan trip, you should consider different options if you don’t have your own van.
You will find different companies that rent this type of vehicle. One example is Vantrip, which won’t disappoint you, as it has a wide variety of brand new vans, very economical prices and with the latest technology to make your trip safe. In addition, they include everything you may need to travel alone, with friends or family.
These two campervans are the most rented, now it’s up to you the one you want to travel the world with!
- Volkswagen T6 Beach: sweet dreams guaranteed!
Some of its features:
- The California Beach is the most comfortable to sleep in.
- With a large lower bed of 150×200.
- With a fuel consumption of 8 L per 100km, 150 hp diesel engine with 7-speed automatic transmission.
- It is 4.9 M long and 1.9 M high.
- Sleeps up to 5 people.
- It has a bed underneath for 3 people and one on the roof that can be raised for 2.
- The rear is equipped with a refrigerator, outside shower and stove.
- Large Volume XL +4 Seats: family travel!
Undoubtedly this option is one of the best if you travel with family or friends and here are some of its features:
- Live an XL +4 experience with the Sun Light 601, it is the closest thing to renting a presidential suite in the camper world.
- You have a shower with hot water, closed toilet and different types of lights so you can create the atmosphere you want.
- It has two 140×190 beds.
- The camper is 5.95 meters long, 2.6 meters high and you can move around inside it as if you were at home.
- It has all the comforts of a caravan but in a camper van.
10 essential Apps to travel in a Camper Van
Once we have already prepared the destination and the van with which to visit unique places, it’s time to know everything we need to make the trip round. To do this, here you have a list of the most downloaded Apps for camper travelers and, in addition, all are for free!
If you have a good internet connection this is the most chosen map app, the most reliable, and always with alternative routes, traffic updates, create routes and save places to visit. It also has alternatives of routes by duration. It offers different views and has many functionalities. Cons: you need to have internet data or Wi-Fi connection.
Allows you to view maps and routes without internet connection, you can mark favorites and create your routes. You must previously download the zones or countries. It is totally free and very intuitive.
Made by and for travelers, it is the largest database with campsites along millions of kilometers of routes around the world. This App is free and you will have access to everything.
Long-term travel involves good budget management. It’s important to know where your money is being spent and keep good track of it. This App allows you to add expenses, budgets, view graphs, add categories and many other useful features.
Millions of routes from around the world for hiking, running, biking, MTB, kayaking, skiing and up to 75 different types of activities. It allows you to record your own routes on a map, add waypoints, take photos and upload them.
The offline topo maps are free, from all over the world, for use without coverage or data. Ideal for when you are in the mountains or traveling offline.
If you don’t want to use up your mobile data plan or you don’t have a data plan in another country, we recommend Wi-fi Map, an application with more than 100 million free hotspots around the world. Sometimes it is better to take advantage of the disconnection to connect with yourself, but sometimes you also need to search for information about something, talk to friends, family or share on your social networks what you are experiencing.
The best option to listen to music, playlist or podcast from anywhere: your phone, tablet. The free version has a lot of advertising, but for a few dollars/euros the premium version gives many benefits such as listening to music without ads and offline to save data and battery.
- Netflix or Amazon
These Apps are with monthly subscription and offer you hundreds of series, movies, stand up specials and documentaries from all over the world.
Although you need Wi-Fi to play, it also allows you to download any content to your mobile and enjoy it offline wherever you are.
Ideal for rainy days or cold nights in the camper anywhere.
Video clips, cartoons, documentaries, movies, short films and videos of other travelers for entertainment anytime, anywhere. Although it has a free version, we believe that for traveling with children it is best to hire the premium plan, at least during the trip, as it is the best ally on long journeys, to entertain the children when they have already played, painted and sung.
The official Google App is designed to store your photos and videos from your device. It allows you to create shared albums and an advanced editing suite. Each Google account includes 15 GB of free storage, and you can generate automatic backups in high quality or original quality (If you make copies in High Quality you have no storage limit). You will be able to access them from any connected device and make sure you don’t lose any memories.
When you ask a Camper Lover what he likes the most about traveling with the house on his back, he will tell you: freedom, improvisation and being able to sleep in beautiful places. But also, traveling in a van is being able to move at your own pace and not depend on transport schedules.
Traveling by camper alone, with friends or family has its advantages, right? If you have enjoyed this guide to help you get started in the camper world and you have discovered new places to visit. In our lifestyle magazine, you can continue to find amazing places to add to your list of adventures. From here we can only wish you a good camper trip!