Travelling is one of the most exciting experiences in life, something which everyone aspires to at some point. Seeing the world is a special thing which enriches and fulfils your soul, provided you can take the time away from your daily life to do it. A favourite choice for travelling is Europe, which stands out as an excellent choice for various reasons, from the relative ease if offers to the mixture of cultures and locales.
Driving a van is a great way to explore Europe! People young and old alike go on van excursions every year, using rental vans and campers of various shapes and sizes. Taking a van is preferable to taking a car in many ways, starting with the extra space and special amenities like storage and sleeping areas. There’s little wonder that this has become a popular method for seeing Europe and expanding one’s horizons.
These are just a few reasons for travelling Europe by van, that stand out to travellers and holiday makers:
Europe is amazing.
There’s a reason why Europe is a popular destination for those wanting to travel by road, rather than just take a package holiday. For one thing, it covers a huge area! You could visit Europe several times and have greatly different experiences, from the scorching Mediterranean coast of Spain to the vineyards of France, right through to the picturesque Christmas markets of Belgium.
The main benefit of Europe is that it’s so well suited to travel by road. With a van you can get from one end of the continent to the other just by driving, taking advantage of the huge road network and easy border crossing. Open the van up on the massive autobahns of Germany or take it trundling through the lazy hillsides of Italy!
Here are some of the great drives Europe offers, for a little inspiration. http://www.nationwidehireuk.co.uk/blog/the-best-car-journeys-in-europe/
Enjoy more freedom.
Travelling Europe by van is all about freedom. With the van as your mobile hotel, you are not tied down at all. No check-ins, no curfews and no paying huge rates for local taxis, just to see beyond the immediate area. Heard of a place you want to visit? Just go! So long as you have fuel, you have freedom. You don’t have to worry about catching flights either, or renting and insuring vehicles to get around.
Importantly, you also have the ability to stop! Going on a travelling holiday does not mean constantly packing up and spending all your time bumping around in the van. You can stop at your leisure when you find a place you love, soaking in the sights and sounds. Some holiday makers don’t even feel the need to cross borders, they just explore a particular country of interest. The best thing is that you get to choose for yourself, without time restraints caused by flights, hotels or planned tours.
A broad range of activities.
Part of the freedom you enjoy in a camper is being able to choose what you do each day. Maybe you’d like to take a tour of the French walled city of Avignon? Drive there and take it! A day or two later, you can be parking up in Germany to visit the world famous Berlin Zoological Gardens! In other words, no two travelling holidays are quite the same. You have the freedom to visit cities for nightlife, countryside for picturesque locations and the beach to soak up some sun. Obviously if you enjoy camping, then you’re incredibly well situated to do that.
Planning ahead is vital if you want to see several things or do a lot of activities. Without wanting to cramp the relaxed style of a camper van holiday, it’s worth having a rough idea of what you want to do and when so you can set off in plenty of time and have enough fuel for the trip. Of course, some prefer to just wing it and go on an adventure!
Skip the hotel hassle.
Taking a van means you don’t have to mess with hotels. This is a huge benefit to van holidays as you can save a huge amount of money, certainly when compared to the cost of staying at several places across Europe. Remember that you also avoid paying for flights this way! You may want to reserve some money for camp site fees, but these will be far less than hotel rooms. The good thing about a van is that it’s a nice middle ground between camping and having a room, as you can pitch a tent outside when it’s nice, or huddle up in the van itself when it’s wet.
You should have an idea of the local camp sites before you travel, in case you need somewhere to stop, freshen up and relax. Having access to their amenities will make the journey easier and it also allows you to meet other campers. This is a great way to get tips on local landmarks, find out which routes are best and of course make friends.
A new experience
One of the great benefits of travelling by van is that it gives you a new perspective. When you want a trip with a difference, this is the way to get it. Even if you’ve stayed in hotels across Europe before, you’ll see the land and the people differently after driving across the landscape and living closer to the real country.
There are many parts of Europe, across the several countries it encompasses, which simply don’t get onto the main tour guides. Outside of the restrictions of package holidays, you see places and people which are off the beaten track. Don’t limit yourself to the tourist traps which are featured in promotional leaflets and magazines. For example, the French countryside has many beautiful communes like Allanche, with rolling hillsides and quaint old-fashioned buildings. Just think of the holiday stories and photos you can take home from these undiscovered places.
A home away from home.
Camping fans will already know of the joy of setting up a temporary home away from home. When taking a van trip across a place like Europe, which you’re expecting to last for a week or two, you really get to invest in that feeling. Your van becomes a second home, a mobile tent stuffed to the brim with all your gear, food, entertainment and of course friends and family. Figuring out just how much you can manage to take along is part of the enjoyment, utilising the space to maximum efficiency.
Bring your favourite gadgets and books, bring cooking equipment and maybe a few drinks. Travelling by van is like taking a huge road trip, with all the fun of being cut off from the daily grind and the distractions of TV and internet (unless you want them of course!) and getting back to basics. This can be extremely cathartic and will fit in nicely for anyone seeking a digital detox. The best times of your life can be found with just the road, the beautiful scenery of Europe and good company. Discover unknown places and have an adventure that’s all yours, not a pre-packaged experience!