You might have seen them on YouTube, Instagram or TikTok. People who live out the back of a camper van, and see the world, touring continents like Europe with their vehicle functioning as their home. It might seem appealing, but there might be something holding you back - you have a family to look after, or you have a career you’re looking to develop, but you still have that camper van itch. Don’t worry, you don’t have to become the next big travel vlogger or dedicate yourself to being a van lifer to enjoy a camper van trip through Europe. As a matter of fact, it could be a new and fun way to enjoy spending your holidays from now on!
Imagine it - enjoying homemade tapas on the edge of a Spanish beach or drinking your coffee before slipping on your boots and enjoying a day of skiing the Italian Alps. With a camper van, you can easily do it, basically taking a temporary home on wheels, allowing you to go wherever and whenever you want. And with companies like Goboony, which has been described as the Airbnb of camper vans, you can rent a van instead of saving up to buy your own, or maybe you want a trial run of being a van lifer before you dedicate yourself to it. Whatever your reasoning, a camper van can leave the whole of Europe at your fingertips!
1. Near Limitless Freedom
One of the biggest advantages of taking a camper van through Europe is that you’re only limited by the road in front of you, whether that be the dirt track of an attraction tucked away from civilisation or the asphalt of the motorway stretching into the horizon. Driving through Auvergne, France, and you see a signpost for the Vulcania volcano park? Well, you can easily turn the wheel and spend an afternoon there!
If you decide to take a camper van through a company like Goboony, they’ll have their own suggestions of places to go. While they may have their suggested itineraries of places to check out, sometimes the best plans are the ones which you conjure on a whim, which is something that a camper van can easily provide.
2. Travelling Across Scenic Drives
Europe is a vast and large place. Many of the countries, towns and cities in Europe are connected by roads and highways that pass through wildernesses or barely touched scenes of natural beauty. Whether it be the lavender fields of Provence, France, or the mountain passes of Switzerland, there are some views in Europe that can only really be seen or are best seen from the road. In fact, depending on the road, there are diversions that expressly allow cars to leave the road and drive towards scenic overlooks!
Each country in Europe has their own particular road trips, both popular and more obscure. With companies like Goboony, you can pick which country you are intending to travel through and see which van suits your needs. Here are a couple of suggested guides that we have for Greece and Iceland.
3. A Cost-Effective Way of Travel
If you want to travel through Europe during the holidays, there’s a good chance that everyone and their mother will have the same idea, so hotel and accommodation bookings will go through the roof. The same can be said with buying a plane ticket. While it is a good way of getting somewhere fast, flights also hike up in prices during the busier periods like the summer or winter holidays, with blackout dates making flight deals during this time rare.
When you rent a camper van with Goboony, you can set your own budget. If you just need something to drive and a spare bed for the night, there are many cheaply priced options. There are also options where you can pick your own amenities, so instead of using a shower in a service station, you can use one in your motorhome in comfortable privacy. Also, instead of eating out, you can have your own kitchen with you, which works out to be a lot cheaper.
4. Travel As A Group
This kind of goes hand in hand with our previous reason. While solo travelling can be a fun way to go on holiday, the more, the merrier, as they say. It can make for a cute romantic trip, just you and your partner(s) seeing some new country together or just trying something new. Or it could make for an ideal mate date, whether that be a lad’s holiday or sightseeing with a kindred spirit. You can easily split the costs across each of the individuals in the group.
For example, if you’re renting a camper van from Goboony, if you decide to rent an £80 a night van in Portugal and that van sleeps five people, that works out to £16 a night. That’s cheaper than the price of many hostel dorm beds available, never mind a hotel room! Again, as they say, the more, the merrier - or cheaper, in this case.
5. A Feeling of Community
A little-known fact about driving a camper van is the vast community that has developed around owning/ driving one. From those who use camper vans as a form of recreation to those who have turned it into a full-time lifestyle, there are many people who have subscribed to this way of life. So driving around in a camper van, personal or rented, is a good way of making friends. Maybe you’ll bump into someone who offers you advice to improve your camper van stay or a nearby location you need to check out.
When you rent a van from Goboony, the owners are real people who have experienced this way of life, and through the contact feature, you can discuss certain aspects of your own van or van life, as well as other information, with the van owners before, during and after the renting process.
6. Remote Exploration
There are some locations in Europe which are very remote. This means that public transport services can be limited to non-existent, so the only way to travel there is by car. Take, for example, the North Coast 500 in Scotland. It’s a popular road trip, but it has some remote stretches between towns. The peak season is around the summer, so maybe you want to go in early spring or late autumn to avoid the rush of tourists. Bus services during this time are typically quieter than at the height of tourist season, and the weather can be a bit too rough to go by motorcycle or bicycle (if you’re feeling like doing that).
That’s a great advantage of driving in a camper van. If you find yourself exploring a remote region of Europe, you don’t have to worry about where the nearest hotel is or how you’re going to get to the nearest town. Depending on the countries camping laws, you can easily pull the parking brake and go sleep in a bed that is barely feet from you, and your home for the night is a lot sturdier than the likes of a tent.
7. Convenience for Luggage
If you’ve travelled anywhere before, you know the mild inconvenience that is carrying your own stuff. Even if you’ve only got a single piece of luggage and a bag, you have to take it from your home all the way to your accommodation. It’s a tedious but necessary process, and there is always the possibility that you forget your stuff, or it gets lost. If you’re taking any form of public transport, be it a bus or plane, you have to share storage space with strangers, and sometimes, if you’re really unlucky, they’ve taken up all the space.
With a camper van, however, this is much less of a significant tedium. After renting a camper van with a company like Goboony, you can chuck all your things into the van, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting or losing them the same way you would with other forms of travel. Also, you’ll have a kitchen, bed and bathroom facilities all within reach of each other, so no dashing around a tourist town struggling to ask for a bathroom while trying to hold it in.
8. It Can Be More Convenient Than Renting A Car
If you’re thinking of doing a road trip, you could consider just going for a car. If push comes to shove, possibly just sleep in the backseat of your car. While this is an equally valid way of travelling, it’t not going to be a comfortable one. Would you rather sleep in a comfy bed, or a car seat? Also, you’re less likely to be bothered in a camper van. If you fall asleep in a car, it’s more likely to attract attention from nosey passersby. Not to mention that depending on the location, you could get into trouble for it. In Amsterdam, for example, you could be fined if you get caught sleeping a vehicle.
So, given the options, which would you rather spend the night in - a camper van, where you could stay at a dirt cheap camping site and sleep safe and sound? Or rent a car and spend additional money on hotels, or chance sleeping in your car, risking a fine? I’m not here to make decisions for you, but I like the sound of a comfy bed at the end of the day.
9. Immerse Yourself in Your Surroundings
Do you want to wake up a stone’s throw away from the beach? Maybe you want to escape the noise of the city and listen to the sounds of nature. Well, with a camper van, you can. When you stay in a camper van on your travels, it provides for a much more intimate experience, considering the only thing that separates you from the great outdoors is a couple of inches of metal.
Ok, I realise that while that might sound adventurous to some, it might give others low-level anxiety. And you know what? That’s fair. Travelling by camper van is very safe, but if you need some reassurance, Goboony has a blog post that gives you some tips and pointers to maximise the safety of your camper van experience. Plus, feel free to ask the owners of your van rental about the safety features they may have installed. Your trip should be a positive experience for everyone involved.