Van Life

Home » Van Life

10 reasons to go travelling in a campervan

Traveling is the BEST, and we dedicate our energy to seeing new places as much as we possibly can. You’ve probably already read (because I keep writing about it…) but I recently bought a van conversion. We’ve got some big plans which we’re publishing on the blog pretty soon.

So far we’ve only done smaller trips but we’re completely in love with our van and cannot wait to do more. There’s something really special about traveling in a van. Here’s why we love it and we’re so excited…

1. Work from anywhere in the world

We are so lucky that we run our own company, and we can make money from wherever we are, as long as we have our laptops. This makes life so much easier for us because it means we’re not restricted when we travel or for how long. One of us can be driving, whilst the other is in the back working on our clients websites using our personal hotspots or portable wifi

People often think we’re an exceptions and that nobody else can do this but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In this modern era, there are so many different jobs you can do remotely from a computer, from being a virtual assistant to being a designer. There’s a wealth of information online about how to get started… If you want to read more essays about travel go to this site.

2. Unbounded freedom

During every trip, one of the most important aspects is accommodation. Hotels and hostels always bound you to the place where you are staying, and it becomes impossible to move far away for some sightseeing as you have to return for the night. We all know how much this sucks…

While traveling in a campervan, you can stay for a sleep anywhere and stop off at spot along the way to your destination. You can even park up in front of the sea or overlooking mountains (if parking permits!). The type of views you can get from a van blow hotels out the park. 

3. Value of space

Every vacation requires preparation of things that you are going to take with you. Usually, people bring with them a bunch of unnecessary stuff, and some of them are not even used once! When you’re traveling in a campevan, you’ll soon find out what’s really important to you.

Whether you’re going on a long trip or a short trip in your campervan, you should think twice. Only take only the most important and needed items as space is limited. That helps to reconsider the essential things for you. It really changes your perspective and there’s something liberating about minimal living. 

4. Revaluation of values

In the campervan, all resources such as food and water are limited, and you have to refill them from time to time. However, when the trip goes far from the civilisation, you start to think about different ways of shortening the consumption. What is the real value of the water and possibility to take a shower several times a day? 

We’ve had to consider this for when we’re traveling in the colder months because an outside shower isn’t so appealing. We’ve read so many inspiring posts, and the verdict is, at the end of such a trip you will look at the world differently. That’s a pretty exciting prospect. 

5. New people, new friends

While traveling in a van, you will ride through big cities to small villages, and you will definitely meet new people that will be very curious, where you are from. There is a chance that you will be invited for dinner.

This is something we’re really excited about, and it was one of my favourite things about traveling in Australia.

6. Nature around us

The magnificence of the Earth cannot be compared to anything else and you can come closer to nature. It is really wonderful to wake up in the morning with leaves rustling and birds singing. Here you will remain far away from the city noises 🍃 What could be better?

I love rolling the van door open in the morning, letting the dog out and feeling the sun rays on my face. Even just one night away in the van and in nature makes me feel so much better. Even if we’re on a slanted field and we’re not in a king size bed, somehow, I sleep better. Would you believe?!

7. Living is cheap

Traveling is not cheap and there is list of reasons why. When you’re traveling in a campervan, cost is significantly decreased! Everything you need is inside your moving home, and you do not have to book a hotel room, pay for meals out in restaurants, and you won’t need to worry about getting taxis or buses.

When you’re traveling, you’ll find that fuel is the most expensive thing, which is pretty unavoidable. That said, if you’re having a slow month making money, you can always park up and just enjoy whatever country you’re in. The second biggest expenses is food. 

8. The project aspect is fun

When I bought the van, the aim was so go traveling and take our dog with us. I didn’t give too much thought about the build of the van, and it kind of stressed me out. We bought a van that (luckily) had most the stuff done, such as electrics, plumbing and gas installation. This meant we didn’t have to fork out for expensive essentials.

BUT we’ve spent every hour of our weekends on making the van our own, you can see our pics on Instagram 📸 From painting the cupboards, through to hooking up fairy lights and putting in new curtains. These little changes make a huge difference, and it feels so good knowing that we did it ourselves (with some help from our family) and it’s all come together.

9. Rest whenever you want

When you’re traveling in a van, there’s no limitations on when you have to leave. This is perfect if you enjoy slow-living because you can take the time out to have a bit more relaxation, without missing out on your trip. I know this is going to work well with our busy schedules, and it’ll take the pressure off us, allowing us to truly enjoy our trip.

These are the main reasons why to go traveling in a campervan is really worth trying. There are always advantages and disadvantages in any kind of trips, and only you can choose the option, which suits you the most.

2018-06-19T14:07:30+00:00 June 19, 2018|Van Life|

Why We’re Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan

In the past, Brits have famously headed for locations like Mallorca, the Algarve or Benidorm for their summer jollies – no doubt in an effort to soak up a year’s worth of sun in one week! Yet recently studies have begun to show a change of attitude, with more and more Britons foregoing foreign destinations in favour of more local trips. This article will examine this trend, to establish whether Cornwall really is the new Crete.

Whispers surrounding the growing popularity of the staycation have abounded ever since the Brexit vote in 2016, yet enough time has now passed to allow this speculation to turn to plausible theory as more and more data is released to back it up. A leader in this field, is the annual study released by the accommodation provider Travelodge. This year they found that the number of British people opting to stay at home for their main holiday has increased by 2% since the 2017 study – now standing at 57% (well over half!).

Pull over and enjoy the view!! PC: @rileys_travels

A post shared by VANLiFe 🚐💨 (@vanlife) on

In line with these findings, peer-to-peer rental platform, Fat Lama, have found that the number of campervan rentals on their platform has more than doubled in the past year (rising from 2.45% to 5.74% of their GMV). If this is not enough to convince you that staycations are now ‘trending’ so to speak, the Caravanning and Camping Club have reported a 10% increase in UK campsite bookings this year. Clearly, staycations (and campervan trips) are on the rise across the board, begging the question what has prompted this new trend?



What’s all the hype about!? 🌍

No doubt people have a wealth of personal reasons for opting to stay on their home turf this year, yet such a universal increase in popularity suggests that some broader factors must be at work as well.

Since this trend has been gaining momentum since 2016, the obvious catalyst for change has to be the Brexit vote. This is not just a case of jumping on the ‘Brexit bandwagon’ (blaming it for everything from the struggling economy to your most recent breakup) – there is actually significant evidence to back it up.

There is no doubt that the sudden drop in the value of the pound in 2016 corresponded to the Brexit vote, and this has had a huge impact on the British tourist scene. Firstly, Brits are the only ones holidaying here – VisitBritain has reported an increase of foreign visitors by 6.2% in 2017, set to rise by a further 4.4% this year.

Since Britain’s ancient charms aren’t going anywhere soon (hopefully), it would not be unreasonable to assume that this influx is due to the weakening pound making it better value than ever before to visit the UK.

Yet, the British tourist scene is clearly benefiting from the patronage of its natives as well. Once again, it appears to owe its thanks to Brexit (one of the very few who do) for bringing in the extra trade, as the falling pound has not just made UK holidays a financially good option for foreign visitors.

Anxiety about the exchange rate has tipped the balance for many people when deciding where to book this year, one such candidate, is Becky a 22 year old who, despite being a keen traveller, is opting to take a campervan around Scotland this year. After landing in Peru on the day of the Brexit result and consequently burning through her money far faster than she anticipated, Becky has chosen to explore the UK this year as a safer financial option.

It seems that stories like Becky’s are not atypical to a post-Brexit world. until the split actually comes, the uncertainty of foreign travel is not a risk worth taking for people on tight budgets.

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle Blog

So, it seems that Brexit has landed most of us fairly and squarely on British shores this summer (the irony of this is not lost on me). It’s now up to the rest of this article to advise you how to spend it. One form of travel that I believe lends itself especially well to UK travel is hitting the road in a campervan.

Why I’m sold on traveling on wheels 🚐

The rise in popularity in staycations does not necessarily prompt a corresponding rise in campervan rentals, yet from what we have seen from both Fat Lama data and the Caravanning and Camping Club, the popularity of camping is certainly on the up.

Perhaps, this is because the freedom to travel the road is very much ‘on brand’ with the average avocado-munching, penniless millennial who would rather invest in an experience than material goods. Or, perhaps it’s simply because us Brits have always loved a good bargain! Either way, here are my top reasons for taking on the camper this year:

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle BlogBirkenstocks c/o Footway

1. Access To Nature

Britain has some famously beautiful countryside whether it’s the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the craggy tops of the Scottish Highlands or the stunning coastline of Cornwall – what better way to access it than on your own four wheels and agenda. If its remoteness you seek, then a campervan gives you the freedom to move away from the tourist train that depends on hostels and hotels, and find some of the true treasures all of your own.

2. Freedom to Move

Though Britain has arguably got some of the most beautiful countryside around, it does have one problem… the weather. British summers are famously unpredictable, and the last thing you want to do is be stuck in a rainy resort for your summer break. This is where the camper comes into its own – you are not rooted to your accommodation. If the resort or the weather doesn’t suit you, move on to sunnier climes. Weather aside, the freedom to make your own way, stop when you want and move when you don’t is fantastically liberating.

You’re also not burdened or restricted by carrying heavy bags around with you all the time 👇

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle Blog

3. Your money goes further

If freedom and the open road are not enough to tempt you away from your hotel, perhaps the low price of a camper trip will. Whether you own your own camper or rent one for a one off trip, campers are almost always the best value option – especially when you factor in that you have covered transport and accommodation in one fell swoop.

4. Food and Comfort On The Road

This final point ties nicely in with my last one, if you carry everything with you including your kitchen, you can save a ton of money by avoiding eating out. If you are doing long distance travel this can be far better for your health too. After all, if you have your own food source, you do not need to rely on fast food chains and convenience stores that dominant roadside services as much (though I won’t judge you for the occasional roadside chippy). Lastly, rather than all squishing into a car or a Ryanair flight, camper travel gives you space to relax on the road and even take a nap if necessary (though hopefully not whilst actually driving).

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle Blog

Where to start your adventure?

So with the trend and the reasoning established one question remains, where are the top spots favoured by staycationers this year? If you are thinking of joining the trend, here are my top 5 recommendations for UK travel:


Devon

As one of the largest counties in England, Devon has a lot to offer someone with the freedom and ability to explore it. If you have access to a campervan you could spend days traversing the country and still find things beautiful spots that will make you want to instantly pull over. Crossing the Dartmoor you can come across remote regions like Bellever forest or even encounter a herd of wild ponies. If you are a surf seeker you will not be disappointed either, with the (almost laughable quaint sounding) beaches of Bigbury-on-Sea, Westward Ho! and Saunton Sands all firm favourites with borders and sun bathers alike!

Cornwall

An immovable favourite with British holiday makers, Cornwall’s spectacular coast, quaint villages and wild moors have attracted visitors for centuries, inspiring many a ripping yarn (if you’re a Poldark or Daphne Du Maurier fan you will know what I mean). Camper travel in Cornwall is not only achievable, it’s actually desirable as the peninsular remains surprisingly difficult to access by public transport and accommodation can be some of the most expensive in Britain in peak times. Read about our here trips here.

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle Blog

The Cotswolds

If you fancy something more relaxed than the ragged extremes of the Cornish moors, Lake District or Scottish Highlands, why not try the creamy stoned villages and rolling hills of the Cotswolds – the epitome of gentle English countryside. The accessibility of this area from London means that it’s often crammed in the weekends thorough summer with city dwellers looking to escape the hustle and bustle (and inadvertently creating a new one in their mass exodus). Exploring the area by camper will allow you to get off the usual tourist trails and discover hidden delights like Great Tew, The Slaughters (not as grim as it sounds) and the Rollright Stones.

Scottish Highlands

Wild, untamed and hauntingly beautiful the Scottish Highlands attract many visitors from Britain and further afield every year. The sheer remoteness of the highlands and islands makes travel without a car almost impossible and therefore travel with a camper absolutely ideal. My advice is to take your time and explore some of the lesser known destinations – I can assure you Scotland has plenty more castles than just Eilean Donan! Venture west on the ferry and explore some of the best beaches in Britain or aim high and conquer the Cairngorms. You’ll find it’s not for nothing that Scotland has been voted the most beautiful country in the world last year.

Why We're Loving Staycations in Our Quirky Campervan | UK Lifestyle Blog

The Lake District

I have often thought that the Lake District is a slightly misleading title for the area. Yes, there are plenty of lakes, but far more noticeable than that are the stunning mountains that rise up from nowhere and then drop dramatically into huge pools of water – in a way that you do not tend to outside the Scottish Highlands.

It is certainly a well-appreciated geographical treasure, with its famous dales immortalised in the writings of William Wordsworth and preserved by the will of Beatrix Potter (she left all her land there to the National Trust, thus preserving it for the enjoyment of future generations like yourselves). Exploring the area by camper will allow you to access the remoter dales and explore the area on your own terms away from the expensive accommodation in walking hotspots like Keswick, Kendall and Glenridding.


Though it’s easy to see the jest in Brexit preventing Britons from going abroad, the point of this article is a serious one. It’s easy to hanker after the beaches of Mediterranean or cities of Europe, without appreciating the beauty that sits on your own doorstep. So if you are feeling a bit financially pinched this year, be grateful that you’re staying at home. By embracing the open road and making your own way, you just might have one of your most memorable holidays to date.

2018-06-15T12:28:03+00:00 June 15, 2018|Van Life|

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris!

We’ve had our Hyundi 100 van conversion a little over 2 months now, giving us plenty of time to take it on some adventures! Initially we’ve only taken the van out locally in Cornwall so we can get an idea of what to expect when we go away for longer trips. The last thing we want to do is find out that we’ve got some kind of problem when we’re thousands of miles away from home. It’s also good to get an idea of temperature so we don’t end up overheating or freezing, which might result in a trip being cut short.

Another reason we’ve not taken it out as much as we hoped, is we still have a few jobs to do. We’ve pretty much got the van ready to go now though, and as I’m typing this, I’ve just received word that our lovely handmade curtains are ready to be fitted. This means we’ll have grey curtains that are both black out and thermal lined, which is going to make a huge difference compared to the blinds we have at the moment.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Luckily, Cornwall has a lot to offer and we’ve had plenty of fun being tourist in our own county. There are so many places we haven’t been that we want to explore. I couldn’t list everywhere we’ve been because we take it wherever Magicseaweed says the surf is (Perranporth, Polzeth, Praa Sands, Newquay etc). But here’s a round up of some of our trips exploring the Cornish coastline beyond the surf!


St Agnes Head, St Agnes

When we first picked up the van in March we were eager to take it out as soon as possible. It was a little bit chilly but we decided to head up to St Agnes, pull back the sliding side door and enjoy the view. Thanks to the previous owner, Boris has a great sound system, so we put on some Bon Iver and watched the sunset with our dog.

There’s nothing better than being able to watch the sun go down over the sea whilst being cuddled up in bed. I can see us spending a lot of time up in St Agnes in the warmer months. It’s so quiet and peaceful, and you don’t get other people in camper vans up there. There is a height restriction to get into the carparks overlooking the headland but Boris just managed to slide under the barrier.

Minack Theatre, Porthcurno

If you live in Cornwall, as soon as the weather starts to warm up, you’ll notice your feed covered in pictures of Porthcurno. I’m ashamed to admit that before May, I’d never been to this scenic village on the coast.

Desperate to go, we packed up the van with our dog on the first sunny morning and headed down towards Lands End. We left our van in a nearby carpark and followed the coastal path from the beach over to the Minack Theatre, taking in the incredible views on the way.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

The views were breath-taking, just as we expected. I’ve got so much GoPro footage to sort through, I don’t even know where to start. We were blessed with sunshine all day which made such a difference.

We soaked up the sunshine at the Minack Theatre and ate our packed lunch before heading back along the beach.

Of course, dogs aren’t allowed on the beach during the summer but we recently discovered a little loop-hole… Nobody minds where you take your dog if you carry him in a backpack. In matter of fact, it’s actually encouraged.

Everybody swoons over how cute our scruffy little Jack Russel is, when they see his happy little face poking our of our K9 Airsack. I don’t blame them – he looks absolutely adorable! It’s also really handy if we’re going over dangerous bits of loose rocks or if he gets tired after a long day of walking.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

St Michaels Mount, Marazion

The first place we slept in the van was overlooking St Michaels Mount from Marazion. We arrived with plenty of time after our trip to Porthcurno so we could get a good spot. There’s so many great places to park up but we had to make sure we could stay somewhere it was legal to sleep.

First, we headed over to a carpark that was right next to the beach. We reversed into a space in the quiet carpark before popping the back door. When we were laying on the bed drinking a cup of tea, all we could see was the calm sea and hear the waves gently crashing, bliss!

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

We spent a couple of hours enjoying the view before moving on to somewhere we could sleep, because we didn’t know how easy it would be to find somewhere. We drove a little bit further down the road and found Slipway carpark, located right opposite St Michael’s Mount. We pulled up and made a beef stew with dumplings and had our dinner whilst the sun went down. We couldn’t believe we got such a good spot with toilets nearby!

Surprisingly, I slept like a log and we didn’t wake up until 10am. It was so nice being away from technology (although we do have electrics, chargers, lights etc in the van). The distractions of televisions and laptops were left at home so we could just be in the moment. We had a slow morning with the doors open, having hot drinks, chatting in bed and letting the dog play on the nearby footpath.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Somebody came past our van at about midday, just as we were about to leave for a day out at the castle and said we shouldn’t have slept here, but it wasn’t a problem and he was really understanding. Oops!

We walked across to St Michael’s Mount and had a lovely day out, capturing even more amazing GoPro footage!

Tintagel Castle, Tintagel

North west Cornwall is an area we haven’t explored much, so I was really excited to visit Tintagel a village situated on the Atlantic coast. Tintagel lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), with the same status and protection as a National Park. I didn’t know much about Tintagel but I was aware the area was associated with the legends surrounding King Arthur.

We parked in a field near the coastal path to Bossiney Haven overlooking panoramic ocean views.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

There were 3 other campers parked up in the field and the adjacent fields were empty, so it was really quiet. Once we got settled we walked into the village and had a drink in a nearby beer garden just a short 10 minute walk from where we parked up.

We headed back to our van and warmed up our smoked beef cheeks and macaroni cheese before having an early night so we’d be full of energy to explore in the morning. We woke up roasting at about 9am which soon got me out of bed and out in the sunshine. I must have spent about an hour throwing Alfie’s kong in the field before we got ready and headed to the castle.

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

If you’ve never been, then you should definitely go! We spent hours just walking around in awe of the scenery and learning about the history of Tintagel. I couldn’t recommend it enough. Especially Bossiney Haven carpark (if you’re vanning it!) because it’s only £1 and overnight sleeping is legal. There’s also clean public toilets at the top of the field, just next to the coastal path.

As you can see from our pictures, Tintagel is BEAUTIFUL 👇😍

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle BlogArizona Birkenstocks from Footway

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Touring Cornwall in our converted campervan, Boris! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Next stop: Snowdonia 🏔

2018-06-06T21:53:42+00:00 June 6, 2018|Van Life|
Load More Posts
Click to see our most popular posts!