To follow up from my last post (15 Realities of Road Tripping), here are some of the great things about travelling around any country in a camper van! Yes, it can be tough at times, but the perks make it all worthwhile:
You get to choose-your-own-adventure every day
The freedom travelling in a camper van brings is wonderful! You can pick whatever town or national park you feel like and just drive there! Nothing is stopping you, there are no commitments, just your own choice. You don’t have to wait around for buses, trains or aeroplanes and you can take as short or as long as you like getting there. The world is your oyster!
Well, apart from paying around $7 to fill up the gas bottle every couple of weeks and topping up on fuel, there’s no water or electricity bill lurking in the mail every few months, waiting to pounce! You can keep track of your expenses day-to-day, which makes it far more manageable. I have a pre-paid mobile phone, which also means you’re not trapped into any ongoing contract.
If you are clever about where you stop and which campsites you frequent, your rent can be very cheap, if not free! We have found quite a few beautiful, free campsites over the last three months. Sometimes, they have a limit of days you can stay, but other times you can relax for weeks on end without paying a cent!
Less grocery shopping
You do have to go to the shops more frequently, but there’s none of those really big shops that you might have to do at home. Why not? Because you have limited cupboard/fridge space. Also, there may be times when its cheaper to have a meal out than buy all the ingredients.
You can make it feel like home
Every camper van is different and the reason why? Because if you own a camper van, you make it into your home without even realising it. Ours was built from scratch, so we had a choice in the curtain fabric, the style and cupboard space and so on. It develops character as you travel, adding a sticker here, or a dint there! Each alteration just adds to its homeliness. And the bonus: you can move it around wherever you like!
You get to go to places where your average backpacker can’t make it
Because you don’t have to stick to the bus/train routes, you can go to lots of places that your average backpacker wouldn’t even know about. For example, most travellers skip the South-Eastern corner of Australia because it doesn’t feature on the main tourist trail. We have been able to explore the many beautiful National Parks in this area because we could take our time, wherever we wanted to go.
You can carry a lot more when you’re travelling in a van
If you see something to help make your trip more exciting, like a surfboard, or a guitar, or some camping chairs, you can buy them without hesitation. If you are backpacking without your own vehicle, there’s a lot more hassle in carrying these sorts of items around.
There’s no risk in people stealing your food!
It sounds silly, but if you’re staying in hostels and trying to cook your own meals, chances are you will have something stolen at some point – a mug, or the last of your milk, or some butter, or that last bit of chocolate you were saving for a special occasion! By keeping everything you own in the van, it is safely locked away from any potential thieves.
You don’t have to worry about dressing up each day
Basically, you can embrace your inner hippy (we all have one!) and dress however you like, go around in bare feet, not brush your hair for days on end and ditch the makeup. You don’t need to impress work colleagues, friends or family. This is your time and you can use it however you like!
There’s nothing tying you down
If you want to move, you can move. If you want to stay, you can stay. There are no commitments keeping you in one place. You are governed by your own free spirit and you can follow your heart wherever it wants to go.