Top tips for the ultimate Wales road-trip
As the lockdown restrictions ease and the uncertainty of holidays abroad the staycation boom is set to continue for another year. Campervans are more popular than ever, and many are heading out on a road trip adventure for the first time.
Campervan travel is one of the best ways to remain isolated while spending time outdoors surrounded by nature and fresh air, and finally getting out of the house! A road trip in one of our iconic classic VW campervans is the ultimate way to beat the lockdown winter blues, travel safely, and discover Wales.
So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today to give a classic VW camper a try, and BOOK your next campervan staycation adventure in Wales.
For anyone planning their first classic VW campervan adventure, make the most of your time on the road by following these Top Tips for an unforgettable post-lockdown road trip.
1. Learn about the campervan you are travelling in
Before heading on the road, it is essential to know everything about your campervan and make sure you understand how it works and where everything is. Our classic VW campervans are over 40 years old and vintage, and driving is very different to a modern vehicle. There’s no air con, that’s what the windows are for. They have a very large steering wheel, and only have four gears – yes, they’re manual! They’re not fast, 55 mph tops and its advisable to leave lots of space and allow lots of time for braking and gear changes! But don’t worry, it doesn’t take most people long to sit back, relax into the slower pace, and settle into enjoying the drive – they really are fun drive!
Take a look on YouTube and watch a few videos on driving a vintage VW campervan and check out your chosen campervan on our website there’s lots of information and photos about her. When you come collect your campervan, we will show you how everything works, from the handbrake to the pop-up roof, but please ask questions, and in particular find out how to safely operate the gas, water and electrics, and where the first aid and road safety kit are. For your peace of mind, all our campers are covered by UK wide breakdown cover.
2. Take advantage of the Flexibility
Keep an open mind while you’re driving as you might spot a hidden gem along the way to explore and spend a bit time. If a campsite neighbour tells you about an amazing hike or a secret cove, think about extending your stay and try it out. Allow yourself to enjoy the freedom the campervan provides.
3. But still do some Planning
Research your route, the things to see, and where to go. A bit of go-with-the-flow is necessary on a road trip, but you can eliminate plenty of stress by knowing where you’ll be staying each night. If you can’t manage an exact plan, map out possible stopping points along your route and check with the campsites that you don’t need to book in advance.
Wild camping is a civil offence in England and Wales, you should not park up a campervan without the landowner’s permission. To stay without permission is considered trespassing and could lead to an arrest or a fine. There are some great campsites in Wales and by using an organised established campsite it will minimise the impact on the surrounding environment. There is plenty of choice, from riverside campsites, woodland campsites, cliff-top campsites with stunning coastal views, dog-friendly campsites, campsites for hikers and much, much more…
4. Pack light and smart
Our beautiful classic VW campervans come fully equipped with everything you need for a camping road trip, from outdoor tables and chairs, crockery, cutlery, cooking equipment to that all important corkscrew. All you need to bring is your own bedding, towels, clothes and food.
Make a list before you pack and think carefully about what you really need and leave what you won’t use. Wales is renowned for its changeable weather so make sure you have waterproof clothing; a head torch and USB cables and a power block can be very useful too. You don’t want to be constantly looking for a supermarket so pack a good supply of food and drinks.
Campervans are not large vehicles and so space is at a premium, most of your luggage will go on the back shelf behind the rear bench seat. We’ve found soft bags are great for packing as they can easily squish up and supermarket long-life bags work particularly well.
5. Don’t Forget the Essentials
Yes, you have a vehicle. But no, you don’t want to spend your holiday driving around to track down sunscreen and sunglasses. In order to make sure you have everything you need, be thoughtful with your packing and shopping list. Some suggestions: shampoo, cooking oil, sandwich bags or containers for leftovers, insect repellent and sunscreen, and perhaps a hat. Make the most of your trip by getting these things at the start, so you can focus on the fun.
6. Do Some Meal Planning
There's little joy in scrounging through an empty cupboard at 8 p.m. after a long day out walking or just chilling on the beach. To prevent an empty tummy or three straight meals of sausage and bake beans or pot noodles, do a little prep before you
leave. Work out how many meals you’ll need and decide what you’ll want to eat. Remember to consider what food storage you’ll have, there is a fridge, but its small and cupboard space is limited, choose dishes that will be easy to make over a gas hob or fire, like chili, roasted veggie skewers, or loaded baked potatoes.
There’s no need to plan exactly what you’ll eat each day, but having everything waiting for you in the camper will ensure you don’t go to bed hungry, and stocking a few staple breakfast ingredients will allow you to wake up focused on the adventures of the day.
7. Make sure you find your camping spot before sunset
Looking for a campsite in the dark or late at night is never a good idea. Make sure you have time to settle and find a nice spot to set up camp before dark. Research and book campsites in advance, so you aren’t rushing or panicking, and each evening can be enjoyed.
8. Organise your campervan
It is always easier to live in a confined space if it is well organised, especially if travelling with kids. After collecting your campervan take time out to arrange your campervan to easily access frequently used items like shoes, food, jackets and money. Make sure to know where regularly used items are located to save time and space. Identify a place where the campervan keys will go when it is not in use as it is very easy to lose track of them!
9. Keep a Torch nearby
Being in a campervan doesn’t change the fact that you’re still camping. Keep a torch close by for night time bathroom trips.
10. Find a spot for your shoes
You should actually plan where you put your shoes when you are in the campervan. You’ve probably been walking in the mountains or through a sand dune, so they’ll be mucky, pop them in a bag and stick to the place you’ve chosen. Your campervan will stay clean, and you’ll be happy you know where they in the morning or in the middle of the night!
11. Entertainment essentials
Disconnect from the online world, reconnect with nature and your inner self. Bring things to keep you entertained such as a good book, music, board games or sports equipment.
12. Be sensitive to nature and local communities
As the Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing, please respect local communities and adhere to social distancing and act in line with any local guidance. Many areas will welcome the return of tourism, however, it is important to be aware of peoples’ concerns and sensitive to local communities. If an area is very busy, move on rather than adding to the situation. Ensure your presence is positive towards the environment and check that your camping spot is in line with local regulations, keep noise to a minimum and always leave your parking spot as it was when you arrived.
Wales, a land rich in myth and magic, majestic mountains and dramatic coastlines is made for campervan touring, especially for those who have never hired a campervan before. So, what are you waiting for BOOK your next campervan staycation adventure.