Going on a van road trip is an exhilarating adventure that promises freedom, spontaneity, and a tapestry of unforgettable moments. Whether you're a seasoned road warrior or a first-time traveler, careful preparation is the key to turning your van journey into a seamless and enjoyable experience. This guide is your roadmap to prepping for a van road trip, offering insights into essential tasks that will ensure a smooth ride and make your travels truly extraordinary. So, buckle up and get ready to embrace the open road!

Plan Your Route

Before embarking on your road trip, careful route planning is essential. Whether you prefer a detailed itinerary or a more spontaneous approach, outlining the overall journey is crucial. For those with limited time, organizing each step can be beneficial, while those with more flexibility can leave room for serendipity, often leading to cherished memories. Embracing traditional paper maps provides a comprehensive view of your route, highlighting scenic paths and points of interest. Opt for less-traveled roads over highways to savor remarkable panoramas and foster unexpected adventures. Marking points of interest on the map allows for a well-charted course, helping estimate distances and plan fuel stops. Considering the weather and having a backup plan can enhance the flexibility of your road trip, ensuring an enjoyable journey in your mobile abode.

Manage Your Water

When van life becomes your adventure, wise water management becomes paramount. Depending on your campervan's tank capacity, typically around 50L for smaller models, every drop counts. Reserve this precious resource for essential tasks like cooking, dishwashing, personal hygiene, and, of course, pampering your feline companion. Carry additional water bottles for drinking during your road trips and hikes, allowing you to extend your water autonomy for 4 to 5 days. Some vans offer external showers, but be mindful as they significantly impact water autonomy. Consider a supplementary water container to cope with such situations, useful for refilling your van's tank or when traditional hose connections are impractical. Regularly fill your tank, especially when it drops below half capacity, and stay prepared for any water-related needs on your journey, with the Park4night app serving as a helpful guide.

Maintain Good Hygiene

Maintaining hygiene on the road is a legitimate concern, especially after an invigorating mountain hike. A practical and flexible solution is the solar shower with pressure, complemented by a shower tent. Whether set up next to the van or in a secluded spot under nature's canopy, this system accommodates solo or shared use, all while being mindful of water consumption. Harness the sun's warmth or speed up the heating process with a saucepan if needed. Opt for solid soaps and shampoos for convenience and eco-friendliness, ensuring you wash at a respectful distance from natural water sources to preserve ecosystems. On occasions where outdoor showering isn't feasible, pack some baby wipes for a quick refresh. Alternatively, campsites or sports halls can provide an indoor alternative for those less inclined to wash in the open air.

Manage Your Meals

Embarking on a van road trip transforms your vehicle into a mobile home, albeit a compact one. While adjustments are necessary, it doesn't mean sacrificing culinary variety. Despite the modest size of the refrigerator, you can still indulge in diverse and flavorful meals. Fresh produce and jarred items become your allies for efficient storage. The van lifestyle offers the advantage of exploring off-the-beaten-path villages, making it easy to source fresh ingredients regularly and infuse local flavors into your meals. Embrace the opportunity to discover regional specialties, as food becomes an integral part of your journey, connecting you with the identity of the places you visit. To optimize your van cooking experience, try to settle early, allowing time to prepare your meals or snacks for upcoming hikes. Cooking in a van requires a bit of juggling, given smaller pots and pans and limited burners. For those keen on maximizing outdoor time, opting for refreshing cold meals like salads can be a convenient and delightful solution, with a myriad of recipes to break away from the traditional fare.

Make Sleeping Arrangements

Exploring van life introduces you to various options for finding the perfect overnight spot. While dedicated apps can assist in locating suitable places, there are alternative approaches to consider. When opting for wild camping, adhere to basic rules: ensure you're not on private property, check for any area-specific restrictions, and exercise common sense to avoid disturbing others. Maps can be a helpful tool, or trust your instincts cultivated over time. Campsites offer convenience, especially for amenities like showers and laundry, but factor in costs when planning.

Sleeping Safely In The Van:

Practicing caution and common sense is paramount when selecting overnight spots during your road trip. If any member of the group feels uneasy about a chosen location, it's crucial to relocate, even if it involves driving a few extra kilometers. Keep the interior clutter-free, especially the driver's seat, ensuring quick readiness for departure in any situation. Avoid leaving belongings visible on the dashboard or seats, both inside and outside the vehicle. Steer clear of motorway rest areas, known for potential issues. Secure doors and windows, and consider using a CO2 detector for added safety during sleep. These precautions apply during the day as well. If outdoor sleeping raises concerns, opting for a campsite or Homestay, based on your budget, provides a secure alternative. Ultimately, a road trip should be a delightful and enriching experience, leaving you with cherished memories.

Essentials To Carry During A Road-Trip

  • A cooking set adapted to the number of people and which can do double duty during treks
  • An outdoor stove if the van is equipped with a fixed kitchen (ideal when it is hot and double use for treks)
  • An insulated water bottle per person , practical for both the road and for hiking
  • A pressure solar shower for daily hygiene, even for the dishes
  • A 2-second shower cabin for privacy and / or protection from the wind (a must for us!)
  • A camping blanket to put on the ground for insulation
  • Folding and compact camping chairs + a camping table
  • Travel storage bags for clothes
  • A first aid kit
  • A paper road map
  • The keys of the van

Few Things To Keep In Mind

  • Leave the places you visit without any trace of your passage (or even cleaner still!), This includes your toilet paper.
  • Do not light a campfire where it is not allowed
  • Ask yourself if you are not on private property (and if so ask the owner for permission, you will be surprised to see the kindness and warm welcome that you can sometimes receive).
  • Respect the tranquillity of other van or tent travellers and don't park next to them or find another overnight parking spot if the one you are targeting is taken.

Explore Our Camping Range
Related tags :