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Guide: Travelling the UK by Motorhome

July 26, 2016

The British Isles are renowned worldwide for being packed with amazing history, rich culture and stunning vistas. The compact size of our island makes it relatively easy to tour the entirety of the country – and with so many breathtaking countryside views on offer, taking a rural road trip gives you the freedom to explore it all! Whether you’re taking a break from your studies or just want to get away with your friends, a road trip is the ultimate way to see Britain.

Making the most of your holiday and seeing it all makes planning and preparation key. From mapping out your journey to creating a backup plan for rainy days en route (remember that this is the UK, after all), you can never be too prepared. Today, we’ve put together a series of valuable tips to keep in mind when planning your Great British road trip.

Motorhome

Pack effectively and economically

While touring the UK in your own campervan or motorhome means you won’t be restricted by carrying heavy baggage on your back, remember that everything you pack will add to the weight of the vehicle. More weight equals greater fuel consumption, and that equates to less money to spend on important things like food (and beer!) – and if you’re covering the length and breadth of the country, you’ll soon clock up those miles. Think about what you really need – be prepared to pack for rainy mornings, hot afternoons and cold nights. For a two-week tour, three or four outfits for each forecast should be sufficient – so there’s certainly no need to overpack! Alternatively, you can cut your wardrobe space in half by packing travel wash or stopping at a launderette (or mum’s house) en route.

Plan your route

‘Fail to plan, plan to fail’. Yes, it may be a cliché, but there’s a reason why the importance of preparation is preached so often! Without a route plan, you’ll never make it through all the places you want to see and could find yourself driving in circles on country lanes. Whether you’re touring every pub in England or cramming in outdoor activities, planning is key to maximising your time. It’s also worth doing a bit of research on each of your destinations in advance. There’s nothing worse than arguing with mates over where to go for dinner – so check out sites like TripAdvisor to find hidden gems, local recommendations and things to do en route. Who says there’s anything wrong with ‘organised fun’?!

Road map

Book ahead

So you’ve planned your itinerary and know exactly where in the UK you’ll be for each night – now it’s time to get those campsites booked. While travelling in a motorhome means you’ll always have a bed for the night, remember that you’ll still need somewhere to park up. The idea of spontaneous and unplanned travel is often romanticised, but you’ll more than likely end up stuck in the rain without a campsite for the night – or worse, blowing your budget in a matter of days on alternative accommodation.

Staying at campervan sites means you’ll get the opportunity to meet so many like-minded travellers, as well as having all the facilities you’ll want after a long day on the road – a spritz of Lynx Africa only goes so far. Make sure you book in advance with every camping site – pitches fill up quickly during the summer months, and the last thing you’ll want is to sleep in a car park with no hookup or facilities. If you’re travelling with friends, make sure you confirm that each campsite is happy to accept groups – many campsites are families and couples only, so it pays to call ahead and ask.

Obey the rules of the road

As well as knowing the highway code, you’ll need to make sure that you’re fully licensed to drive your motorhome. Check your driving licence and the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of the vehicle as, if your RV is over 3.5 tonnes, you may need a licence that includes category C1 entitlement. If the vehicle is over 7.5 tonnes, you’ll need a Category C (HGV licence) – so check before you set off to ensure your insurance is valid.

The UK’s narrow and winding country roads mean driving can become tiring pretty fast – so if you’re planning on driving in shifts, each driver will need to be licensed and fully insured to drive, too. Getting behind the wheel of a campervan is very different to a car – and if you’ve recently passed or have never driven a tourer before, we’d recommend getting some practice in before you set off.

campervan

Keep an open mind

Your itinerary may be mapped out to a T, but you’ll undoubtedly head off piste from time to time – whether it’s Mother Nature’s call or taking a gamble on a recommendation. It’s worth investing in a Sat-Nav or route mapping app for your phone to ensure you never get lost.

Travel should be embraced with open arms and an open mindset. Once your planning is done, you can let go of your military precision and enjoy the trip for what it is: an escape and well-earned break. A road trip of the UK is the perfect opportunity to try something new. Whether it’s your first bite of seafood or skydiving out of a plane, travellers who push themselves often reap the greatest rewards.

A British road trip could be just what the doctor ordered. Whether you’re on the hunt for the best beaches or best nightlife in the country, travelling by road gives you the freedom to have it all.

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