20 Tips for the Perfect Camper Van Adventure

April 29, 2024

9 minutes

There's nothing quite like hitting the open road in a camper van, ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure. With the freedom to explore at your own pace and the comfort of a cosy home on wheels, a camper van trip is the perfect way to experience the great outdoors. Whether you're a seasoned camper van enthusiast or new to the world of van life, we've got you covered with our top 20 tips for making the most of your camper van adventure.

#1 Choose the Right Camper Van

The first step to a successful camper van adventure is choosing the right vehicle. Consider your needs and preferences, such as the size of the camper van, the number of beds and seating areas, and the amenities available. Popular options include the VW Caddy camper van and the Fiat Ducato camper van.

When choosing a camper van, also consider whether you want to buy or rent one. Renting a camper van is a great option for shorter trips or if you're not ready to commit to owning one. On the other hand, buying a camper van gives you the freedom to customise it to your liking and have it ready for future adventures.

#2 Plan Your Route

Before you hit the road, take some time to plan your route by researching the destinations you want to visit and mapping out your itinerary. Take into account the amount of time you want to spend at each destination and factor in any activities or attractions you want to experience - after all, it’s all about the journey!

Re-Cycle Caddy Van Driving

#3 Pack Smart

Packing for a camper van adventure requires a bit of strategy. Since space is limited, it's important to pack smart and only bring the essentials. Make a checklist of items you'll need, such as clothing, toiletries, bedding, cooking utensils, and camping gear. 

To maximise space, opt for soft bags instead of bulky suitcases, and utilise every available storage space available in your camper, including under-bed compartments, overhead cabinets, and storage pockets.

#4 Stay Organised

Keeping your camper van organised will make your trip much more enjoyable. Designate specific areas for different items, such as a pantry for food, a drawer for utensils, and hooks for jackets and towels. 

Create a daily routine for tidying up the camper van, such as making the bed, washing dishes, and organising your belongings. This will help maintain a clean and clutter-free living space throughout your journey.

#5 Check Your Equipment

Before you hit the road, thoroughly inspect your camper van and all its equipment. Check the tires for wear and tear, ensure all lights are working properly, and test the brakes. Make sure the gas, water, and electricity systems are functioning correctly.

It's also essential to have a basic tool kit on hand for any minor repairs or adjustments that may be needed during your trip. This can include screwdrivers, wrenches, duct tape, and spare fuses.

#6 Plan Your Meals

One of the joys of camper van travel is the ability to cook your own meals on the road. Plan your meals in advance and make a shopping list of the ingredients you'll need. Consider easy and versatile recipes that can be prepared with limited kitchen space and equipment.

Stock up on non-perishable items such as canned goods, pasta, and rice, as well as fresh produce that can be easily stored. Don't forget to pack cooking utensils, pots and pans, and essential spices and condiments.

#7 Make the Most of Campsites

Campsites are a camper van traveller's best friend. They provide essential amenities such as toilets, showers, and laundry facilities. Research and book campsites in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure a spot.

#8 Practise Responsible Camping

When camping in nature, it's important to practise responsible camping to minimise your impact on the environment. Follow the principles of Leave No Trace, which include packing out your trash, respecting wildlife and vegetation, and leaving the campsite as you found it.

#9 Stay Connected

While the allure of a camper van adventure is disconnecting from the digital world, it's still important to stay connected for safety and convenience. Invest in a reliable mobile hotspot or find campsites that offer Wi-Fi access. 

#10 Embrace the Outdoors

A camper van adventure is all about immersing yourself in nature and embracing the great outdoors. Take advantage of the freedom to explore hiking trails, go fishing, or simply relax by the campfire. Research the natural attractions and outdoor activities available at each destination and make a plan to experience them.

#11 Be Flexible

While it's important to have a rough itinerary, be open to spontaneity and unexpected detours. Some of the best experiences happen when you stumble upon hidden gems or follow the recommendations of locals. Allow yourself to deviate from the plan and embrace the freedom of the open road.

Take advantage of scenic viewpoints, roadside attractions, and local events that you come across during your journey. Embrace the unexpected and create lasting memories along the way.

#12 Stay Safe on the Road

Safety should always be a top priority when embarking on a camper van adventure. Familiarise yourself with the rules of the road in the countries or regions you'll be travelling in. Follow speed limits, use designated rest areas for breaks, and always wear your seatbelt.

Regularly check the condition of your camper van, including the tires, brakes, and lights. Be cautious when driving in unfamiliar terrain and adjust your speed accordingly. If you're new to driving a camper van, take some time to practise before hitting the road.

#13 Capture Your Memories

A camper van adventure is full of unforgettable moments and stunning landscapes. Capture these memories by bringing along a camera or smartphone with a good quality camera. Take plenty of photos and videos to document your journey and share with loved ones.

#14 Support Local Businesses

As you travel, make an effort to support local businesses and communities. Visit local markets, shops, and restaurants to experience the unique flavours and culture of each destination. 

#15 Take Care of Yourself

While the focus of a camper van adventure is often on the destination and experiences, it's important to prioritise self-care. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious meals, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly.

Take time to relax and unwind during your journey. Incorporate activities such as yoga, meditation, or reading into your daily routine. Allow yourself to recharge and enjoy moments of solitude amidst the excitement of the adventure.

#16 Embrace the Slow Travel Lifestyle

A camper van adventure is the perfect opportunity to embrace the slow travel lifestyle. Take your time to truly immerse yourself in each destination, rather than rushing from place to place. Spend a few extra days in a particularly beautiful spot or explore hidden corners that are off the beaten path.

Travelling at a slower pace allows you to connect with the local culture, meet interesting people, and discover hidden gems. It's about quality over quantity and creating meaningful experiences that will stay with you long after the trip is over.

#17 Connect with Other Van Lifers

Van life is a thriving community, and connecting with other van lifers can enhance your camper van adventure. Attend van life meetups or join online communities to meet like-minded individuals who share your passion for travel and adventure.

#18 Leave No Trace

Minimise your impact on the environment by conserving water, using eco-friendly products, and leaving campsites in pristine condition. Educate yourself about the local flora and fauna, and follow any guidelines or regulations in place to protect the natural surroundings.

#19 Enjoy the Journey

Above all, remember to enjoy the journey. A camper van adventure is about more than just reaching your destination. It's about the people you meet, the moments you share, and the memories you create along the way.

Embrace the freedom, flexibility, and spontaneity that comes with camper van travel. Be open to new experiences, embrace the unknown, and savour every moment of your adventure. It's an opportunity to create stories that will last a lifetime.

#20 Find Your Perfect Camper Van

Choosing a safe, reliable, and suitable camper van is essential for a successful camper van adventure. At AddVenture, we offer a wide range of camper vans that cater to different needs and preferences. From the compact and versatile Re-Cycle van to the spacious AddVenture camper van, we have the perfect home-on-wheels for your next adventure.

Still yet to find your dream camper? Check out our blog post on choosing the right camper van for you.