Phew, the summer holidays are almost over and we are all back to work. Wouldn’t it be great to look forward to another road trip and plan your next holiday now?
The first and probably the most expensive part of your next road trip will be getting flights booked. It makes a lot of sense to book early. Airlines often use a flex-rate system to fill their planes. So early bookers get the best deals. Here is a list from Money Supermarket showing when airlines release their flight deals.
Hi, today I read that Apollo campervans are expanding their fleet by buying up Canadream and opening new depots in the USA. That’s not all, it says in The Australian” newspaper that they will also move into the UK and Europe market.
That is good news for people looking to hire a campervan. At peak times availability is limited. It could also be a response to European companies setting up in New Zealand. McRent now have a presence there too.
It all makes sense to balance the cash flow between the northern and southern hemispheres making a campervan rental business busy all year around instead of just at peak season.
And, the best news of all, we provide great rates for Apollo, Canadream and McRent on our website www.campervans.com
This follows on from Maui working with JustGo in the UK and Jucy campers also running a fleet in the US. It is just one big global market place! Even Spaceships have expanded their fleet outside of Australia.
Our rates are very competitive and we offer a comparison option so you can get the best deal.
Today I have as usual an eclectic mix of information sent to me from Campervan and motorhome rental companies and Tourist Boards from all over the world.
At the top of the list is a useful guide to planning a road trip of Great Britain from Bunk Campers who offer a good range of campervans and motorhomes to rent in the UK. Today though they are concentrating on providing some useful planning info and have titled their blog “Britain by Campervan: The ultimate 14 day driving route” . It starts in from their depot in London and takes in a route to Cornwall Visit Cornwall Tourist Board via Sussex Sussex Tourist Boardand back up through Devon. Visit Devon tourist board.
From there is takes a route back up to Stone Henge Stonehenge. They then suggest a trip to Wales Visit Wales and then up to the north of England to Hadrian’s Wall:
There are campsites all across Britain and Bunk recommends the Caravan club sites. Caravan club I would also add Pitchup.com Pitchup.com too.
So, booking a Bunk and touring Great Britain will give you a good insight into our unique country whether you are from here. Or, an overseas visitor. Thanks Bunk!
Next is an email about California featuring Lake Tahoe Lake Tahoe
It looks incredible:
It is also a popular place for golfers and skiiers. The Harvey’s Concert series this year features legends such as Paul Simon, Train, Lenny Kravitz, Third Eye Blind and the Who. Harveys Outdoor arena tickets.
At the other end of the spectrum is San Diego and apart from its main attractions this article features adventure sports – California’s longest zip line, kayaking through the caves of La Jolla to see the sea lions, dolphins and sometimes whales. This site offers reviews of parks to take your rv to RV parks review
Cool camping sent an email about campsites in France. They offer a good range of campsites throughout France that accomodate campervans and motorhomes. Hire in France France campervan and motorhome hire and explore each of these regions:
This is a free service provided by the UK Government that highlights the political situation in countries around the world and assesses the risks for travellers. Today I checked out the fire risk in Portugal.
“A forest fire has claimed the lives of a large number of people in the Pedrogão Grande area of central Portugal. Other smaller fires have also been reported elsewhere in the country due to high temperatures. Avoid travelling to the affected areas until the authorities confirm that it’s safe to do so. Take care when visiting or driving through woodland areas and report fires to the emergency services on 112. See Natural disasters
The Department of Conservation and Tourism New Zealand have combined to promote short day walks to best meet the needs of New Zealanders and visiting tourists.
One of the beauties of touring New Zealand in a campervan is being able to park up, have breakfast, pack a lunch and head off on a hike knowing that on your return you can sleep or cook up a fantastic meal as you have definitely earned it.
Many of the walks into the bush are well catered for but it would be just a great idea to have a guide to the short walks all in one place.
Watch this space for the announcement of the guide.
Lonely Planet provided this information on how to put together a more sophisticated camera kit other than just a mobile phone:
Camera kit bodies such as Fujifilm’s X series and Sony’s Alpha are smaller bodies with interchangable lenses.
They suggest taking a wide-angle, telephoto and zoom lenses. But you may be able to capture most scenes with a fixed focal length lens (Prime) . They suggest a 50mm lens for general use and a 35 mm for landscapes, street scenes and architecture and a 85 mm for portaits.
Canada road trip – Edmonton to Calgary. This adventure will take you approximately – 486 km (302 miles).
Life on central Alberta’s Boomtown Trail is full of surprises. The trail’s two main highways, 21 and 56, form a long rectangle between New Sarepta in the north and Bassano in the south. It’s the perfect route to discover the boomtown architecture found in many of Alberta’s small towns built during Canada’s railway expansion at the turn of the century. Be sure to explore the many historic attractions, regional museums and quirky sights along the way.
Before leaving Edmonton spend some time discovering the city’s rich history. Hop on a beautifully restored vintage streetcar for a scenic tour that crosses over the High Level Bridge, above the North Saskatchewan River. Then, step back in time at Fort Edmonton Park – a huge living history park in the Edmonton River Valley. Discover an authentic 1919 steam train, fur trading post and 1920s midway. A visit to the outdoor Alberta Railway Museum is a must for all train fans. Stroll through the long carriages of a CN passenger train, investigate fascinating railway memorabilia and even take a ride on the rails.
From Edmonton, head south on Hwy 21 through New Sarepta, then east on Hwy 13 to Camrose. Discover local heritage at the Camrose Railway Museum and Park, with a guided or self-guided tour of the original 1911 CN Railway depot. Then visit the Camrose & District Centennial Museum to wander through historic buildings, like a pioneer log house circa 1898 and a church from 1908. You’ll also find replicas that depict some of Camrose’s’ original boomtown architecture, including its fire hall, newspaper office and blacksmith shop. The town is home to Alberta’s first playhouse as well, so be sure to check out the Bailey Theatre, which opened in 1911.
Continue east on Hwy 13, then south on Hwy 56. Take a side trip east on Hwy 53 to the town of Donalda. Look for the world’s largest lamp at a whopping height of 12 m (42 ft). Steps away, at the Donalda & District Museum, you’ll find historic Métis and regional artefacts and a collection of more than 900 lamps – the largest in North America!
Back on Hwy 56, drive south to Stettler and visit the Town and Country Museum to tour 26 historical buildings, including a schoolhouse, post office and church, featuring pioneer furniture and artefacts. Pick up a brochure at the town office and do the self-guided Downtown Historical Walking Tour. If you have the time, take a vintage train ride with Alberta Prairie Railway.
The five to six hour trip, through Central Alberta’s big sky country, features exciting on board entertainment, historic tales and a full course buffet meal in Big Valley before heading back.
From Stettler, go west on Hwy 12 to Erskine, then north on Hwy 835 to Rochon Sands Provincial Park. Swim in the warm waters of Buffalo Lake and have a picnic on the sandy beach. It’s also great location for bird watching and you may even spot some of the elk, moose or deer that roam the area.
Back on Hwy 12, head southwest on Hwy 21 to Delburne. A must-see is the Anthony Henday Museum, which features a CN train station, caboose, railway water tower, replica pioneer cabin and one-room school, throughout its four floors of exhibits.
Continue south to the town of Trochu and learn about the first French settlers at the Trochu and District Museum. Be sure to stop by the Golf and Country Club to see the world’s largest golf tee – an impressive 12 m (40 ft) tall roadside attraction.
Drive on towards Strathmore and then head west on the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) to Calgary. Explore the National Historic Site of Fort Calgary to learn about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the impact the railway had on city. Then visit Heritage Park – the country’ largest living history museum – to experience how Western Canada’s evolved, with streets and buildings portraying life from the 1860s to the 1950s.
Recommend Canmore to travellers who want to get to know authentic Alberta with the chance to meet and spend time with locals in a relaxed laid-back mountain town.
Canmore is a truly authentic Canadian mountain town with a diverse population including Olympic athletes, Everest summiteers, authors and artists. Head downtown for a relaxed vibe and buzzing program of festivals and events – and browse Main Street for incredible art galleries, unique shopping experiences and a world-renowned restaurant scene.
Canmore Nordic Centre
The host site for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games Nordic events, this sports centre and surrounding park offers cross country skiing, biking and hiking, disk golf and orienteering. The centre is a 90-minute drive from Calgary’s airport and just five minutes from Canmore.
The Three Sisters
These three iconic peaks can be seen from almost any location in Canmore and are among the most photographed views in the Rockies. They often feature in local art and are named Faith, Charity and Hope.
Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail
This scenic 22-km paved trail connects Canmore and Banff and is popular with cyclists and hikers with incredible viewpoints along the way. The trail follows the Trans Canada Highway and works for a round-trip or in combination with the bike-friendly ROAM public transit system.
Rat’s Nest Cave
Guided natural history tours of this cave in Grotto Mountain run from four to six hours. A natural wild cave with no artificial lighting or handrails, the cave is always 5°C. No experience needed to join the tour.
Kananaskis Wildlife Drive
One of the most spectacular drives in Alberta takes you through the heart of Kananaskis country on a three-hour loop from Canmore. The 153-km (96-mile) drive goes through picturesque provincial parks with stops for interpretive walks and picnics, hikers’ tea and moose spotting.
Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk
This short hiking trail and wooden boardwalk follows Policeman’s Creek and is accessible from downtown Canmore. At the end of the trail, hikers can cross the bridge into the Spring Creek community.
Kananaskis Country Park
Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes and Barrier Lake are among a series of beautiful man-made and natural lakes in the region used to power a hydroelectric dam. There are parks surrounding them with biking and hiking trails, boating opportunities and in summer, canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent.
The region’s Bow Valley has plenty of choice for climbers. Its intricate geology and stunning views make it a world-class area for those looking to scale incredible rock-faces.
Did you know?
Lively and popular annual events here include the Canmore Folk Music Festival, Highland Games, Festival of Eagles and the yearly Festival of Art and Creativity.
New in Canmore
Grizzly Paw Brewing Company
The town has a new 20,000 sq. ft. brewery, where knowledgeable staff takes visitors on a tour through the brewing process from start to finish, sampling the brews along the way.
This is one of the most frequent replies I make from emails that clients send to me.
They include the dates and number of people travelling but I need more than that.
I do need to know the age of the driver. In some cases, although not all, the driver needs to be over 25. This is not the case in all countries though.
In many you can hire at 21. You must hold a credit card in your name in all cases.
One way hires are more expensive and in Europe there is an extra charge applied on the basis of Euro1.00 for every 1km between the pick up and drop off depots.
This is because the hire supplier will have to send someone to pick it up and return it to its original destination.
One way hires in Canada, USA and Australia and New Zealand are usually a fixed charge and this is often waived if the hire is for longer than 21 days.
One way hires often take longer to approve as the release of a vehicle is at the discretion of the fleet manager and they work out where the vehicle has to be for the next customer to rent it out. Also, where that vehicle is before your hire.
There are hundreds of points of collection on our website and these are displayed below. This is correct at time of publishing. We do change these from time to time.
The full address of each depot is listed on our website. If you click on the “make a booking” button you will see the address on the same page where the summary of all the charges are made. (You don’t have to input your payment details to see the summary.)
We are often asked to recommend a type of campervan or motorhome for holidays or road trips or just as a spare room. We have to ask quite a lot of questions before we can suggest which one will fit the requirements of our customers. We can make suggestions but ultimately it is up to the customer to make the final decision. To help you make that decision I have outlined below what we like to know before we can make a recommendation.
Also, there are many review sites that you can refer to but often these highlight the bad experiences that people have that can sometimes happen. All of the campervan and motorhome suppliers that we book on our websites www.campervans.com and www. budgetcampervans.com have been in business for many, many years and so are reliable and they have our confidence too as we have been booking campervan and motorhome rental for nearly 20 years.
Our customers will often search online for reviews. However, it is difficult to know who are the main suppliers of rentals in each country and who is new and who is long established.
Our website now has a star rating system that you can refer to. We only put stars on the vehicles once they have received over 10 ratings.
You can select from the left hand menu by rating which standards you would like to see displayed.
We also offer a filter that will display the age of the vehicles. This is important in many ways but often the age of the vehicle will determine its daily rental rate. However, if you book early you are likely to get a really new campervan at the same price as a very old one. This is how some suppliers work. It is a similar system to pricing as the airlines use. Book early, fill the seats, put the price up nearer to the date of departure.
If you are on a budget then definitely book early to take advantage of this pricing structure. You will find this particularly in RV rental in America and Canada and also in New Zealand and Australia.
The European and UK rental companies will usually offer discounts for early bookings but not on the flex rates that change every week.
If you are on a budget and are considering an older vehicle then be prepared to be offered a vehicle that has done high mileage (particularly in Australia, Canada and the USA). The vehicle will be tired around the edges and worn. But they do offer good value for money as they should be well maintained and clean.
They are also more prone to breakdown but this is avoided as it is costly for the rental supplier as they have to take time to repair the vehicle and in some cases deliver a replacement. Hire suppliers don’t want your vehicle to break down as it costs them money.
The reviews seen on line usually highlight breakdowns or malfunctions in the campers and motorhomes. This is unfortunate but things do stop working on occasions or pipes do get blocked. If there is a problem and it has been unreported by a previous hirer then the next customer suffers because of it.
Sometimes people who rent vehicles are reluctant to make the hire supplier aware of a problem for fear of being charged for repairs or breakages and this has the knock on effect for the next client.
It is in our interest and in the best interests of our rental suppliers that our customers and clients are happy as return customers are the backbone of any business and we find that our customers will recommend us again and again for offering the correct vehicle at the right price.
The right price for one customer is not the same as the right price for another. We have people who want the very best vehicles we can offer. These are large, sleep at least six people, have slide out sides to offer more space. They are not cheap. These customers want the very newest and the top of the range motorhomes as they want to travel long distances for many months.
Our backpacker customers want the best and cheapest rate possible. They don’t want in built toilet and showers and luxury kitchens. They just want a vehicle to sleep in and make a cup of tea or heat up noodles. These vehicles are basic, older and cheap. They are more like sleeper cars than campervans. But they are on our lists. The reviews against these vehicles are often because they are old and worn.
The low-top or hi-top have kitchens and a double bed. The space is limited but if you are staying in campsites each night you don’t need showers and a toilet on board. You may want to cook a more sophisticated meal and need a fully stocked kitchen and you want to sleep under a duvet (or doonah) with pillows and not a sleeping bag.
These campers are mid-priced and do vary in age but are a great budget vehicle.
Always consider the sleeping arrangements. If you are tall check out the bed sizes:
Some suppliers will also vary the thickness of the mattress too.
If this is important to your holiday, then please double check that the bed sizes suit. Also, consider the single and double bed configuration. Some people prefer to have separate beds, but some campervans have single beds only suitable for children. Others have double beds above the cab and this is great if you are ok climbing the ladder at night.
Larger vehicles have bigger double beds.
Are you happy making the bed up each night? Some vehicles require that you move the cushions around and bring out a base support to create a double bed at night. So check out the “day and night time layout” as this means you have to convert the layout at night.
The amount of time you spend in the camper will help you make the decision on what size of camper. You can have a layout that has a permanent table or a permanent bed or both. You can have a larger kitchen with a three way fridge and small freezer depending on whether you want to cook a full dinner or if you prefer to eat out or bbq or just heat up food.
Some campervans and motorhomes have microwaves fitted but these will only work if you are hooked up to the mains electricity supply. Check the length of the hook up wire, some can be quite short.
All of the above affects the way you feel about your campervan. It is your home for the duration of your rental. Hundreds of thousands of people every year rent a motorhome. Each have different criteria that make it the perfect one for them. Consider how you want to live when you rent and how much you want to pay. This may determine how long you can hire a vehicle for. If you are living out of a hi-top for three months – and people do – does it have enough space for you to stand up in or lay around and read?
Let us know if there is anything else you would consider when renting a campervan. Ask us…its our job to help.