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.
Top 10 Campervan and Motorhome Holiday Destinations
I have been looking at the top ten holiday destinations online, in the newspapers and from discussing the options with friends. Everybody has a different view.
Trip Advisor publishes their traveller’s choice awards based on reviews from the Trip Advisor website. The UK is tops here. It is great for visitors from outside of the UK as our pound is very cheap if you are buying it from the USA, Europe and Australia and New Zealand. There is incredibly good value in holidays here.
France is listed third on the Trip Advisor list but it would come higher on mine. Travelling through France in a motorhome is so well accepted that there are free places to camp overnight. There are thousands of campsites that are everywhere and they are of a very high standard.
Many people take their own motorhomes to France but if you are further afield or, you want to have a taster and don’t own your own, then take the train, a car or fly to one of the main towns in France and you will find that we offer rentals from these centres.
There are pick up points in the following places in France: Ajaccio, Angers, Bordeaux, Caen, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Metz, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Poitiers, Rouen, Toulouse and Tours.
The vehicles in France range from small two berth campers:
to 4-berth campervans with shower and toilet on board.
The larger 6-berth motorhomes are great for family holidays.
The next country in Trip Advisor’s best places to travel is Italy. We rent out here too. In fact, you can pick up in any of these cities:
Milan, Rome, Bologna, Florence, Turin, Pomezia, Albenga, Alghero, Bari, Golfo Aranci, Grosseto, Massa Carrara, Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa, Naples, Olbia, Padova, Palermo, Parma, Pisa, Pomezia, Pordenone, Porto Torres, Reggio Calabria,Rimini, Rome, Rome Ciampino airport, Rome Fiumicino airport, San Giovanni La Punta, Santa Teresa Gallura Port, Siena-Ampugnano, Trapani, Treviso, Trieste, Turin, Venice, Verona, Vicenza.
Of course, you may be able to take your own camper to Europe, but if you are from Australia, the exchange rate is brilliant! If we want to go to Australia or New Zealand then our pound may not go as far but if we book early, then the rates are a lot cheaper. Now is the time to book for next down under summer. Or, if you don’t mind a cooler trip in the winter of New Zealand, then the rates are great.
Australia has a winterless north so book now for July and August as you won’t regret taking the kids to the Barrier Reef, or the Kimberleys or just the beach on one of Australia’s great stretches of golden sands.
If you are looking for an adventure that will get the adrenalin running then we also offer 4×4 campers for hire in Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This is a great way to experience the African bush. Stay in campsites and explore the game parks and really get close to the wild life. Take a good camera, and steady nerves!
If you haven’t thought of it before, the USA and Canada are second to none in providing the most amazing and spectacular scenery and experiences that will make your motorhome holiday the best. Campsites are everywhere and kitted out with bbq areas, almost as much as the Ozzies! The roads are big and wide as are the campers. RV rental is on a different scale. Loads of room and miles and miles of roads to explore and so family friendly.
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.
ENJOY A 10 DAY DRIVING HOLIDAY FROM TUSCANY TO LONDON FOR ONLY £10 PER DAY!
January 9, 2014
Bunk Campers are offering our customers 10 day motorhome hire for only £10 per day*. Drive from Siena, Italy to Bunk Campers London Gatwick depot!
The lucky holiday makers will be the first to drive our brand new VistaPlus or Grande motorhomes and tour through Europe from Italy to England in a luxury home on wheels!
Each motorhome will be equipped with comfy beds, fridge/freezer, gas hob, sink, dining area, toilet, shower and reversing camera.
If you have ever dreamed of touring through Europe on a budget, now is your chance to grab a bargain motorhome hire!
Travel: Sun 30 March – Tue 8th April or Mon 31st March – Wed 9th April
// Flights for 2 people to Pisa International Airport:
Opt 1: DUBLIN (DUB)- PISA (PSA) 10.20AM-14.05AM (Sun 30th Mar 2014)
Opt 2: LONDON STANSTEAD (STN) –PISA (PSA) 06.30AM-09.45AM (Mon 31 Mar 2014)
// Coach transfers from Pisa International Airport to Siena, Italy
// 10 day motorhome hire in our brand new VistaPlus or Grande motorhomes
// Comprehensive vehicle demonstration at check-in
// Insurance for 1 named driver, over 25 with a full, clean UK/EU driving licence
// Calais – Dover ferry crossing
// Vehicle helpline
The small print:
// £250 refundable deposit required on booking against your flights/ferry. Deposit returned delivery of the motorhome
to Bunk Campers London Gatwick depot.
// Driver must be over 25 and hold a full, clean UK/EU driving licence.
// Additional passengers charged at £99 each to cover flights & transfers.
// Motorhome will not come equipped with bedding, cutlery, crockery or cooking utensils.
// Hirer is responsible for all fuel costs, toll roads, campsites and all other costs incurred throughout the hire.
// £1350 security deposit required on collection of the motorhome in Italy. Returned on arrival at Bunk Campers London Gatwick depot
(provided there’s no damage).
// Motorhome must be delivered by Tuesday 8th April (from 30th March departure) or Wednesday 9th April (from 31st March departure).
//All other standard Bunk Campers Terms & Conditions apply. See www.bunkcampers.com/en/terms for more details.
// Hold baggage NOT included, hold Baggage can be added at £25 per bag (20kg).
// Prices are correct at the time of publishing. Bunk Campers reserves the right to amend the pricing, vehicle specification, terms & conditions without prior notification.
Campervan and motorhome hire in Italy – useful info.
Where can I camp in Italy?
There are about 1870 camping rest stops and parking grounds for campervans and motorhomes. They are referred to as “equipped,” “camper services,” “parking lots (not equipped),” and integrated areas.
Free Areas to camp:
Italians call campground either campeggi or campings – See more at: http://www.reidsitaly.com/planning/lodging/camping.html#sthash.BJHhiqLf.dpuf
Campervans and motorhomes can use the rest stops on the autostrada or other roads but are not allowed to leave any waste water or rubbish. You are not allowed to put up a tent or use any other space other than the space the motorhome uses. Stepping-stools, awnings, tables or chairs are not permitted. As long as these rules are followed you can stay here for free for one night.
Consult local authorities on rules and regulations in order to avoid fines or penalties.
The Autostrada: In service areas and parking lots on the Autostrada, you can stay for one night only or for 24 hours.
Discharge of Water Waste:You must dispose of waste water and any other rubbish responsibly and use specified dump stations for emptying the wc cartridge.
Categories of Camper Zones
“Pit-Stops”: in these zones only brief stops or stops overnight are allowed. No services.
“Camper Services”: this is just a service area and is not equipped for any other kind of stop. There is drinking water, drainage facilities, water nozzles and electrical outlets.
“Equipped Zones”: this type of area is for longer stays and offers fresh water, drainage, picnic areas, showers, toilets, electrical outlets, tourist information.
“Integrated Zones”: These can be in hotel carparks, campsites, farms (agritourism) and even shopping centres.
For emergencies, call 113 (Polizia di Stato – State Police), 112 (Carabinieri – Gendarmerie), 117 (Guardia di Finanza – Financial police force), 115 (Pompieri – Fire Department), 118 (Medical Rescue), 1515 (State Forestry Department), 1530 (Coast Guard), 1528 (Traffic reports).
Driving regulations in Italy
Documents required to drive in Italy
Driving licences issued by any of the EU member states are valid throughout the European Union, including Italy.
Drivers in possession of a licence issued by any EU country do not require an international driving permit or a sworn translation of their own licence.
General rules for driving
Driving licences issued by any of the EU Member States are valid throughout the European Union, including Italy.
Drivers with a licence issued by any EU country do not require an international driving permit or a legal translation of their own licence.
To drive in Italy, you must be over 18. Keep right and overtake on the left. Dipped headlights must be used on two-lane motorways. When driving through towns and villages, the horn may be sounded only in the event of an emergency. Trams and trains have right of way.
The use of seatbelts in both the front and rear seats is compulsory, and failure to keep them fastened may result in fines for both drivers and passengers. On three-lane motorways, the lane on the right is reserved for slow vehicles and vehicles that are not overtaking. At crossings, vehicles approaching from the right always have right of way. Seatbelts must be fastened both in the front and the rear (provided the vehicle is fitted with them). Fines may be issued on-the-spot to drivers and passengers stopped by the police and found travelling without their seatbelt fastened.
Mopeds below 150cc may not be driven on motorways under any circumstances. Helmets are compulsory to drive all motorcycles and mopeds, whatever the engine size.
What are the speed limits?
Cars and motorbikes (vehicles with engine size over 150 cc):
urban areas 50 km/h (31 mph);
minor out-of-town roads 90 km/h (56 mph);
major out-of-town roads 110 km/h (68 mph);
motorways 130 km/h (81 mph).
In the event of rain on snow, the limit is lowered to 110 k/h on motorways and 90 k/h on trunk roads.
In order to ensure that these limits are complied with, numerous speed cameras have been installed throughout the road and motorway network to keep electronic checks on speed.
Cars with trailers or caravans: in urban areas, the speed limit is 50 km/h (31 mph); on minor out-of-town roads 70 km/h (44 mph); on major out-of-town roads 70 km/h (44 mph); on motorways 80 km/h (50 mph). Camper vans weighing over 3.5 tonnes and under 12 tonnes: in urban areas, the speed limit is 50 km/h (31 mph); on minor out-of-town roads 80 km/h (50 mph); on major out-of-town roads 80 km/h (50 mph); on motorways 100 km/h (62 mph). Compulsory equipment on board : triangle; spare tyre; extinguisher (recommended) and reflective safety jacket, which must be used outside towns and villages in the event of a stop during the night or in poor visibility conditions, or when stopping on emergency lanes or lay-bys. Insurance : Civil Liability insurance is compulsory. For visitors arriving from abroad, the best option is the Green Card, an insurance policy that can even be taken out at the border and is valid for 15, 30 or 45 days.
Drinking and driving : in Italy, driving is not permitted with a blood alcohol content superior to 0.5 grammes per litre, in line with the European average.
Useful numbers and emergency numbers :
Fire Brigade 115
Translate Petrol into Italian
benzinaunleaded petrol la benzina verdehigh-octane petrol (benzina) super feminine invariable
to be heavy on petrol (car) bere molta benzina
to run out of petrol restare senza benzina
they spend a lot on petrol spendono molto per la benzin