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.
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:
In August, the total eclipse will be visible from a 70-mile-wide corridor stretching about 2,500 miles diagonally from west to east. Depending on where along this pathway you are, the moon will cover the entire sun for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
The path begins in Oregon and crosses through portions of Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina before ending in South Carolina.
We are putting the finishing touches to the page and we hope to have it up and running shortly. We have all new images of campervans, motorhomes, truck campers, hi-top and low-top campers as well as sleeper cars. There is everything listed from cheap as chips to luxury with all the bells and whistles. Watch this space .
We need your feedback. Just let us know if there is any country where you are planning a road trip and would like some more info on. Maybe just a link to the tourist boards.
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.
Driving safely and avoiding
roadside scams in Portugal
Do think ahead before your journey through Portugal.
Foreign registered vehicles and hire cars can be targeted by
Don’t fall victim to common problems and scams.
Before you leave On the road
Take regular breaks – the Portuguese authorities
recommend you take a break every two to three hours.
Be cautious – British nationals have been tricked by
thieves using distraction techniques such as supposedly
signalling a ‘problem’ with a vehicle with the intention
of forcing you to stop, or asking for information or
directions whilst you are in a car park.
Never leave any
valuables on display –
most insurance policies
won’t cover stolen
belongings from cars if they
have been left on display
Be extra careful in car hire collection points, service
stations, and rest areas. British nationals have
been victims of scams where their car tyres have
been punctured; they have then been followed and
subsequently robbed when they are forced to stop
because of a flat tyre.
If you have broken down or stopped because of a
problem with the car, call your breakdown service. If
you or other passengers leave the car, you must wear a
reflective jacket. You must also display red warning
triangles in front of and behind your vehicle.
Be wary of other drivers stopping
to help you or people presenting
themselves as police officers. It is rare
that police will arrive without being
called, and traffic police are always in
If you’re not sure if someone is a
police officer, call 112 to confirm
If you stop:
In Portugal it is illegal to use electronic devices,
such as smart phone apps, to detect speed
Be on your guard – someone who stops
to help you or to ask for your help might be
part of the scam!
Familiarise yourself with Portuguese speed limits and
Make sure you have copies of your motor insurance
documents, vehicle logbook and MOT.
Take out adequate travel insurance and breakdown and
recovery cover for your time in Portugal and have the
details to hand
Important contact details
Print this leaflet and record your key information and contact details below so you
have it in case anything goes wrong:
Breakdown recovery emergency telephone number for Portugal:
Insurance policy number and 24 hour emergency telephone number:
Emergency services: 112
Consular Network Portugal: +351 21 395 4082.
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