If you’re planning a long journey or a road trip in your campervan then it’s worth checking things over before you set off. Here is a list of essential checks you should carry out prior to hitting the road. I’ll also include a few none essential checks just to make sure you get the best experience possible when on the road. If you’re heading over to Europe then you’ll need a few extra bits and pieces so I’ll cover this also.
You’ll need to think carefully about what you’re going to need whilst away from home, especially if you’re planning to be away for an extended period of time. Likewise if you are going to be covering a lot of miles then these checks and maintenance tips are going to make a huge difference to your experience whilst away from base.
For half term we were meant to be in the Lake District; a holiday I had been waiting for as Ben, my husband, is from the Lake District and spent the first half of his childhood there, but I am yet to go. However, it was cancelled only two weeks before the summer half term as there was a water leak in the property we were staying in. They were unable to repair all the damage in time for our stay, so refunded us our money.
It was only a couple of weeks until the half term and with travel abroad still banned, EVERYONE in the UK was going on holiday to the UK. It was short notice to book somewhere and I was up until the early hours searching for a week away that didn’t cost the Earth!
On Friday evening we drove to Cheddar in Somerset for camping at Bucklegrove Campsite with the kids. Their first request when lockdown was easing was to go camping! We also went to see Cheddar Gorge for the first time. Neither Ben or I had been before, even though we only live around one and a half hour away. Read on to learn things to do in Cheddar Gorge with kids, see the walk we did in Cheddar with absolutely amazing views and also check out where we ate.
But first, things didn’t really get off to a great start for our camping trip away…
We had a kid-free 24 hours over the bank holiday weekend and had planned to paint our block paving driveway, however the weather forecast had patches of rain and we needed a full 24 hours rain-free and warm for the paint to dry. So, not wanting to be stuck at home for a weekend when we had the opportunity to get away, we booked a last minute night away on Airbnb to Swansea to explore more of the wonderful Gower!
The Gower is around two and a half hours drive so it’s not too far for a quick one night stay. It’s also stunning and provides the perfect scenery for long walks, talks, ideas and clearing of the mind – much needed after the year we’ve had. It was great to get away from our home too where we have felt so trapped in recent times.
There were no stays left in Gower, but Swansea had a few choices and I decided to spoil us with one of the best looking. It was our ten year anniversary earlier in the year during lockdown and we couldn’t do anything to celebrate, so this was my excuse!
Almost all of our travel plans were scuppered this year. Luckily we did manage to visit Ben’s brother in Castelo Branco in Portugal in February, just in the nick of time before the first lockdown ensued and a short family staycation to Fishcombe Cove in Devon before the second lockdown kicked in.
We really did miss out on a summer holiday this year and having thought about it, I believe it’s the first year since me and my husband have been together that we haven’t been on a summer holiday!
Next year we really hope we can make up for what feels like lost time and lost travel experiences in 2020. This year has certainly been very different and it almost feels like many of our lives, dreams and ambitions have been put on hold.
I really hope 2021 will begin to get back to normal and travel plans can resume!
We’d been hoping to visit the Lake District for our 2020 summer holiday. A place my husband Ben is very familiar with as he was born in Penrith! He lived his childhood until age seven in the Lake District and has many fond memories.
He’s returned as an adult and is always talking about the beautiful landscape. I have never been and can’t wait to see the amazing beaches and mountains – my two most favourite natural scenes. Let’s hope this is possible in the new year.
Why a 4 berth caravan provides the perfect staycation experience
One thing we have been discussing, when we can travel again and eventually make it to the lakes, is how to create extra room for our family.
There are a ton of advantages to van life – being able to explore the countryside while still maintaining many of the same comforts of home. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we don’t make a few small sacrifices to maintain our lifestyle. And if you’re anything like me, even a day full of adventure starts just a little better when you’ve got a piping hot cup of coffee in your hand. Continue reading “Why a French Press is the best way to make coffee while vanning”→
On our recent European road trip we travelled 1700 miles across Europe in our Mazda Bongo and needed to come up with some vegan food ideas that didn’t need refrigeration.
We did take a camping stove with us, but we were out on day trips most days when we weren’t on the road for hours travelling to destinations, so we needed plant-based road trip food ideas that needed no fridge and no stove for eating both on the long journeys and also to pack to take in our backpacks for lunch. We didn’t have a fridge or any way of cooling food, so we needed food that would last for a few days or several days for our eight-day trip. Some of the driving was up to 10-hours non-stop and we needed food for us and our two children, as well as snacks and drinks that wouldn’t spoil.
I thought it was going to be really tricky to come up with enough snack ideas and meals that don’t need refrigeration or cooking, especially healthy ideas. However, we actually surprised ourselves and came up with a pretty massive list of healthy, non-perishable foods to take with us which I’ll share with you in this blog post.
Having recently travelled a 1700 mile road trip in Europe as a family of four with young kids, ages four and seven, I kept a notebook to document all elements of our trip. I kept a packing list to make sure we didn’t forget anything, but also as I wanted to pack light for the road trip so making a travel packing list allowed me to see if I could reduce the number of items we were taking.
In case you missed it, we recently went on an eight day family road trip in Europe with two kids in tow. I meticulously kept records of every last penny we spent on the trip to see exactly how much it cost us in total. In this blog post I will share with you a breakdown of how much our trip to Europe cost as a family of four.
Ireland is somewhere I’ve been keen to visit for a while. Having just returned from an eight day European road trip with kids, I have travel on the mind. Does travel do that to you too? Even whilst we are travelling we become inspired to travel more, thinking up more and more places we’d love to see.
Sometimes I feel pretty sad to be heading home after a holiday, but I was quite looking forward to it this time! We travelled 1700 miles in 8 days in the car, so quite a lot! I was looking forward to my own bed and also going food shopping as we’d mostly been eating the same food every day. We’d taken a bunch of dried food to save money on eating out and also that was suitable to travel in the car without a fridge all the time, so it became pretty samey by the 8th day! Continue reading “Europe family road trip day 8 – back to the UK”→